Hands Tightly Clenched

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by shandy123, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. shandy123

    shandy123 Registered User

    Mar 3, 2013
    21
    Hi all,

    just an update to say we are still waiting for an OT to visit mom, should we perhaps ring them ourselves as the nursing home don't seem too bothered.

    thanks

    shandy
     
  2. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Hi, I can add that I've heard nothing further either! Very frustrating. I hope you get a result soon!
     
  3. Noorza

    Noorza Registered User

    Jun 8, 2012
    6,542
    I think you've been very patient, you know what they say about the squeaky wheel....
     
  4. Pigeon11

    Pigeon11 Registered User

    Jul 19, 2012
    351
    Thanks for posting all this information and advice. My Dad's right hand is quite contracted but it hasn't caused him a problem up to now. Last week he got a pressure sore on his little finger and was prescribed antibiotics.

    When the chiropodist tried to do his fingernails he commented that he should have something better to grip on than the wads of tissues he has had up to now. I hadn't realised there were things that could assist and about the risk of gangrene etc. Will make further enquiries now I have read this. Thanks again :)
     
  5. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Pigeon 11, please don't be alarmed by that mention of gangrene. My husband has been a diabetic for over 35 years and has linked Peripheral Artery Disease so his risks are much greater than those of people who do not suffer from this. He has already had his leg amputated and has had gangrene in his remaining heel from a pressure sore, hence my concern but it does not need to be a concern for you so please do not worry about it.
     
  6. Pigeon11

    Pigeon11 Registered User

    Jul 19, 2012
    351
    Thanks Saffie. Dad has PAD and is diabetic for over 25 years too. But it doesn't seem to have caused too many problems as yet.

    I think the main thing for me is that there are things other than pads of tissues that can stop damage cased by his nails/pressure etc.
     
  7. shandy123

    shandy123 Registered User

    Mar 3, 2013
    21
    I have made some tubes of cotton fabric and filled them lightly with wadding, she hangs onto them for dear life as they must be much more comfortable for her. It's a cheap and reliant temporary fix.

    thanks

    shandy
     
  8. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    22,498
    Female
    Near Southampton
    Yes, the nurse has made rolls too. I'm not sure that one of the manufactured pads would be thin enough for my husband's fist. Pigeon, I'm sorry your father has PAD too but glad that it's not caused too many problems. My husband has had numerous by-passes in his legs and stents inserted over the years.
     
  9. art

    art Registered User

    Oct 1, 2011
    4
    London
    hello. Good morning. I have the same problem with my husband. He’s had Alz for 11 yrs. & lives at home. One hand ‘fists’ or whatever correct terminology is. Like you I tried everything. He also winces in pain when we try to straighten his fingers. I suppose when your hand is curled this way and for so long it’s bound to be painful to open it again. The OT from NHS gave him a ‘hand thingy’ it sort of works. I also made something out of clean T towels. If you like I could take photos and send them to you. I think it’s quite common for Alz patients to do this.
    It’s all so hard isn’t it!! But however hard we find it I can’t imagine how awful it is for our loved ones. A nightmare for them. Let me know if you want those photos. I’ll take some today and post them here if this software is set up for it. Angela.
     
  10. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,088
    Yorkshire
    hello @art
    a warm welcome to posting on DTP
    it's kind of you to think of posting the helpful photos

    just be aware that this is a thread from 2013, so that particular member may not respond
     
  11. art

    art Registered User

    Oct 1, 2011
    4
    London
     
  12. art

    art Registered User

    Oct 1, 2011
    4
    London
    Thank you. I didn’t look at dates. How daft of me. How easy/hard is it to post pics please? How to do it pls?
     
  13. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    217
    Male
    South Northwest
    If it helps, I'm grateful for you digging up this thread, because it's a problem I've been having with my mother, and although I'm aware such things happen, I hadn't dug around the forums to check other people's experiences.

    I find that sometimes with dementia a bit of ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is also power, so... swings and roundabouts! :) My Mum's left hand (she's right handed) has been in clench mode for the last year or so, and it's now spread to the whole arm. She can use it all if she wants to, and I encourage her to where possible. But whatever I do, she's got that arm and hand clenched up again before long.

    She's started slumping forward a lot, as if she draws some kind of comfort from it, as well... it's like she's steadily withdrawing into some kind of dreadful, terminal foetal position. There's a kind of poetic quality to that, but it's not exactly one to encourage, as it's hardly going to improve her quality of life.

    Anyway, hands. Fortunately Mum will usually have something clutched in her hand like a hanky... or yesterday's biscuit if I'm careless! We have some squashy stress-reliever type balls which I try to encourage her to grip, but they end up in her right hand rather than the left, where they're needed. Dementia tried to thwart us at every turn, but we stubbornly keep trying to find solutions to insoluble problems. Such is the human condition!

    One thing I can definitely help with is the photo thing... at the bottom of this reply box, on the left there is blue 'Upload a File' text. Click on that and you can select a picture from your computer (or possibly phone, not sure... I'm on a laptop). I am including a photo of some crocuses (I'm sure) which appear to have got a bit confused in our garden.

    Winter's clenched fist is unfolding even before it's got a good firm grip. I'm as clueless about the workings of nature these days as I am about my mother's dementia! I planted some bulbs the other week and accidentally damaged one of last year's bulbs which was sprouting well and only half an inch under the surface.
     

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  14. witts1973

    witts1973 Registered User

    Jun 20, 2018
    718
    Male
    Leamington Spa
    I look after my mother at home and do notice that she clenches her hands and the skin can get a bit gruggy there,at the moment I'm able to get in there and gently rub with a warm flannel,I always keep her nails very short to help them stay clean,in the past she was getting bacterial eye infections on a regular basis and I linked it to hand hygiene.
     
  15. art

    art Registered User

    Oct 1, 2011
    4
    London

    Thank you for your reply. My husband has been clenching for must be two years. Only time he doesn’t is when he properly sleeping and totally relaxed. He too sometimes goes into a forward position. Not all the time. And when angry with everyone holds himself so so stiff that’s it’s impossible to move his meds arms / legs and body. Think he’s showing he’s the ‘boss’ and can do what he wants. He can’t verbalise his feelings so that’s one way he can. Maybe putting your mums hand in warm soapy water with a little Detol may encourage her to open it a little ??
    And yes get rid of any smell? on her palms. It’s all so very hard. I’m lucky enough to have a Carer for my husband. How long for though, depends on the savings we have. But when my husband started to be a little violent I had no choice but to get help. Best wishes.
     
  16. Andrew_McP

    Andrew_McP Registered User

    Mar 2, 2016
    217
    Male
    South Northwest
    Can't beat the smell of Dettol, can you... reminds me of scabby knees and being reassured by Mum. My turn to do the reassuring now. I think she still responds to the smell as much as I do when a bit of sanitising is required.

    My goto these days is hand sanitiser, but that can be a bit dehydrating, so I put some hand cream in my hand and then hold her hand for a while to massage it in as 'physio'. I try to get her 'dancing' a bit as well as an excuse to swing both arms around to keep mobility up. But it's a Canute thing really... no matter what I do, the tide's coming in. Such is dementia life!
     

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