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I really need some advice. I have not posted here in awhile, but the lady I take care of has started scratching her face until she is getting sores. I have tried everything, benadrly cream, neosporin, face creams, ect. She has dementia and no matter how many times a day she is reminded to stop, she continues.
I have major concerns about this , as she is cognizant on many levels about some things. Not this, she is self-mutilating. I have expressed my concerns to the family and am told to continue to remind her to stop. It is not working!!!! Any suggestions would be deeply appreciated..

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she could also have dermodex or another real cause for itching. you should ask the family to take her to the doctor asap
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Ok, this is a little off the wall, but these worked when Mom was in ER so much from fall, and three weeks of episodic "I just wanna die" retching. I am not an expert, but I have seen dramatic results with both homeopathy and Bach Flower Remedies. This scratching case sounds more emotionally based, rather than real itching, so the Bach remedies might offer a clue. The base set is small, so you don't have to research a lot to find something that might be helpful. The one to always have handy is Rescue Remedy...if not for her then for you! It's easy to take, a few drops on the tongue, and bottle lasts a long time. Caregivers will find their personality quirks in these 38 descriptions too.

So for the scratching senior, think of it this way.
Crab Apple

"This is the remedy of cleansing. For those who feel as if they have something not quite clean about themselves. Often it is something of apparently little importance: in others there may be more serious disease which is almost disregarded compared to the one thing on which they concentrate. In both types they are anxious to be free from the one particular thing which is greatest in their minds and which seems so essential to them that it should be cured. They become despondent if treatment fails. Being a cleanser, this remedy purifies wounds if the patient has reason to believe that some poison has entered which must be drawn out." - Dr. Edward Bach

The homeopathy remedies I keep handy are one for leg cramps (both pills and lotion), Arnica Montana pills and lotion for those bruises seniors always seem to get (also Vitamin K cream...works wonders...and Alpha Lipoic Acid pills and lotion). You CAN get rid of those arm bruises and mostly stop them from occurring. Sure there will be remedies for scratching stuff, but there are hundreds and hundreds of those.
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If nothing you are trying is working, I would have the family call her doctor and have her examined. There may be an underlying condition there. Dementia doesn't necessarily mean that the patient is hallucinating. Something may actually be irritating her.

~Rose
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My mom scratchs me and herself all the time. I don't know how to get her to stop. She might need a small dose of some kind of medicine to make her not so nervouse. Ask her docter. But I do know you have to keep those nails trimmed and cleaned . It is hard to keep them clean but under the nails there is lots of germs.
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Notice the fingers she uses to scratch with and put bandaids on them. I finally got Mom to stop picking lint. Eventually she got another interest. But it was a lot of nagging to stop her.
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give her something else to scratch! Experiment with differet materials until you find one that she really likes, they give it to her every time you see her start scratching herself. It's called redirection.
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Oh, and Benedryl Cream will not help hives. They are an internal itch, not an external itch. That was how my allergist explained it.
You can try benedryl tablets, but make sure there isn't a drug contradiction, and expect her to fall asleep.
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A lady who sit at our table at our senior center the day I go is there with her husband and repeats OH MY GOD over and over again and one lady told her she makes her nervous when she does that and the lady does stop that day maybe if you could let her know it worries you when she does it it might help-maybe if you can find white gloves like ladies use to wear that might help and as gvergrl said she may have itchy shin when my back itches I have a cream to use which stops the itch for a long period of time-also a cool cloth applied to her face may help.
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She could be having hives. I am very aware of my actions, but when I get hives I am about driven crazy. I do not always get welts with hives, and they always seem to be on the same small patch on my hand. Perhaps hers are on her face. Is it always the same place that she scratches? I was given a new drug that works terrifically that is made just for hives. perhaps at the next doctor's appointment you could mention the scratching to the doctor.
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If the mittens do not work, the next best thing is to make sure her nails are always kept very short. If there is a shop in your area that does women's nails you may be able to get the owner to make a house call and trim her nails as a "gift" Don't tell your client that you are doing this to stop her from scratching herself. Make it feel like a "makeover" and even apply nail polish or do her toenails at the same time if she is disposed to that. The idea is to get your client to look forward to a weekly trim and not have to fight it every time. Good luck!
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Maybe you could try mittins for her hands like you would do for a newborn baby to keep from doing the same thing. I don't know if she will keep them on, but it may prove helpful.
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