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 Forgetting to put on new pullup, especially at night 
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:07 pm
Posts: 247
Post Forgetting to put on new pullup, especially at night
My mom has recovered physically from the pneumonia, after 2 days in hospital and 11 days in SNF unit at their retirement place. Physically, she is back pretty close to baseline, perhaps tiring a little more easily. Cognitively, she's still a bit below baseline. The most frustrating change is that now she frequently forgets to put on a fresh pullup if she doesn't make it to the bathroom in time. During the day, she generally makes it in time (and my dad or someone reminds her pretty frequently). But at night, she is much more likely to sleep through the warning signs. Then she gets up, goes to bathroom, discards the wet pullup, comes back to bed without a new one, and the next time, toward morning, she gets her nightgown and top sheet (and sometimes comforter) wet. We have a pretty good barrier underneath, with both a disposable pad and a washable crib pad barrier underneath. My dad generally wakes up to remind her to put on a clean pullup, but not always.

So two questions here:
First, any ideas on a simple intervention/ reminder system to help her? We are now trying putting a clean one on the toilet paper holder every time we think of it and before my dad goes to sleep. Other ideas??
Second, has anyone used a bed monitor, like the ones they use in SNF, to alert that she has gotten out of bed? Any particular ones? The ones in the SNF (based on a pad under the person) worked well but my dad could not manage the key system to turn it off.

Thanks!
Laurel

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Laurel - mother (97) diagnosed April, 2011, with LBD; died May, 2014.


Fri Mar 16, 2012 8:45 pm
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Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 8:25 am
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Post Re: Forgetting to put on new pullup, especially at night
My MIL, who lives with us, is also having this problem. If I put a pull up next to the commode she puts it in her walker pouch and then forgets about it. One morning last week she took off her soiled pull up and left it in the middle of her bedroom floor with the pajama pants and then went back to bed naked from the waist down. I am debating whether or not to get a bed monitor or just a baby monitor so I can hear the squeak, squeak of the walker. My problem is that both my husband and I work and need our sleep. Don't really want to place her in a SNF yet, but it may come to that. I would be interested in what others have to say about monitors.

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Sat Mar 17, 2012 10:57 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:40 pm
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Location: California
Post Re: Forgetting to put on new pullup, especially at night
My husband, 70, does the same thing: puts his soaked Depends on the floor and goes back to bed either naked or with regular underwear. He usually puts the soaked Depends with his soaked clothes so I have to sort through them to keep from washing the Depends. Did that once and what a mess!! I recently hired a caregiver to come in every morning to help with the loads of wet clothes/bedding & showers. A 24/7 caregiver would be of help if there were enough finances and room available.
Broken by LBD,
Roxanne

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My husband's first diagnosis in 2006 at age 64: Early Cortical Lewy Body Disease. He passed in Oct. 2013 at age 71. Autopsy indicated evidence for late-stage Alzheimer's only. NO Lewy Bodies were found in the hemisphere of his brain that was studied..?


Sun Mar 18, 2012 3:52 pm
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Forgetting to put on new pullup, especially at night
Yes, we now have a care assistant for a couple of hours 5 mornings a week to help with showers and laundry. This is a big help for my dad.

So far nothing we have tried has succeeded in reminding her to put on a fresh pull-up at night; someone just has to be there and check and remind her. The last few days we have tried putting the fresh one on top of the toilet paper roll, and hanging it off the towel bar, with a clothespin system, so it is right at eye level when she is on the toilet. No luck. On the other hand, she does manage to put the pull-up on top of, if not inside, the lidded trash can for that purpose, and to put the wet clothes on top of, but not inside, the laundry hamper next to it. Sometimes we find one on the floor but mostly they are in the ball park.

I'm beginning to think we need a bed alarm for night-time. Has to be simple to use, on-off capability, ideally with a more pleasant tone than the loud one at the SNF. I have seen some online that have a floor pad option as well as the bed pad. Not sure which is best; the SNF used the bed pad. And I can see the handwriting on the wall, that a door-alarm may also be necessary at some point, so a robust, flexible system that can adapt to new challenges might be good.

Waiting with decreasing patience for an opening in assisted living section!
Laurel

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Laurel - mother (97) diagnosed April, 2011, with LBD; died May, 2014.


Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:21 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
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Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Forgetting to put on new pullup, especially at night
Several suggestions:

Decades ago, when "pull ups" were cloth diapers, my grandmother switched from a shared bed to twin beds.

Bed pee pads and plastic mattress protectors are wonderful. The pads come in a variety of sizes.

I used a motion detector for Mom. It was OK at first. But I kept bedroom doors open and my bed was positioned in front of the doors so I could keep better track of Mom. The problem with that was that the motion detector, in being positioned to catch when Mom tried to get out of bed, but not catch normal sleeping movements, pointed out the doors and toward me. And it turned out to have quite a range and caught every little movement I made. If I were to do it again, I would get a pressure sensitive floor mat to catch when Mom's feet touched the floor.

Just like with a kid who wets the bed, I started getting Mom up for a bathroom trip at about the time she was likely to try to do it herself. By doing that, we often avoided the damp pullup and I was able to be sure she was all together when she got back into bed.

Just a few thoughts.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:21 am
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Post Re: Forgetting to put on new pullup, especially at night
What does one do when the LO is up five or six times a night?

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Donna (age 56) caregiver for mother-in-law Margaret (age 88).


Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:21 pm
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Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Forgetting to put on new pullup, especially at night
Thanks, Kate - it does sound like the floor pad might be a good option!
She is not predictable enough to have my dad get her up at a specific time - sometimes she only gets up once, like last night, but Saturday night it was quite a few times and she didn't want to go back to sleep. My dad has always been a light sleeper but with twin beds, and as tired as he has been, he is not waking up consistently just from hearing her footsteps.

On the positive side, though, we just heard today that they are going to get a two-bedroom apartment in assisted living as soon as renovations are finished. We have seen it (a month ago) and they actually liked it very much - great location, about the same size as their current place but nicer view (over the garden and courtyard) and very close to the dining room, indoor pool, therapy room where they do balance class, and other amenities. My dad was actually happy to hear this, amazingly enough. I don't know yet how long it will be - maybe a month - but we should know that by the end of the month. Then I can start on packing up whatever needs to be packed (the facility handles the actual moving with no charge.)

Huge sigh of relief!
Laurel

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Laurel - mother (97) diagnosed April, 2011, with LBD; died May, 2014.


Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:11 pm
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Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Forgetting to put on new pullup, especially at night
That is great news, Laurel! I hope they can get the renovations done soon, while the enthusiasm lasts.

Donna, if she is waking up 5 or 6 times a night, when do you sleep? If you can't get a decent night's sleep, you can't do your best for your MIL or anyone else, including yourself. Do you have any idea what could be making her get up so often? Is it always to use the bathroom? Maybe, like some bed-wetting children, she isn't completely emptying the bladder and needs to be coached to spend a longer time on the toilet?

If it is for some other reason, you might need some other approach. I can't remember, Donna. Is it just you and your MIL or is your husband still with you? Kids at home? If you aren't alone, maybe some sort of schedule, if you don't have one already. Something like "your night to feed the baby." But in this case, "your night to watch Mom."

Worst case, an aide to deal with the multiple nightly bathroom trips? If you don't take care of yourself and get some decent sleep, who will take care of your MIL?

Note that the most I dealt with was 2 or, on rare occasion, 3 times a night, though at least one of those nightly occasions involved picking Mom up off the floor (often with help from 911). So these suggestions may be just shots in the dark. But I know first hand how bad things can get when you are sleep deprived. I'm lucky I didn't hurt myself or someone else on the highway!

Take care.

Kate

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Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]


Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:51 am
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