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  1. #1
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    Sep 2015
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    help for a lady with dementia who picks at her skin, at tissues etc

    One of my friends has a mother in law with dementia who is very anxious and picks nervously at scabs on her forehead, pulls tissues to pieces in her lap. Does anyone have any ideas how to divert that energy and movement into something less harmful and more soothing?

  2. #2
    Registered User
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    Nov 2016
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    253
    Hi Greycardi,

    What we got for Dad was fabric for him to fiddle with/pick at. So velvet or other different types of texture - just to keep his hands occupied when he needed to fiddle. Not sure that the colour was of importance. Go for good long lengths. Not sure he was actually aware of what he was doing but it helped calm him.

    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2016
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    SE England
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    Worry beads, or a stress ball?

  4. #4
    Registered User Merrymaid's Avatar
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    Feb 2014
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    307
    Quote Originally Posted by Greycardi View Post
    One of my friends has a mother in law with dementia who is very anxious and picks nervously at scabs on her forehead, pulls tissues to pieces in her lap. Does anyone have any ideas how to divert that energy and movement into something less harmful and more soothing?
    My Mum used to do this when she was bored or anxious. I gave her a handbag with lots of pockets to rummage through, with lots of safe items for her to store, when I was unable to distract her in person. It appeared that to be actively using her hands was the only way to successfully keep her from continuing. At these times when I was available she would help me fold clothes, do the washing up, dust etc, it didn't matter that she would often do a poor job, for her she felt occupied. I also found day care for her to go to to help her interact with others at that time which helped her tremendously.
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