How do I get my father to change his diapers more frequently?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 11, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My mother cares for my father who is completely incontinent, he wears diapers but refuses to be changed when wet or soiled. He will only let my mother change him when his diaper is practically leaking. He claims that he only needs to be changed when he wants to be. My mother and myself are at a loss on how to fix this bad habit of his. I would greatly appreciate any advice on how to fix this problem!

Expert Answers

Bethany Grace Buchanan, Registered Nurse, Memory Care Home Owner of Grace Homes, and Consultant

Your need to get your father to change his soiled undergarments is one of the most challenging issues in caregiving. I feel your frustration.

Here are few tactics for you and your mother to try:

  1. Offer your father a food reward, such as a cookie, piece of chocolate or whatever he is most attracted to. Let him know you will bring him the food item once the task of changing his soiled undergarment is completed.

  2. You, your mom, or any person whose opinion he values could tell him he smells bad, the smell is offending them, and would he mind "freshening up" in the bathroom.

Tactic # 2 is effective because universally most people, including those with dementia, are deeply bothered by the notion that their personal smell might be offensive to others.

I hope my answer is helpful to you and your mother and you are successful in getting your father to change routinely.