Dementia And Removing Colostomy Bags And Hiding Them

Question

Asked by mariah

Dementia And Removing Colostomy Bags And Hiding Them

My mother has dementia, is 89, has a colostomy and is now living in an assisted living facility. She is now removing the colostomy bag and sometimes the wafer and hiding them not only creating "messy" problems, but also irritating her stoma area to the point where home health care has to be called in. Any ideas?

Answer

Hi Mariah,

This is a complication that I haven't heard about but makes perfect sense when it comes to the disease. Many people with dementia, if they wear pads for incontinence, will remove the pads. They also tend to pick at scabs and anything else that grabs their attention. I think I'd ask a doctor or nurse who specializes in dementia for ideas, since her regular medical doctor may not have had to cope with this issue before. You can also ask this question of the Alzheimer's Foundation of America (www.alzfdn.org) or call your local AD organization.

I'll be watching this space for practical ideas, as well. The only thing I can think of is to camouflage the bag and secure it as tightly as possible to keep her from taking it off. Hopefully, you'll hear some more creative suggestions from the Foundation.

Good luck,

Carol