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How do I handle my mom putting her hands in diaper?

It's not medical. i.e. rash, etc. Mom also needs to constantly be sucking on something whether it's her blanket, washrag, or shirt. Her teeth and jaw are too strong for the adult binky that is sold online. She's stage three of Alzheimer's and immobile. Any tips out there?

  1. Hi there, mevans4912!

    Thank you for taking the time to reach out to us and asking this question. I would be curious to hear from our other members and moderators of the community for tips around this topic.

    I'll reach out to see if they have any additional thoughts or tips.

    All my best,
    Aleq ( Team Member)

    1. This can be a problem indeed. There are a couple of things that need to be addressed - why is she doing it and how to keep her from doing it. First, is she soiled when she does it? Although she has Alzheimers, she is aware of certain feelings. She may be uncomfortably wet and not like the feeling -even momentarily- of being wet. She may also feel that she has the urge to urinate or move her bowels. Those sensations all lead her to "investigate" the situation. A toileting/diapering schedule helps. Keep her dry and comfortable. Additionally, there may be an underlying physical issue., eg, time, bladder or kidney infection, constipation, etc. Make sure all of those possibilities have been ruled out. If she is using tape or velcro closure diapers, find a better-fitting brand. Often the brief or diaper is too large. Tighter fit gives little room for wandering hands. Another option although it is definitely not the preferred for various reasons, is to use a pull-up or even large pair of underwear over the diaper. It creates an extra barrier to access. Tucking in tee-shirts or jerseys into her pants also impedes access. Of course, redirecting your mother's behavior also is key. Give her something to hold in her hands all the time- a doll, a balled-up pair of socks, or even better to solve both the wandering hands and need for sucking, offer her a mildly frozen/chilled washcloth. (Not frozen solid or iced cold though- we don't want her hands or mouth to get frostbite.)

      Hope this helps. Now is the time to get creative. This stage too shall pass. Hang in there.

      1. - I work in an elementary school, and have worked with students in the past who used Ps and Qs teethers as supplied by our occupational therapist. Maybe they could help? Here's a link for the kind of thing I'm talking about: - Also, I wrote a piece on trying to keep someone's hands busy to keep them occupied. I spoke with a friend who makes fidget sleeves that were helpful for her family. If they would distract her, that's a possibility if they couldn't become a choking hazard. Here's the piece: - I hope this helps!
        All the best,
        Amy Grantham

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