1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Weds 28 August, 3-4pm

    As a carer for a person living with dementia, the needs of the person you care for will often come before your own. You may experience a range of difficult emotions and you may not have the time to do all the things you need to do. Caring can have a big impact on both your mental and physical health, as well as your overall wellbeing.

    Angelo, our Knowledge Officer (Wellbeing) is our expert on this topic. He will be here to answer your questions on Wednesday 28 August between 3-4pm.

    You can either post questions >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll answer as many as we can on the day.

  1. wilf

    wilf Registered User

    Mar 19, 2014
    30
    Vascular dementia 93 yr old Mum constantly chewing collar of clothes which are thread baring and causing danger of going into mouth and choking. Any suggestions to prevent would be appreciated. She has no dental issues causing discomfort. Have tried childs dummies, soft clean flannels, hand towels etc but throws away and goes back to collar. Thank you.
     
  2. SisterAct

    SisterAct Registered User

    Perhaps she is having trouble with her teeth/gums have you tried a teething ring. She is obviously getting some pleasure or relief from chewing the collars.
    Our Dad used to eat tissues
    Luv
    Pol xx
     
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,740
    Salford
    Once my wife is hungry or in "eating mode" if I don't feed her quick enough the apron she wears or her hands go into her mouth, rest of the time she's fine.
    When hungry she does this thing that I've come to think of as "eating the invisible biscuit" she puts her index finger, forefinger and thumb to her mouth as if she's eating something and just puts the tips of her fingers in her mouth. I've never seen anyone else do it. Her other curious habit it holding a biscuit in her thumb and forefinger and tapping it with her index finger, like you do to get the ash of the end of a cigarette even though she hasn't smoked in 3 years or more. No 2 people are the same.
    K
     
  4. Willow Tree

    Willow Tree Registered User

    Jul 6, 2016
    67
    USA
    I don't know if it would help, but have you thought about a "mock tee" ("turtlenecK")? They make them in soft fleece (brand I'm familiar with: National UltraSoft). Just not sure, as some people DO NOT like to put on shirts that have to go over the head to get on or off.

    Perhaps try giving her a damp washcloth as a substitute "chew." So sorry I don't have other suggestions; haven't dealt with this one yet (hubby chews tobacco, LOL).
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,880
    Female
    South coast
    I wonder if its because the collars touch her face? It reminds me a bit of the rooting reflex that you see in babies. Have you tried collarless clothes?
     
  6. Mal2

    Mal2 Registered User

    Oct 14, 2014
    2,967
    Enfield
    My husband sucks on anything available, at anytime. Don't think that he is hungry, someone suggested to me that maybe it was comforting. I have no idea why he does it.

    I often find him, happily, sucking away on the bed sheet. Even during the day, when I have just draped it over him, to keep the chill off, The trouble then, is, that a lump of the sheet is soaking wet, and, so is his shirt where the sheet was resting against. I usually pop a grape into his mouth or give him a banana, on and off during the day. He will chew on a grape for hours, the same with a small piece of meat from dinner, he can still be chewing it at 9o/c. I take it out before settling him for the night, in case of choking.



    I thought I would get a pacifier with a large plastic front, so he wouldn't swallow it.
     
  7. Katrine

    Katrine Registered User

    Jan 20, 2011
    2,852
    England
    I think this is absolutely spot on, canary. It is the rooting reflex IMO.
     
  8. wilf

    wilf Registered User

    Mar 19, 2014
    30
    Thank you all for your comments. Have solved the problem by putting soft fleece like hand towels under Mums chin and tied at back of her neck with a clothes peg. Mum still chewing a bit but now much safer as no buttuns or frayed material and the feel on myms chin and neck seems to comfort her. Thanks again.
     

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