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How do I go about changing adult diaper for my mother, who suffers from dementia and incontinence, to prevent her reaching into her diaper?

6 answers | Last updated: Mar 09, 2015
An anonymous caregiver asked...

My 86 year-old mother has dementia and incontinence. Before the changing of adult diaper, she reaches into her diaper and "plays" with the contents, smearing it on herself and bedding. I am at wits end. How to stop this? PLEASE HELP!


Caring.com User - Joyce Simard
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A social worker and geriatric consultant who specializes in dementia care, Joyce Simard is based in Land O' Lakes, Florida, and in Prague. She...
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Joyce Simard answered...

Try to determine your mother's schedule for having a bowel movement so you can either try her on a toilet that will eliminate the problem of playing or smearing the See also:
Diaper Humor is Best Left to Those Who Know What They're Talking About

See all 192 questions about Incontinence
contents of her diaper. If you know her schedule you can watch her and change the diaper as soon as possible after the bowel movement. Make sure her adult diaper fits properly so that it is more difficult to get her hand inside. Dress her in a way that makes getting to the diaper challenging. A jump suit or attaching pants to a top often work in these situations. At night attach the bottoms of her pajamas to the top. A belt on pants will also make it more difficult to reach her diaper.


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Bartmas answered...

Hi I hope you check back to this site for help with your elderly Mother who has Alzheimers and keeps reaching into her diaper. What you want to do is make it impossible for her to get into the diaper... how... start wearing ONE PIECE sleepers( footed pjs) on her available through many mail order catalogs. I would like to suggest JCPenneys. It does make the process of the change more time consuming but it will save you from entering the room and finding the mess. Both my Mother and Father had /have alzheimers and this was a way I solved that problem. If she unzips the sleeper, just wear it on her backwards. I haven't had that problem. I also cut the feet out of the sleepers because it is too difficult to have her walk with the feet in. I promise you that this will solve your problem and make for a happier day for both of you.


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A fellow caregiver answered...

My mother tends to wake up in the middle of the night removes her diaper then proceeds to wet her bed. I have found that a simple strip of masking tape about 2" from the top of the diaper that wraps around like a belt(but is not as bulky as a belt)works great.


80% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

My grandmother had the same issue. One-piece clothing has been our solution. We purchased "stay-dressed" pajamas and daytime jumpsuits from Buckandbuck.com, which have one long zipper down the back. Now grandma stays dressed until a caregiver undresses her. Silverts.com also offers similar clothing.


SoniaLosAngeles answered...

Thanks for suggesting the tape. I will try that next. Re the jumper/one piece: I'm glad that its worked for others. We desperately hoped it would work for us too. We bought mom a jumper but mom has managed to remove it and still pee on the floor/bed etc. She wiggles around until the gets the zipper in a place where she can zip it down. I tried adding safety pins to the back of the jumper, hoping to confuse her, but it didn't work.


tanaj answered...

I tried the one piece pajamas and jumpsuits. They did work great. But she hated to be undressed to change her depends or just put another onepiece on her. She was extremely combative. So now I use a very long nightshirt over a pair of sweatpants. I cut two holes in the bottom of the night shirt, one in front, one in back, and then I use a small clip through the holes to clip it together between her legs. The clip is not large enough to bother her through her thick pants and I don't have to completely undress her at changing times.