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Mom with dementia goes through at least 4 large boxes of tissues each week. Her nose seems to run all the time and she always has a tissue handy, but she is obsessed with tissues. Sometimes I can tell where she's been at the ALF from the dropped tissues on the floor. Is this common?

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My mom, 86, Parkinson's diagnosis uses kleenex as a security blanket. She will take them out of the box, wipe her nose and then put it back into the box. She stuffs them in her shirt, under the TV controller, in her blankets, in her chair, everywhere. I bought an alcohol spray bottle at CVS (actually bought 4, one for each room) and I spray everything, even her/my fingers...it's light, and cleans great without washing all the time. Dr. diagnosed her as dementia patient but I kept going back telling them there was something else going on and it turned out to be Parkinsons. Too bad they didn't catch it sooner, we could have saved some receptors. But carbidopa/levidopa has stopped the shaking. Early signs, plopping in a chair, leaving cupboards open, can't write legibly or keep their checkbook anymore. Forgetting where things are. Stuffing plastic bags with things that are junk and wrapping them in more plastic bags. Telling everybody what she was watching on tv now she saw on tv yesterday...even the news.....and we thought our dad was losing his memory when in fact it turns out it was our mom. Long term smoking seems to be a link for a lot of Parkinson's patients.
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I have reported this behavior to the Home Hospice and they are talking with a geriatric Dr. I dont trust her regular Dr. They have made several mistakes in her care in the past few months. I believe since Hospice provides us a social worker to oversee her care, things will get better. In the meantime I am trying to keep newspaper away from her
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KDCULLEY - one of you need to talk to MIL's doctor about this behavior. Hopefully it's a newspaper with soy-based ink! She's getting her "fiber", that's for sure.

It can be an anxiety behavior that meds might take the edge off. Her dementia doctor should be able to help.

My mother was OCD about tissues. Runny, runny nose even with allergy or cold meds before we knew how serious her dementia really was.Multiple boxes in the car, in every room. Her purse had more dirty ones in it than anything else. Later, she stashed them in the basket under the seat of her walker. Eww. She would be holding onto several at once, but eventually got to where she wasn't wiping her drippy nose anymore.

They said she has Alzheimers, but there are more signs of other dementias with her than Alzheimers. We will never know for sure, and it's too late now to matter.
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Now MIL is tearing up newspaper and chewing on it as well as kleenex
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My mom when she was in the early to middle stages folde up paper towels, napkins and tissue constantly. We'find them everyehere. She in the advanced stsges now and doesn't do it anymorem
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I must confess. Now that I'm older, I understand the tissue thing. My nose is a lot more runny than it used to be. Must be an old folk thing. Tissues work a lot better than sleeves. :)
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jeannegibbs, my mom was diagnosed with LBD two years ago, and her nose won't stop running!
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I don't think it is harmful to eat tissues. I don't know why anyone would want to, but household paper products are not toxic.
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Oh my goodness Paper Towels! My dad has been abusing them for so many years! That's just funny someone else has this addiction! They are everywhere and the dog gets them and shreds them under the bed. It's unbelievable! I often wondered why not a tissue! I would think your nose would be raw! But it's the spitting that gets me. We rarely blow, we just spit everywhere. It's gross!!
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MIL is tearing up tissue in small pieces and sneaking them into her mouth to chew on. Could this be harmful to her health? I am thinking she is swallowing as well. Any ideas?
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I just got done stuffing the inside of my car door on the passenger with Viva paper towels, because they lost longer for my mother-in-law that is constantly wiping her runny nose. She says that she's ALWAYS had a nose that ran, but I sure don't remember until we started spending so much time together. So it's hard to tell if she thinks she's 'always had a nose that ran' or really did. hmm
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Father also uses a lot of tissues and paper towels. He stuffs them into his pampers. He would re-use them over and over if we don't give him clean ones constantly. I once found 2 that were very filthy. I did not want to think where those came from...most likely it was stuffed in his pampers and then he pulled it out to "re-use." He has this thing about re-using his soiled tissues. Have to grab it and throw it away and then give him fresh ones. He hates the new ones. But he loves the used brownish looking ones. I do my best Not to have him touch me. Unsanitary hands. I give him wipes to wipe his hands, and he refuses to do so- it goes to his pile of tissues to be used later. Like 3pinkroses said, just go with the flow.
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Tissues were an obsession with my MIL - I do think it is a "thing" with some of the elderly - maybe makes them feel secure to always have a tissue. But, she use to put them up her sleeve constantly, in her skirt, any place she could tuck one in. It was kind of cute. Think it is a kind of security. Really nothing you can do about it, but go with the flow,
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virtualhorizon, You mentioned that your dad tears at the tissues- I have heard that ripping/tearing paper is a very effective anxiety releaser. One study said it is as calming as a warm bath. Can you have him rip up old mail for you? or give him things he can tear if it calms him? Or is it just tissues? My husband has a real issue with tissues tearing or wringing- that squeak it can make- it is like nails on a chalkboard to him.
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My mom (92, unspecified type of dementia) goes through a lot of tissues, too. She emptied a box while visiting here and asked (sheepishly) if I had any more. I assured her I had half a case in basement storage and brought her a new box. She seemed delighted to find out that my husband had a drippy nose, too. She was glad to know she was not the only one.
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My Dad goes through tissues by the boxful also! My Mom buys tissues and paper towels every time she shops, and when they're on sale she particularly stocks up on them. Dad's nose is always running and he drools almost all the time, especially during and after eating. We used to blame this on meds, but after reading and studying we've about decided that Dad has Lewy Body Dementia rather than the Alzheimer's he was diagnosed with. I know its difficult to diagnose between the dementias, but his symptoms follow LBD classically. He also tears at the tissues and throws them in the trash without using them, until the can overflows! I'll find kleenex stuck everywhere...in notebooks, in his bureau drawers, in cabinets, etc.
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The Lewy Body Dementia Association has a great web site and has lists of common symptoms. You may find that interesting.

One characteristic is fluctuations. The person with LBD may seem normal one day and clearly impaired the next; may be out of it all morning and alert and clear-headed in the afternoon. Behavior and cognitive skills are very unpredictable from one day to the next.

There is often problems with depth perception.

Short term memory may be impaired but it is not like Alzheimer's where it tends to get worse and worse.

The LBDA site will give you a good overview.

(And I didn't mean to suggest that your mother might have LBD just because her nose runs. I simply know that is common in that disease.)
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Jeanne,
I wonder if her dementia is Lewy Body? Her doctor only diagnosed dementia and said it was caused by blockages in the arteries in her brain. What are the symptoms of Lewy Body? She has no parkinson-like symptoms.
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I don't know about common, but it matches my husband's behavior. We bought Puffs by the case. I eventually figured out that the pop-up boxes were better because then at least he took one tissue at a time.

My husband had Lewy Body Dementia, and along with it the "Lewy drip" where there'd be a bead of moisture on the tip of his nose nearly all the time. He really did need and use the tissues. When we went out I'd need to bring not only tissues but an empty bag to put the used ones in. Always upon leaving a theater or restaurant I checked around his seat and disposed of used tissue so the staff wouldn't have to..

You can mention it to her doctor, but depending on the cause there may be nothing to do about it except buy tissue by the case!
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