Hi, Rachael. MIL started memory care few months ago after long family dispute about her care, has settled in well. Recently she needed to be hospitalized; problem is that she keeps pulling out her iv's, tubes, even a pic line. Also tries to get out of bed. SIL (single, works full time) is only one who lives in town, and it's impossible to have someone with MIL 24-7 when she's hospitalized – nor affordable to hire someone. Any ideas would be so appreciated! Thank you!

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Hi, wow, that’s a tough situation! So she’s in the hospital and keeps pulling everything out? What is the hospital saying? I imagine pulling out a picc line and other tubes is very dangerous. I’m sure they can’t/don’t want to sedate her…but what have they done in the past if this happens? Can she live without these treatments or have at least some quality of life? This clearly isn’t working well for her. Besides restraining her or having someone sit with her, there’s not going to be any way to stop her from taking these tubes out. I think it’s a matter of deciding if whatever treatment she’s having is going to help her or just cause more damage, especially if she’s pulling tubes out.

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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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