FIL has been picking his face and creating sores. It started 6 months ago when he fell and had a small scrape on his forehead, but he picked it until it was a very large sore. He eventually left that one alone and it healed but he has dozens of small sores all over his face from picking.
Here is what we have tried so far:
Reasoning with him about how we don’t want him to get an infection and end up in the hospital (doesn’t really work at his stage of dementia)
Distraction and redirection, but it only helps a few minutes.
Fidget toys, Rubik’s cube, and anything to keep his hands busy, he loses interest quickly
Giving home photos and coins to handle and look at, but that gets frustrating because of his poor eyesight.
Giving him lotion to put on his face when we see him doing it. Surprisingly, this has been the best deterrent- he doesn’t pick when he feels the lotion on there, but he finds a different spot to pick. Plus it requires vigilance to reapply the lotion dozens a times a day.
The doctor tried Depakote, but that made it worse and is trying Zoloft now in case it is due to anxiety or depression. No real difference.
He knows he shouldn’t do it, he stops if he sees me walk in a room. He picks wherever he thinks DH and I can’t see him, even pulling a blanket up to his eyes. I think he thinks we don’t know what he is doing. He now picks areas like behind his ears and scalp where it is not as obvious.
He gets defensive if we correct him, he will say he is just rubbing. He says he feels stubble, but we feel the area and there is no stubble there. His skin tends to be dry which is why we came up with the lotion idea.
Instead of correcting him now, we just tell him his skin looks dry and put some lotion on his face. We talk about our skin being dry and put lotion on our face and hands too, lol.
It is worse when he is stressed or bored, but he doesn’t want to do much beside watch TV and he is nearly blind.
I try to get him to pet the dog which occupies him for a bit.
It’s worse at night when we can’t keep an eye
There is no way he will wear those mitts. DH won’t even consider that one.
Have any of you dealt with this? Any other ideas?
Sometimes, I wonder if we should just leave him be as long as he’s not getting an infection. The sores are pimple size to pea size.