(part 2) the nurse had us physically restrain her so we could at least take the pee-soaked clothing off of her. i can honestly say we had tried every story or bribe or distraction we could think of before that, but it still felt horrible. She can be a very fun lady who loves to read aloud, and i know that she was terrified. Still, would it have been more abusive to leave her in soiled clothes when her daughters/medical guardians want her changed at any cost? Do you have any thoughts?


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Yeesh! That’s a bad situation, but it sounds like you all did what you HAD to do if the family wants her “changed at all costs.” It definitely is a health issue since she could get an infection from being soiled for so long, that’s true.

Is this the first time it has happened with this woman? If not, I would definitely talk to your nurse about considering some anti-anxiety medication or something that could help her in the future.

If this IS the first time, I’m wondering what caused the problem. I think the first thing to look at is pain: was something else hurting her? Does she have a UTI? Even though I’m sure you guys used all of the best interventions possible, sometimes even those don’t work if the person is in physical pain.

Who was helping her change? Was it anyone who could potentially make her feel uncomfortable? Sometimes our residents just do better with different CNAs.

In conclusion, I think you guys did what you probably had to do. With regards to the resident, my first thought is that she was in pain. Assess her discomfort level and find out what can prevent this from happening again. If it doesn’t happen often, I feel like there must have been a special circumstance, be it pain, a certain CNA she wasn’t favoring that day, or something else.

You can also email me directly, since I would love to know more about this: rachaelwonderlin@gmail.com

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Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

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