1. Susan S

    Susan S Registered User

    Feb 16, 2008
    newcastle upon Tyne
    #1 Susan S, Feb 22, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
    Visited mam at the home and arrived just in time to see her taking off her pyjama top and sitting on the sofa naked from the waist up and fighting off the care workers as they tried to persuade her to cover up.

    She was very angry and kept shouting at the carers and pushing them away.

    Eventually I persuaded her to put a slip on and she calmed down a little bit.

    It was a very distressing 15 minutes.

    She had been asleep all day on the sofa (hardly surprising as she had not slept in the previous 92 hours!)

    She has started taking mild anti-depressants and hopefully they will help calm her down and help her to sleep on a night time.
  2. snooky

    snooky Registered User

    May 12, 2007
    Hi Susan,
    Sorry to hear that you found your mum in a distressing position today, but good that you were able to be there and help calm the situation for your mum. Its so difficult at times isnt it, seeing your parents like that (dignity seems to fly out the window). Take care.
    Snooky xx
  3. Cliff

    Cliff Registered User

    Jun 29, 2007
    North Wales
    hello Susan,

    You must feel emotionally upset by this experience, but you kept your calm and helped your Mam.

    Well done you.

    It does get difficult when other people are there but you dealt with it. So you'll feel more comfortable from now.

    Very best wishes,
  4. BettyL

    BettyL Registered User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Hi Susan

    I've been in a similar situation several times so I know how distressing it must have been for you. You handled it so well though.

    If it's of any comfort your mum won't remember it, nor will the other residents and the staff deal with this sort of thing and worse day in, day out.

    There will be better days though - I had one of those days on Wednesday. It was lovely. Hope one comes your way soon.

    Best wishes
  5. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    hi hun,feel for you big time!but being a carer i have different opinions sometimes.it's hard to let the care process progress from your hands,it's atime of whats next?but i hope that the home you choose is fitting for your relief of care.love elainex
  6. barbara h

    barbara h Registered User

    Feb 15, 2008
    county durham

    I am Susan s sister and i was shocked to hear of her visit yesterday i could have cried when she told me. It has been a bad week for visiting, my sister and i went on monday and she was very agressive with us, shouting at us all the time and saying we were a waste of space and need to sort ourselves out. On wednesday i went with my husband and found her more confused then ever and she had taken her wedding ring off and given it to one of the care workers who made sure we got it. I was upset by that because she has never taken her ring off in 56 years.

    We have telephoned the care home today and thankfully she has had a better day and calmed down a lot. Maybe the tablets are starting to have some effect.
    We just don't know how we are going to find her on our visits.
  7. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Dear Susan and Barbara,

    {{{HUGS}}} for you both.
  8. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Susan and Barbara,

    I know how distressing this will have been for you. My mother used to undress when she was upset or very confused. I remember how the staff used to gather round her to protect her dignity and how I used to scurry away, not knowing how to handle it.

    But now I have more knowledge about dementia, I know you will have been more upset than your mother, and it will stay in your memory but not in hers. It`s part of the condition with some of the cared for and who knows why it happens.

    I hope the medication calms her down.

    Love xx
  9. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Dear Susan and Barbara

    These visits must have upset you so much. It's awful to see your proud mum lose her dignity in that way.

    But the others are right, it's upsetting for you, but not for your mum, or for the carers.

    There's a man who usually sits next to John in the CH. He's immobile, and doesn't usually talk at all. But he regularly undresses himself, as far as he is able, and the carers talk quietly to him and try to dress him again, sometimes successfully, sometimes not.

    The other day he was sitting in his wheelchair, and started to try to stand up. There were no carers in the lounge at the time, so I told him gently not to try to stand, he'd hurt himself, and someone would help him in a minute.

    Well, he went berserk, told me not to be so abusive. I apologised immediately, but he continued to rant at me, telling me I had not right to abuse him in that way. I was amazed, I'd never heard him talk so much before, let alone rant in that way.

    Luckily the carers came in and quietened him.

    But honestly, it's his illness, not him, and I'll avoid interfwering in future!:eek:

    I know i wouldn't be quite so laid-back about it if it were John behaving like that. It's much worse when it's our own. But try not to get too upset.

    I do hope the medication helps.

  10. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    Dear Susan and Barbera,

    I too witness two or three men on Ken's ward regularly stripping themselves off to the distress of their families. It is one of the many ways which this dreadful illness manifests itself.

    If she continues doing this, it might be helpful if you read the posts about 'zoot suits'. This is not the correct name for them, but a name given by one of our TP writers about a pyjama type all in one suit with a zip at the back so that mum can't get herself undressed quite so easily.

  11. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire

    Zoot suits. Try googleing, inappropriate undresser.

    I don't take crdit for this, Jennifer pointed me in the right direction, I bought a couple of these suits for Mum and they worked brilliantly. Even the hospital staff was impressed.

    Since Mum has been moved to a continuing care facility and her sedation medications has been reduced, anti psychotic, has been stopped and pain patch has stopped, Mum no longer strips off, So thankfully the undresser suits are redundant.

    But if needed for an undresser, I would recommend them. The quality isn't very good, but they serve the purpose.

  12. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Alfjess, that's really good news. It proves you were right to challenge the medication!

  13. j.j

    j.j Registered User

    Jan 8, 2007
    My mam also takes all her clothes off, she used to do it a lot on the assesment ward but had stopped doing it for a few months.I have now made her a suit by stitching her trousers to her top, i only took the suit to the home yesterday so we don,t know how it is going to work, i am worried that if she struggles to get her clothes off and can,t she could become agitated and distressed, we will wait and see. x
  14. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Hi J-J

    My Mum was agitated anyway, before the inappropiate undressers suits.

    The suits didn't make her more agitated.

    Like you, after I had bought 2 of these suits, which I didn't think quaility wise, were worth the money, I looked in charity shops for tops with a zip in the back (hard to come by and my mother in her right mind would be horrified} sewed the tops I found, to elasticated waisted trousers and had a better quality suit for a quarter of the price.

    I had thought that all the suits I had got for Mum were redundant. Until to-day!! Now I am not so sure

    Take care
  15. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Alfjess - I was thinking: if I put together some instructions for making one of these things from ready-made clothing, would you cast your eye over them to see if it would work? I'd suggest you did it, but I think you have waaaaay too much on your plate to be honest.
  16. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Susan and Barbara

    Well, it is problem I haven't encountered with my mum, so I really can't comment, except to say how lovely to have two sisters both at one with the care of their mum cos we hear so much on this site where one relative thinks one thing, and one another, and I hope you take great support from each other. I hope my daughters do that same if I am ever in the position of your mum, and I think they will.

    So you have double strength girls!

    I read about the Zootsuit a few weeks ago, never heard of it before, and not needed for me (mean my mum!), but I have seen them for sale on some website - go to google, put in "clothing disabled" or similar. But Susan, you say your mum was happy with a slip to cover her up. Maybe a vest might work? Or a little bedjacket? Perhaps she doesn't want the restriction of a bra and jumper. Is her behaviour sexual? Or just wanting some freedom from restrictive clothes? It can get very hot in care homes. Perhaps a nice silk sleeveless top, never mind the bra.

    Oh dear, I'm probably not much help.

    Hope you solve it. At least there are two of you working in harmony, thank goodness for that.

  17. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire
    Dear Skye

    Well, it isn't just gentlemen who are tending to get undressed who can go berserk. Today at mum's home I arrived just after afternoon tea. Mum usually collects everyone's empty cups and takes them back to the tea trolley. I like her doing that, gives her a little sense of purpose. Anyway, the tea trolley had gone, and mum's friend is fidding with her empty cup (quite why she is mum's friend I do not know, they are not remotely alike, the friend has a very quiet voice, mum is deaf, but the friend also has a think Scottish accent and uses words my mum won't undertand like "hinny", but never mind). So I said to mum's friend, "Would you like me to take that away for you?" "Aye..... (something I didn't understand)", but I took it away and put it on a table. Then I notice the lady next to her had an empty cup too, and her hands were shaking, she was about to drop it. So I said "Would you like me to take your cup away?". Well, she glared at me as if I was evil. I tried a slightly different tack "Your cup is empty. Would it be helpful if I took it away for you?". Wham! A mouthful of abuse, intense irritation and anger. The care workers came to calm her down. I asked what I had said that was wrong, and they said "nothing. Sometimes she is fine about having her cup taken, sometimes not". Now my reaction was, well I won't ask again. But when I got up to leave she said "Goodbye and thank you for taking my cup"!!

    So, the moral of this story is, if you think you might be able to help someone, always give it a try. If it doesn't work, well it might work next time, and you never know, you might get thanked for it. This illness is such that we haven't really got a clue, but a little kindness can never be wrong, even if it doesn't do what we thought it would do.

    Don't give up trying, Skye


  18. alfjess

    alfjess Registered User

    Jul 10, 2006
    south lanarkshire
    Hi Jennifer

    I would be delighted to look at your instructions for suits, if you think I could help, although I am not a machinist.

    I only improvised suits for Mum and they were no way professional, but would be glad to help, if I can

  19. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    OK - I'll put something together.
  20. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Hi Barbara and Susan


    Visits on days like this can be so trying. I can remember when I was there on some days and my Mother was trying to belt some of the other residents.

    I think though that while it shocks you to see your mum like that it neither puts your Mum or her carers up nor down.

    In fact in Mum's home the other day we suddenly noticed a lady stand up, whip her knickers down and wee on the seat. Luckily the care staff got to her before she could sit down in it as she was about to do. Then it was just a case of rubber gloves, get the resident away for wash and change, get the cushion away for washing, washdown the sofa etc. all done in a matter of fact way. Just a normal event for the home...

    For us though, it isn't pleasant.



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