My mom has Alzheimer's and just had cataract surgery. She can't remember to not rub her eye. How do we keep her from touching it?

4 answers | Last updated: Oct 12, 2016
Jbelinda asked...

Help! My Mom who has Alzheimer's just had cataract surgery this morning. She will not stop reaching to rub her eye. She asks about this eye patch at least every 30 seconds.

My question is how do I keep her from rubbing her eye?? I have to go with her to the bathroom and I will be sleeping with her to be sure she doesn't pull off the eye patch and start rubbing her eye.

Expert Answers

Jytte Lokvig, PhD, coaches families and professional caregivers and designs life-enrichment programs and activities for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Her workshops and seminars help caregivers and families create a healthy environment based on dignity and humor. She is the author of Alzheimer's A to Z: A Quick-Reference Guide.

I'm sorry to tell you that keeping an Alzheimer's patient from touching her eye after cataract surgery requires fulltime vigilance. Talk to her doctor about medication that she can take temporarily to lessen the irritation in her eye. In any event someone will have to watch her around the clock. You might consider bringing in another person to take half the burden off of you. If you can help your mom make it through the next two or four weeks without injuring her fragile eye, her quality of life will be greatly improved.

Community Answers

Working mom answered...

when I had cataract surgery, my doctor had a plastic cup that I put on my eye at night to prevent my accidentally rubbing my eye and it worked. Tape a plastic cup right to her eye all day. They make one with tiny holes in it so that she can still see through it, but at least she can't rub her eye.

Kmf answered...

Can she still read? Write down on a piece of paper "You just had eye surgery - DO NOT rub your eye!" and have her hold onto the piece of paper. Then, she'll have to read the paper instead of rubbing her eye.

Gtyap answered...

My Dad will be having cataract surgery tomorrow and I was worried about post surgical care for a patient with dementia. Thank you for this information. How did you deal with showers and keeping the eye clean?