Father in law keeps removing his catheter

maccs42

New member
Feb 7, 2024
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Morning, my FiL (86) who has alzheimers recently moved into a care home, after a spell in HP. We received a call this morning to say he is on his way to HP again as he has removed his catheter, this is the 4th time in 2 weeks. His catheter is due to problems with his prostate and is now permanent. He cannot live with his wife at home as she is too frail and was assessed as needing 24 hr nursing care. He now spits out his tablets so is on liquid versions in his food, is abusive to staff, asks to go home, sleeps or ignores us if we visit and then sometimes is awake and slightly better. He does seem to enjoy the attention when the paramedics are there and was disappointed last time as he didn't go in the ambulance as they managed to sort him out. I just wondered if anyone else has gone through this and will he settle down?
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
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Hello @maccs42 welcome to the Dementia Support Forum although sorry to hear about the difficulties with your FIL. As he has only recently moved to a care home after being in hospital he has been through quite a lot of changes recently so it may take a while for him to settle in. Hopefully the care home staff will be able to help him to settle more, is he in a nursing home? I don't have personal experience of catheters but others on here do so they may be able to come up with some suggestions that could help to stop your FIL from removing it. Perhaps the hospital might also be able to advise if there is a different type of catheter that could be used? I hope that your FIL doesn't have to spend too long in hospital and that things improve for you all soon.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
30,238
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Bury
He is probably separating the connection between the catheter and the drainage tube.
There have been previous discussions on DSF about anti tamper connections/valves and hints about preventing tampering.
I thing @canary was involved, apologies if my recollection is wrong.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
25,048
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South coast
Hello @maccs42
My OH has a permanent urethral catheter. I think a catheter comes as a constant, unpleasant surprise to people with dementia. When you say he is removing the catheter, do you mean that he is pulling the whole thing out? This is very painful and can damage the neck of the bladder. If he is detaching the bag from the main catheter (below the "Y" section) this is easier to manage.

Can you let me know what is happening and Ill try and suggest some things that might help
 

maccs42

New member
Feb 7, 2024
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Thank you for the replies, he's still in HP at the moment. Most times he partially removes the catheter and the staff at the home can put it back but he has now removed it completely twice, they are worried re the damage caused this time. He has previously had a catheter and did the same then. The HP did mention a permanent solution but it involved a tube from his stomach but if that was pulled out then more serious damage would occur, so they didn't think it best for him. He is in late stages (6+), so we have bee told there are no other options available at the moment. The district nurse did remove his catheter one morning, a couple of weeks ago and then returned later and put a new one back in, I presume this was to check if he was still retaining fluid, this could have set him off again. Whilst the catheter was out we visited and he was so excited that he and MIL could have 'sexy time' together, I wonder if this is part of the problem? By the way, MIL was not excited by this news.
 

Accstan

New member
Dec 6, 2023
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Hi maccs42 - my uncle has been doing the exact same thing and this has been going on since Nov/Dec 2023. He has done it several times. Luckily!? the first time he was already in hospital following a fall. When they first released him to a residential home, Soc Serv/HP did not tell the home of his desire to remove the catheter. He removed it within days and they had to call an ambulance. HP re-inserted and sent him back. A week later when he did it again, the home called an ambulance and told them not to bring him back. Last week he was placed in a nursing home and I was told by the HP that the nurses there should be able to re-catheterise if/when he did it again. They sent him out with some large mitts (somewhat like boxing gloves) in the hope it would stop his 'meddling'. However he has learned how to remove the mitts and for the 2nd time in a week he has today returned to HP for re-catheterisation. Nursing home tells me their nurses can re-catheterise females but don't like doing males because there is a potential for them to do more damage.
Like you I wish we knew why he is removing the catheter but sadly my uncle cannot speak (aphasia).
If you have not already, it may be worthwhile trying/asking HP for some 'mitts' to stop him playing with the catheter.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
25,048
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South coast
Hello @maccs42

There is clothing that is difficult to get into that is often recommended for people who are incontinent and keep removing their pads. Im tired and cant remember what it is called. I hoped it would come back to me, but it hasnt. I hope someone else who knows what Im thinking of will reply
 

maccs42

New member
Feb 7, 2024
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Thanks Canary and Nitram, I will show MiL although he may kick off at the suggestion of wearing it, he still wears his shoes in bed sometimes and swears and shouts if they try to take them off. We did ask him why he keeps removing it and does it hurt and he just shrugs. I saw someone at the HP with the mitts on but again he is too strong/gets aggressive and I don't think the NH would cope, but thanks for the suggestion Accstan. Sometimes I just wish we could have a month with no flare-ups and settle into a routine.