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

A fellow 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!


Expert Answer

A social worker and geriatric consultant who specializes in dementia care, Joyce Simard is based in Land O' Lakes, Florida, and in Prague. She is a well-known speaker and has written two books, one focusing on end-of-life care and the other, entitled The Magic Tape Recorder, explaining aging, memory loss, and how children can be helpers to their elders.

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 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.