1. Expert Q&A: Living well as a carer - Thurs 29 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 Thursday 29 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.

How to handle scratching and Self harm

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by SELF HELP, Jun 17, 2019.


    SELF HELP New member

    Apr 27, 2018
    How do you handle someone who continually scratches spots to the point they are septic even when they are healed up they reopen them even continuing to scratch as you are telling them not to , tried ignoring the problem and still continues does this at home and in day care Cannot get any support about this from G.P and like all problems with mental health non of these so called professionals know the answer just patronising comment of how difficult it is for carers.
  2. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
    I have exactly the same problem with my wife. An holistic approach consisting of anti anxiety meds, steroid & antibacterial cream, occasional courses of antihistamines to stop any itch during the scab phases, dressings and eternal vigilance have got it under some control, although hasn’t been a cure.

    Every time I get on top of the issue it just starts again. It’s a heartbreaking chore.

    It’s exasperating when they deny scratching whilst actually in the act, isn’t it!
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    Every night I go over spots and scratches with Boots antiseptic liquid and they do heal if left alone. John doesn’t like me doing this and if he sleeps soundly he doesn’t scratch so it is an on/off sort of situation.
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    I think that's a bit harsh on the professionals, maybe they should just own up and say there's nothing they can do to help you as there is no cure or solution to your problem that they can offer.
    There's a thread on here about people taking their shoes and socks off I saw 2 people do that today in a care home, yesterday a lady went in the bathroom and walked back in naked, the staff were distracted as one of the men was peeing on a plastic plant at the time, what do you do?
    It isn't that your not being deprived of help there simply isn't anything anyone can do, you can re-educate someone with AZ or give them Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to stop them, I hate the ones who pick at themselves and the man who keeps punching himself in the forehead, the phantom peers, the pad throwers, the screamers...the list goes on but it isn't that the professional won't help it's that they can't help.
    I don't know if I would want to be a "healthcare professional" when all you want to do is help these people but there is no help available, there is literally nothing you can do to help I just think I'd find it too demoralising as a job the only thing I could do is empathise with the carer but that apparently would make me "patronising" but it's all I would have to offer.
  5. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    It seems to me that you need the help of a dermatologist to see if there's anything to be done.

    My husband had a severe generalized itch all over to the point that it was affecting his sleep and our GP sent him to see a dermatologist.

    We had an array of creams and lotions, a bathing regime and three visits a week to the skin clinic for UV light treatments for three months. It has been quite hectic but it has been a terrific help. I know scratching can become a habit but if it is as bad as this anything is worth a try.

    Apart from relief from the itching, his skin looks a lot healthier and he doesn't seem to have had the numerous little subcutaneous bleeds from his warfarin medication.

    SELF HELP New member

    Apr 27, 2018

    SELF HELP New member

    Apr 27, 2018
    It’s not being harsh on so called health care professionals as each case is diffrent but our experiences of services these past 4 years is unacceptable and if we had not stepped in then my mother would be dead through neglect as a family we have already lost 3 people through miss diagnosis under the n.h.s and we feel that my mothers battle with alzheimers and mixed dementia is much the same just a wall of incompetence and p.c compliance instead of taking responsibility and showing a higher degree of common sense. Our problems are minor compared to others but there is no one to stick up and fight a corner for full time carers who actually are trying to hold down a job and have a normal life themselves the n.h.s is supposed to support its patients not work against those who are taking the burden of care from them.

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