Registered User
Nov 14, 2006
Hi. I haven't posted much at all since my first couple, (although I regularly lurk & learn so much from TP) so I hope you don't mind me asking you all a question.

My mum, who is late stages & is cared for at home by my step father 200 miles away, has picked up a habit which is driving my dad to distraction. She constantly claps. Hands together, proper clapping, loud & regular. Her hands get very red & hot, although they don't seem painful. Coupled with her regular bouts of shouting, he's finding it hard to get any respite.

Has anyone experienced such a habit?, or indeed managed to overcome it. My dad has tried gloves/mittens (always removed), he's tried giving her things to hold/cuddle (thrown away). The poor man has to now watch the TV with subtitles!

Thanks again for your time.


Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
Hello Hawkeye,
Glad that Talking Point is helping you. I know it has helped me so much. As regards to the clapping, I have heard of it before and it seems to go along the lines of when they keep shouting. personally, it would be worth while talking to the Doctor about it. Sometimes it can be attention if they are unable to voice what they want. It must be so upsetting for your Dad and your self knowing what to do. Have you looked on the A.Z. fact sheets ? Does your mother have a S.W. ? Sorry it is questions to your questions but hopefully someone on the T.P. will have an easier answer.
Good luck.


Registered User
Oct 16, 2007
manchester, uk
Hi Hawkeye

So sorry to hear your dad is having a hard time of things at the moment. My Nanna went through a stage of not being able to keep her hands still. Some of the things we tried were as follows:- Some beads on elastic, colouring book and crayons, we even gave her some knitting to unravel. Sometimes they worked sometimes they didn't.

I hope this helps in some way, and if your dad doesn't mind a bin of cleaning up my Nanna also use to love ripping things up.

I wish you good luck and hope you find something that helps.

Take Care


Registered User
Mar 21, 2003
Hi Hawkeye,

This kind of compulsive obsessive behaviour is not uncommon at the mid to late stages. Dad rubs his hand together insesantly sometimes, it can be quite disturbing. He really makes his hands sore sometimes. We've only found that distraction helps e.g. music, walking or just talking to him, but he soon goes back to the compulsive behaviour.

It sounds like distraction is no working for your father so I hope someone else pipes up with advice.

Does she seem happy when clapping and does sound trigger it? Just wondered.

Kind Regards


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Not the same, but similar. Lionel grinds his teeth constantly.

Chocolate distracts, but how much chocolate can you give a diabetic who will not have his teeth brushed. I find I keep the radio on quite loud sometimes, as it really grates on my nerves sometimes.


Registered User
Nov 14, 2006
Thanks everyone for their replies.

Mum too, also rubs her hands, when not clapping. Unfortunatly, due to a broken hip, she is now immobile, so walking by way of distraction is not an option. I will pass on the other ideas though. The consolation is that she seems content whilst doing it. Maybe this will be one of the 'passing phases' of the illness.

Onwards & upwards.....thanks again for your time.

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