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Picking!!!

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.
 

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.
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,317
66
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.
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,730
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.
 

santapox

Registered User
Jun 8, 2009
1
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...
 

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.
 

DMac

Registered User
Jul 18, 2015
535
Surrey, UK
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.
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
 

Slugsta

Registered User
Aug 25, 2015
2,761
South coast of England
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?
 

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.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,630
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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