My mum keeps picking at her legs. How do i help her?

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I dress them constantly but she takes the bandages off and picks her scabs. I don't know how to help her.She has alzheimers & vascular dementia and is 80 years old

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Hi Shell1962,

I'm so sorry you and your mother are struggling with this. Compulsive picking is a fairly common challenge for dementia caregivers.

Cwillie and GivingItMyAll have shared some excellent advice, and I'm sure others will chime in with additional ideas. In the meantime, the article below may offer further insight and suggestions for handling this behavior.

Compulsive Skin Picking in the Elderly
https://www.agingcare.com/articles/Compulsive-Skin-Picking-in-the-Elderly-186225.htm

I hope this helps!

-AgingCareEditor
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Mom did that too. I never did try the fidget toys but I think that might help keep her hands occupied. What I did do was keep the bandaged area covered with clothing. Sort of an "out of sight, out of mind" scenario. Long sleeves for her arms and pants for her legs. If the area is itching because it's healing, use an anti-itch cream as much as possible. Sometimes dry skin is also an issue and they just run into the bandaged area while scratching. Try to keep the skin moisturized and I usually ran a humidifier as well. I did find out from the doctor that giving her Benedryl for the anti-itch properties of it was not a good idea.

I just remembered that sometimes I would wrap an Ace Bandage around her arm to help keep the bandages on. She would pick at her arms and keep them bleeding and scabby. Anyway, that might work on her legs.

Hope you figure something out so that they don't get infected.
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Perhaps keeping her occupied will help her focus on something else. She may also like one of the fidget aprons/blanket/pets that are available.
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