Chewing anything and everything!

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by JaneDee, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. JaneDee

    JaneDee Registered User

    Jul 9, 2012

    I am just wondering if anyone can offer any advice. My mum now has severe dementia and resides in a care home. For a while she has been putting things in her mouth and chewing them, mainly soft toys, but recently this has escalated to chewing her duvet, someone's bracelet, sweet wrappers and bun cases. The care home are being very good and have banned sweets in wrappers and bun cases for fear that she may choke on something. We have even tried getting her a sturdy teething toy but she prefers to chew the soft bits.

    I know it's a long shot but has anyone come across this before and can you offer any words of wisdom?

    Many thanks x
  2. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    I haven't it. But I can't just read and run. It seems CH is doing the right thing, forbidding dangerous stuff near her. Maybe a dentist could check if there are any physical problem.
  3. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    East Kent
    #3 lin1, Mar 4, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
    My mum sometimes did this when she was hungry , or mistook it for food or a treat.
    It is good to hear that they are doing their best to prevent Mum from choking on inedible things,

    My guess is that she could be exploring them just like a little one does or that it give her comfort .

    Sorry no help I know
  4. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    #4 Essie, Mar 4, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
    Hi JaneDee, If it's not hunger/thirst or teeth problems do you think she would go for one of those soft books that are made for babies, they are cloth, like a duvet, and nice bright colours and some have other bits attached which might be stimulating/interesting and are made for chewing so should be safe/non toxic and some come with a clip of sorts so you could attach it to her clothing so it won't get lost or (worse) drop on the floor and picked up and put straight in her mouth again :eek:
  5. MeganCat

    MeganCat Registered User

    Jan 29, 2013
    South Wales
    My mum has started rubbing her soft velour blanket against her lips, and kissing it in the care home when she's in bed
    when she was in hospital she'd pull her blanket to her lips when I was feeding her (obviously not quick enough!)
    I think she's possibly hungry and is confusing what to do - sometimes she kisses the spoon or perhaps as Lin1 said its a comfort - she doesn't seem interested in the soft toys that meant so much to her a year ago anymore - it's like she's getting more from texture than form now. I do recall my granny rubbing the wood grain of the table in a cafe years ago. Perhaps one of those baby toys with all the different textures might give some stimulation - I hadn't thought of that
  6. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    When my OH started doing this his consultant explained that it was like reverting back to babyhood and putting thinks in the mouth can be a comfort thing. I supplied lots of soft throws in bright colours. The texture was a comfort to him (I think) as well as being safe to suck.

    Well done the CH for being on the ball.

    Take care

    Lyn T XX
  7. kenaidog

    kenaidog Registered User

    Apr 8, 2013
    yes my mother does some of this, she will put tissue paper in her mouth or napkins when she is eating food, she seems to have no realisation that its paper, which then makes me think does she not taste it. I think there is so much confusion when they are doing this, yesterday she tried to bite her cup of tea and you really have to say open your mouth to get the food to go in, and then sometimes she is doing it herself, she tends to pull everything to bits, so now when i take things in for her to eat i have to think about how much mess its going to make when she eats it, though she does really enjoy chocolate and cake.
  8. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    Not quite the same, but when I was visiting my mother (late stage) the other day there was a new 'first'. I will often hold her hand, and kiss it. Several times she brought my hand to her mouth and put my fingers partly inside her mouth, and felt them with her tongue, a bit like a baby exploring something. I did wonder whether she was trying to kiss me back but had forgotten how.
    Nothing surprises me any more, TBH.
  9. kenaidog

    kenaidog Registered User

    Apr 8, 2013
    My mother has done the same too, its like a baby thing they say, that everything goes to the mouth,

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