1. Expert Q&A: Benefits - Weds 23 October, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of benefits. It will be hosted by Lauren from our Knowledge Services team. She'll be answering your questions on Wednesday 23 October between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

  1. MorbidMagpie

    MorbidMagpie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    23
    England
    My dad can't stop picking at scabs so they never heal. He was prescribed a steroid cream to help heal them quicker but he doesn't give it a chance. He is getting down because he has finished the tube but I've explained that the doctor may not want to prescribe more because these creams can thin the skin, causing more problems in the long term and he just needs to let them heal.

    This is a habit that has developed as his condition has progressed so I'm thinking it may require a solution not dissimilar to twiddle muffs or sensory blankets, I'm sure you know the type of things I mean, but as a 55 year old man I'm thinking he needs something more age appropriate that is a bit more discreet. Any ideas what might be worth suggesting? He is very sensitive about having dementia so it would need to be something not necessarily dementia-focused.


    Living each moment life throws at me as a social worker and with a dad with younger onset dementia.
     
  2. Cat27

    Cat27 Volunteer Moderator

    Feb 27, 2015
    10,215
    Merseyside
    What about a fidget box filled with playing cards, coins or batteries or whatever he likes?
     
  3. MorbidMagpie

    MorbidMagpie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    23
    England
    I just can't picture him using something like that, though to be honest I wouldn't have been able to imagine a lot of the changes in his personality and interests before they happened! It just doesn't seem discrete to be fiddling with things for the sake of it, so I wondered if anyone could think of something that maybe they could see themselves distracted by that wouldn't stand out to someone who didn't know he had dementia.


    Living each moment life throws at me as a social worker and with a dad with younger onset dementia.
     
  4. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,110
    Toronto, Canada
    Is it possible to have the scabs bandaged up really well? Would he continue to pick at the bandages? Sometimes it only takes a few days for a scab, although from the sounds of it, it may well take longer.

    I do understand the urge to pick at a scab and I don't have dementia.
     
  5. fizzie

    fizzie Registered User

    Jul 20, 2011
    2,739
    i am a picker so i sympathise with him lol!! My mum used to do some picky stuff too but we used to plaster and bandage if it was a problem or sometimes new skin would stop it if it wasn't too raised as a few layers of 'new skin' over the top allows some picking before the scab is reached.
     
  6. MorbidMagpie

    MorbidMagpie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    23
    England
    Unfortunately the scabs are facial and when one starts healing he keeps picking until he creates another sore.
     
  7. santapox

    santapox Registered User

    Jun 8, 2009
    1
    Female
    Ceredigion
    picking..

    hello,
    i'm not sure if anything will stop it, my late father used to pick his nose till he was hospitalised, but it passed with a bit of time and he did other things.. :D
    my mum used to pick her lower legs which caused sores, so i put a light elastic sock and her socks on and then she picked higher up her leg which was better as it can heal easier :)
    she also picks her face in one area which has caused a infection last year, i do try and ask her not to do it, whilst she does i keep a good moisturising cream on hand, i wipe it gently anytime i can, not only to keep it clean but the moisturiser aids healing. luckily it has passed a bit know and she doesn't do it all the time :)
    good luck...
     
  8. MorbidMagpie

    MorbidMagpie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    23
    England
    It seems to be getting more of a problem rather less but I do hope it passes over time. It is getting him down though that he always has a sore.


    Living each moment life throws at me as a social worker and with a dad with younger onset dementia.
     
  9. DMac

    DMac Registered User

    Jul 18, 2015
    537
    Female
    Surrey, UK
    My dad-in-law scratches at his head, face and arms the whole time. GP noticed this and prescribed a big tube of Zerobase cream. Whenever I see him doing it, I apply a bit of the cream. It's quite greasy and seems to at least stop him attacking that area for a while. He will then move on to another area.

    Recently, I saw him scratching lightly at his jacket sleeve when we were waiting for a hospital appointment. He doesn't normally wear a jacket. It makes me wonder if it's a nervous habit and his skin isn't actually itchy at all? No easy answers, but hopefully something in this post helps! xx
     
  10. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    What has Dad done in the past? This might help you come up with something suitable. Would he sort a box of screws/nails, or mixed coins?If you presented it as something you want help with, might he be more likely to accept it?
     
  11. MorbidMagpie

    MorbidMagpie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2015
    23
    England
    Unfortunately he was driver and cannot drive any more. He's never really had any hobbies and he has become demotivated in anything that he did still have an interest in. He won't even speak much at the moment, let alone do something.


    Living each moment life throws at me as a social worker and with a dad with younger onset dementia.
     
  12. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,540
    Female
    South coast
    Why not give some of the things suggested on here a try? It wont cost much to (for example) get a plastic box with compartments used for storing DIY bits and putting in some bolts, wing nuts, penny washers and door handles for him to sort out. You may find he surprises you and takes to it, but you wont know unless you try.
     

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