My husband and I live with and care for his 91-year-old mother, who is suffering from some dementia, though she is still fairly high-functioning. She also had her disabled daughter pass away last spring, so I imagine grief is possibly magnifying it. She has been exhibiting some behaviors that I would call OCD.
1) She obsessively picks at her scalp to the point where all her hair has been pulled out.
2) She cooks and cooks and cooks. Not in any normal way, but HUGE amounts, far more than the household can eat, and often with strange amounts of ingredients: two sticks of butter in a small pan of fish, 10 bay leaves in an 8x8 pan of corn/celery/onions. So she puts it in the fridge, then the freezer, then the garbage. There are other non-cooking kitchen projects too, such as filling numerous large containers with filtered water from the Culligan tap and leaving them on the counter.
No amount of reasoning with her seems to work. She will verbally agree with what we're saying, but can't seem to stop the behavior. On the cooking, this one is getting expensive, plus she's already hurt herself a couple of times (a minor knife cut to the thumb; cuts to her foot from dropping a bottle of olive oil on it, etc.). She's also caused a dreadful flood in the kitchen by plugging up the sink and running the water, then walking away and forgetting about it. We took pictures so we can occasionally refresh her memory about that one.
Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone else has had similar experience with their elderly loved one. And what has worked in dealing with or modifying their behavior? So far, we have hidden all knives and drain plugs... ;-) But talking to her about our concerns only seems to produce irritation.
TIA... Loads of blessings!