Follow
Share

Tried gloves...she just pulls them off. Gave her wooden rosary beads to hold. Not sure if it is making any difference yet

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
In my former life before this one, I owned a hair/nail salon. If you can get her nails done with acrylic (artificial nails) she won't be able to bite them and they are not as sharp as real nails so when she scratches her nose it won't dig in. If she is determined, she could possibly pick those nails off, especially when they begin to grow out, but I think it would work. I'm a cuticle picker and have been since high school. I can't pick my cuticles if I'm wearing artificial - acrylic nails. They're just not sharp enough. I don't know how much they cost these days, but you'll have to have them touched up every 2 weeks or so. Plus, her nails will be pretty again!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

When i took over the care of her toenails, foothbaths, pedicures, etc., her toes have taken a 100o/o improvement. She was trying to do her toes on her own with not much success.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Oh, she's gotten herself into way too much trouble playing Facebook games. I'm embarrassed to say how many thousands of dollars she spent on them before I discovered it. It might not be a bad idea for me to find some software/games to buy and have on her computer, though. Thanks for the reminder! I'm not familiar with Lumosity, but I'll check into it. Thanks again for all the good ideas! Bless all the folks offering each other help. It gives me hope. You guys rock! Hugs all around.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Deb, I just reread your post and started thinking about Internet games. Could she do Lumosity? I do that myself, preventively, I hope! Whether or not they will help prevent dementia, they are super fun! The money is quite reasonable. I believe I paid $79.99 for a year, but it is available for $9.99/month, too.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Alpha3, Yes the zoloft can be given with HBP. If the neurologist or doctor prescribes it, have him go on very slowly and never stop it, you have to wean off it. Chances are, he will stay on it. My Moms on paxil, she went on it for anxiety before dementia, and has been on it over 20 years. Its in the same family as zoloft, an ssri. Good luck everyone, My Moms chewing is calming down since I took her off one of her medications. She is only on paxil, hbp, and b12's now for memory.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Thanks, Jnelson. There were a lot of good suggestions in there!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My Dad picks at his skin also. He has dementia. Since he is on blood thinners, bleeding often occurs and that is another problem. I didn't realize it was part of dementia. Good luck to all.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Deb, forgot to add that the bubble wrap seems particularly satisfying to her. I cut it into strips for her. She can pop every bubble! Just avoid the sticky kind.
Jenny
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi Deb, Go to Amazon or Google and do a search for "Fidget toys for adults" (or for ADHD) and you will find the best interactive toys. I bought the following for my 95-year old mother: Hyperflex stretchy string, Neutron light-up ball, Toysmith Liquid Motion Bubbler, Squishy Mesh Ball, Polygonzo Geo-Twister. Also, consider TANGLES! She has several of those. They come in all sizes and textures. When you read the reviews for Tangles, you'll find teachers using them to keep adhd kids' hands busy so their mind can concentrate on school. Hmmm. Impressive for our purposes, too!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

I haven't had this issue with my Mom, yet. The first thing that came to my mind was gloves. I know it was a common thing in days past for ladies to wear gloves. Maybe it would help, not just as a preventive way, but taking pride in her appearance?

Jnelson, I'd love to know more about the interactive toys you wrote about. My mom has also talked recently of needing something to do with her hands. She spent a lot of time (and money) on internet games. She used to do needlework and crochet, but says she can't really do that any more.

Good luck with your parents, everyone!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Check with the MD about using an antihistamine Chlorphenramine Maleate it seems to reduce anxiety and itching. Consumer Reports? said it does not interact much with other meds. It makes me sleepy (ish) and I take it before bed to help me sleep.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

my hubby picked at his arms but they are washing his arms in morning and evening and they are going away but he still picks we have out it down to stress as well
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother is on Zoloft to stop these obsessive behaviors and has diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc. Her health has improved on this med probably due to less stress!
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My 87 yr old mom picks her nose often and I always casually offer her a kleenex so I don't embarrass her, but I never worried about it and thought it's just a bad habit she has developed, but now I wonder why she is doing this often. She forgets things all the time, but I also thought this is because she is older now. And she has fallen a few times as well because she said her balance isn't what it used to be. She's always had good health, but I am worried about her. My father is 95 and he is actually doing much better than she is. He helps to take care of her and I do all that I can too, but it hurts me to see her becoming more and more fragile as the days and months go by. I can't afford a caregiver to be with them, but I do all that I can to take care of them even though I can't be with them 24/7. I live very close to them so I see them almost daily. I hope you don't mind my sharing this.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I was going to ask if she has had any change in her meds sometimes just changing to Generic brand can cause a change in behavior. She may need if not on a pill already anxiety med some of those can cause a reaction so try looking at meds elderly kidneys dont filter and can get a build up of medications.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My sympathies to you and to Alpha3. For my 95-yr-old mom we have tried everything. We cannot stop her picking at face, ears, arms. Doctors said same about OCD and Dementia connection. We tried meds for OCD but they didn't seem to make a difference for Mom. When a geriatric psychologist began monthly visits to her Memory Care facility, he continually would adjust her anxiety and dementia meds (Citalopram, lorazepam, Namenda, Aricept). At first this picking subsided. But when things occur in her life to cause her more anxiety such as the loss of a roommate, all bets are off. So, everyone tries distraction in any form that seems appropriate at the moment. So you see the bar keeps moving.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

How do you stop these habits? First, it was the skin on his arm, where he picked and picked at a pimple until it grew into an enormous squamous carcinoma which had to be surgically removed. He continues to pick at the dry skin on his hands - I give him hand cream whenever I see him do it, it keeps him busy rubbing it in. He also picks at his teeth, eventually loosening fillings - his the dental costs are prohibitive. Now he bores into his nose - a just recently formed habit. Also scrapes greasy particles off his head whenever he sits and watches TV, which he deposits in little heaps on the arm chair. Spits up mucus all day long which he rolls into little wads of tissue paper for me to clean up. Have been told it's part of the dementia, so I just take it in stride, but feel embarrassed in front of others. He is on so many medications already, would Zoloft interfere with his blood pressure and diabetes medications? Would Zoloft rob him of the last measure of consciousness?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It's from stress and/or anxiety. Treat the anxiety and the constant picking will lessen.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

The "diversions" worked for a while. Then the scratching/picking began constantly and sore were not healing. She would wake up in the morning with new places. That is why I sought out a neurologist familiar with dementia. The zoloft has worked and she is now sometimes aware of the habit and can stop herself. Hope this continues.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

If the source of the problem is none of the above, diversion may work. My mother was rubbing a spot on her face because she needed something to do with her hands. She now loves to pop bubble wrap and "works with" (I tell her it is therapy for the arthritis in her hands, as I suppose it is, too) some of the manipulative toys that can be ordered from Amazon...especially ones that are interactive like the balls that light up when you tap them, etc. There are many alternatives for diversion. Maybe the compulsion could be transferred to one of these. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

My mom did the same and for months nothing worked even her dermatologist did not knoe what to except to treat open wounds. Then, I decided to to try a neurologist who said it was a form of OCD which can occur in dementia/alz and treated her with Zoloft. It has been 5 weeks and the habit has stopped.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Its either from medicine or she needs medicine. I would call the doctor for his advice before she gets an infection. Good luck. I just found out meds were causing my moms obsessive chewing actions.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

My mom, as she started to get deeper into Alz picked huge bloody and infected wounds in the skin...we tried everything....and I mean everything...including bandaids over her fingernails, white cotton gloves...the bandaids were too harsh on her skin...the gloves worked as long as she kept them on. We had NO idea what we were doing..the dr poo-pooed the sores...some as big as nickels. well one day she wokr up critically ill. Yes an infection had made its insidious way into her artifical knee...they wanted to amputate...they did not expect her to live...they could not redo the knee..so they opened it up and basically flushed out the infection. She came back to us highly diminished and on insulin. It was a very slow decline from there...she eventually had to go into a nursing home where i was a constant presence. I lost her March 10th of this year. I guess this long answer to tell you how VERY life threatening this picking can be....and oh...to tell you the truth...not to discourage you...the picking is an outlet of stress and as she declined into the disease, the picking stopped....
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

My mother - 87 with dementia, started to concentrate on her nails as the day wore on and the sundowning took hold. Prior to dementia she had beautifully groomed nails, occasionally wore nail varnish, and generally took a pride in her hands. However, with the dementia she bites at the nails until they are virtually non-existent. Telling her that she could be infecting herself was/is no good - she doesn't respond. Now we do hand massages in aromatherapy oils and follow that with a coat of light coloured nail varnish - I'm trying to rekindle her original sense of pride and pleasure, and it seems to help. Sorry I have no advice about the nose as it doesn't happen with my mum, but she does pick at her teeth. I guess these are things over which dementia patients still have control, and therefore, exercise it.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Is her skin dry? Is there a humidifier in the place where she lives?

You might try moisturizing her hands, as it may be the hands that are dry but she's working on the nails. Or it may be that there are fungi or something else wrong with her nails.

As to her nose, I assume she's not on oxygen? If she is, ask the oxygen supplier to provide a small canister humudifier; it screws into the "christmas tree" on the concentrator.

Or maybe she's just agitated, or bored and channeling excess energy in the picking.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter