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Help/advice desperately needed to stop dad biting & hurting himself

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by milliemoo, Dec 17, 2015.

  1. milliemoo

    milliemoo Registered User

    May 2, 2011
    12
    Lincolnshire
    Hi all, it's been around 4 years since I posted...in that time my dad has gradually gone from the earlier stages of dementia-frontal lobe, to what I can only imagine are the latter stages... His current situation is that he resides in a nursing home, can't walk or talk or communicate effectively at all and is fed liquidised food and thickened fluids to prevent choking. He is skin and bones but as strong as an Ox with his grip-wo betide you if he manages to grab hold of your hand, he will squeeze it until it's about to burst! However in recent weeks / months he has really started harming himself which is very distressing. He bites a finger...again and again to the point where he has bitten it to the bone and even bitten chunks out of it...having numerous courses of antibiotics. The other thing he regularly does is gouge at one of his eyes...the same one. He has pulled the lower lid so much it drops, his eye has been blood red and has actually bled from tearing at the corners. The home are at a loss as to how they can stop this and so are we. We have tried gloves, teething toys, 1-1 care and nothing helps, at some point he gets the opportunity to either bite himself or rip at his eye and he is in a mess...he looks an absolute mess... We are at the end of our tether and just don't know what to do to stop him or help him and nor do the carers. Does anybody else have any experience of this, or any ideas that might help us?? Another thing he did several times (which will bring tears to your eyes) is rip open his scrotum-with his bare hands, usually in bed at night. We bought him onesies which seem to have done the trick, worn back to front. The one and only positive at the moment... His life is not one I would wish on my worst enemy :( thank you for reading, I'd be grateful for any suggestions :eek:
     
  2. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    1,085
    Brazil
    Some teddy bear for he fudge and bite? 1 to 1 holding his hands. Botox on his face to reduce his bite strength. Remove his teeth.

    My mom had something like that. She broke teeth biting and pulling teddy bear. It was solved with Botox.

    It may worth a chat with GP about it and check with dentist about the need of bite ( may be gingivitis)
     
  3. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    I agree, when I read your post the first thing I wondered was if he was in pain - gum or tooth pain, in the same way little ones teething need to constantly bite to reduce the pain.
    It will be quite a challenge to enable someone to look but I would really recommend that you do so asap
    Very stressful for you and for him. Thinking of you.
     
  4. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    1,085
    Brazil
    Dentist put her fingers inside mom's mouth while she was sleeping in order to 'see' by touching how was her teeth. Then my mom had a dental procedure with geral anaesthesia on a hospital.
     
  5. milliemoo

    milliemoo Registered User

    May 2, 2011
    12
    Lincolnshire
    Thank you both for the advice. The home have already said a visit to the dentist would be far too distressing for him...his teeth are definitely falling out and wearing down, in fact his two front teeth are like little fangs and are very sharp but I don't think we will be able to get him dental work He surely can't feel pain in his fingers or eye otherwise why would he keep inflicting this pain on himself? I did say it could be that he is in pain but was told if he felt pain he wouldn't be biting and tearing himself up...
     
  6. LadyA

    LadyA Registered User

    Oct 19, 2009
    13,479
    Ireland
    Distraction pain? i.e. the pain of the biting/tearing might be a distraction from the other pain he is feeling? I suffer from regular migraines, which thankfully are not as bad as they used to be. Years ago, I remember having migraine headaches so bad that I literally used to bang my head off a wall, to distract from the pain. Sounds very odd - but the pain caused by banging my head somehow distracted me from the migraine pain. It was somehow a "normal" pain that I could relate to, because I knew what was causing it, if that makes sense.
     
  7. lin1

    lin1 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2010
    9,322
    Female
    East Kent
    Milliemoo, The first thing I thought after reading you post was , your dad could be in pain.
    Their can come a time when a person with dementia cannot tell us they are in pain and does not react to pain in a way we would expect , if dads teeth are bad they are likely to be hurting.

    It turned out that a lot of my mums Sundowning and pacing was due to pain.

    LadyA I too have banged my head when I had a migraine
     
  8. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    I strongly disagree that if he felt pain he wouldn't be biting. Everyone feels pain so the home is not being at all sensible and they need to take advice. It is quite possible that it is pain, if someone has dementia they do not always understand what 'pain' is and can't logic it out - just like a small child who is teething. The child screams, bites on anything you put into it's mouth just to relieve the pain. Pressure often relieves pain. Something is drivng your dad to distraction. He can't go to the dentist so someone needs to come to him - a doctor, a dentist - a professional who will possibly prescribe painkillers or antibiotics but someone with experience of pain needs to look into his mouth - it isn't necessarily about dental work he might have abcesses - anyone who has had one will tell you that the pain from those is horrendous.

    I'm horrified that the home say he doesn't feel pain from what he is doing!!!!!! I think you should insist that it is checked out
     
  9. nannylondon

    nannylondon Registered User

    Apr 7, 2014
    2,478
    London
    Hi my OH was biting his fingers and got an infection I got quite a lot of useful.advice on here bought gardening gloves which helped a bit he was checked out by dentist and no problems with his teeth he no longer does it will never no the cause as he is unable to tell anyone if he is in pain he has liquid paracetamol hope you find a solution
     
  10. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Have you tried giving your dad some painkillers for a day or so to see how it goes? It can be taken in liquid form, so no need for him to swallow tablets. If things improve it would suggest that his behaviour has been a response to pain. Then 'all' you have to do is find out where the pain is coming from...

    A community dentist will visit in the home so not being able to get him there is not necessarily an issue.
     
  11. milliemoo

    milliemoo Registered User

    May 2, 2011
    12
    Lincolnshire
    Thank you all for your advice, I have called the home and requested a community dentist is called as a matter of urgency. He is already prescribed paracetamol which is given every four hours to counteract any pain he may be on (precautionary as he cant tell us) I will report back after Christmas! X
     
  12. joggyb

    joggyb Registered User

    Dec 1, 2014
    119
    If the care home staff don't know what to do, I think you need specialist advice. Can you call the Community Psychiatric Nurse or your local mental health team? They should be the ones to advise you for something like this.
     
  13. milliemoo

    milliemoo Registered User

    May 2, 2011
    12
    Lincolnshire
    The home have been in contact with the mental health team, they have managed to get 10 hours of 1 to 1 care for him and possibly some sedative meds for night time which will hopefully help to counteract the issues.
     
  14. Blogg

    Blogg Registered User

    Jul 24, 2014
    64
    When my Dad broke his hip he said he wasn't in pain, but he must have been he was black and blue. I'd certainly ant to try pain medication. It sounds by distressing for you all :(
     
  15. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,740
    That is good news Millie, fingers and toes crossed x
     

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