Mother with Alzheimer's/Dementia just started hitting her younger children. Any recommendations on what to do?

My Mother has dementia and we were just recently told she has Alzheimer's. There are 7 children that care for her at home for the last year and a half. She has to have 24-hour care and each of us spend at least one night with her. She is incontinent so we all have to change her and either wash her or give her a shower which both are a chore no matter who is doing it. The problem is with the younger two (a female and a male) just recently she started hitting them when they were trying to clean her up. My sister bent over to clean her legs and such and she started smacking her on the back of her head. My brother started cleaning her up and bending over to do the same and she started hitting him on his back with her fist. She has never been a violent person. Was told by Occupational Therapist they shouldn't be cleaning her. That would be great if we had someone to come over every time she made a mess in her pants or she needed to be cleaned up. Recommendations?

I have lots to say but I’ll try to make it brief. I’ve been caring for my mom with dementia for 10 yrs. She has gone through hitting phases. Phases because it happens to people who add to the confusion & are forceful making her do things that scare or humiliate her. The way to stop the hitting is to back off before it starts. If they don’t want something try later or just don’t do it. Don’t raise your voice & don’t over talk. Too many words add to confusion. Keep words brief, to the point, matter of fact & with a happy tone. Elderly can also be extremely modest. Don’t wipe them down unless you absolutely have to. You can add a bidet attachment that washes them if they have diarrhea. Watch their food intake & fiber so that rarely happens. The bidet helps a lot & is just for a minute, leaving their privacy intact. My mother has been fine for 2 yrs of incontinence this way. I put a little powder in the pull-ups to prevent a rash. When they start to hit, tell them “no, that’s not nice” but learn from it. They need to be treated with dignity otherwise the control placed over them leaves them defensive in fear. If they’re not put in that position everything is much more peaceful. They also don’t have to stand partially or entirely unclothed ever. You can dress them with them having complete privacy on the toilet. Taking the socks, pants, pull-ups off while they’re sitting & dressing the bottom half. Then pull up the shirt to replace it with a fresh one. I let my mom wear her bras long-term. After all, their peace is what matters most. They don’t sweat much creating bacteria, you can use body wipes on their arms & legs instead of showers/tubs. You can use a no-rinse shampoo. It’s enough for them. I’ve never had to see her naked & our system is working. Hospice comes out once every 2 wks to check & sit with her while I run errands. Her physical hygiene is in great shape without any wipe downs or showers/baths. People with Alzheimer’s/dementia are in a terminal state so just be gentle, never pushy & do the least evasive things to just make sure they stay clean enough to not have skin issues. Follow their lead & only do what they’re ok with at that moment & they won’t have a reason to hit anyone. They’ll smile more & so will you!

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