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Mom is almost 86 and has dementia. A month ago she had a seizure but scans showed no further damage. Since then she keeps her eyes shut all the time now, and prefers to blow her nose on her sleeves vs using a tissue, especially when she thinks no one is watching. Is this a normal progression of the dementia? She gets mad at me when I catch her and ask her to please use the tissue in front of her. Her hygiene and not wanting to shower went out the window a long time ago and I'm learning to understand that whole process, but this newest thing of blowing her nose on her clothing is perplexing me.

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I noticed with my parents that even tho something is right in front of them like tissue they don't make the connection to get a tissue to blow their nose... I would almost have to hand them the tissue. She probably has a runny nose and thats her go to for dealing with it. I could see my mom doing that as well .. unless she had a tissue in her hand.
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Reply to katiekay
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Or it could be that when no one is looking she feels she can have a really good go at it. I'd still be inclined to stick a 'scope up her nostril.

I appreciate it's impossible not to think they're sometimes in it for the sheer merry mischief of the thing, but... I've never found that explanation satisfactory.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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That was my first thought, too. That she's relapsing back to her childhood. Kids do that all the time. The good news is - at least she hasn't relapsed far back when kids would lick their running nose. That always would gross me out more.
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Reply to bookluvr
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Yes, I think its part of the Dementia. I think they go back to childhood habits. Funny, my Mom did the opposite, tissues in pockets, up sleeves left on tables. Does Moms nose run clear all the time? If so ask dr. If an antihistamine would be OK to use.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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If she always picks the same part of her sleeve to use, it might be worth pinning a large handkerchief there with a safety pin, so that it is just as easy to use.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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FrancesM Nov 20, 2018
That is a great idea! I will try that. The only reason I can think of why she is even doing this is because maybe she is regressing back to her childhood, and maybe she used to wipe her nose on her sleeves as a kid. I really have no idea. But it's really gross.
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It would perplex me, too.

Though I'm not sure anyone would attempt to be too exact about the details of what is "normal" for dementia :(

Just as a thought - is it possible for you or a passing nurse or doctor to have a good look up her nose and check there's nothing bothering her? Is it just one side she seems to be clearing or fussing with, or is it just standard routine nose blowing such as she has always done in the ordinary way (i.e. using a hanky) up until now?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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FrancesM Nov 20, 2018
Its just standard nose blowing. I guess part of the reason I'm confused about this newest behavior of hers is that she only does it when I leave the room or she thinks no one will see her do it. If someone is with her she will reach for the tissue. So that makes me think she knows it's wrong, whereas I thought with dementia they don't realize what they are doing, and she seems to be aware that this new habit is not "proper"?
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