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Help! Please!

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Old 08-23-2005, 09:41 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1
CatherineMary HB User
Help! Please!

My mom, who takes care of my grandma, is out of her mind with anger. My grandma has always had a "picking" problem even when she was functioning normally. It's getting worse. My mom spends so much time and money on bandaging these self-created wounds that my grandma has on her face, arms and chest. She picks in her sleep and when my mom isn't looking (I know, because I've caught her). Sometimes they get to the healing stage and then she'll pick them again which will send my mother reeling because it's such a bloody mess to clean her up! Granny doesn't have any known physical disease or any kind of skin condition but LOVES to find things on herself to pick. My mom is very frustrated because this is an almost daily problem and it makes me worry that my mom is so angry (which any normal person would be) at having to constantly battle this. We've tried everything to keep her hands off of herself including gloves, tucking clothes in tightly or padding her with so many clothes it would be an effort for her to get to herself. But it's summer, so none of that applies. What can we do? I personally dont care as to why she picks, I just want this to be under control. I dont see anything wrong with a homemade straight-jacket, especially when she's sleeping. Or how about velcro arm bands? My mom says it's too mean to do, but I think it's a fix. Any views please or suggestions? I know it sounds horrid to say that I want to tie my grandma's hands down, but really, what does one do? I dont think lotions or psychological counseling is going to help.

please help

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Old 08-25-2005, 11:49 AM   #2
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Re: Help! Please!

I know you are only trying to find a solution, but, using a homemade or store bought straight jacket or wrist ties is not the answer. They can become very dangerous to your grandmother.

My mother-in-law was able to slip out of the jackets, etc. at the hospital and would end up almost choking to death. Someone would need to sit by her bedside at night and be sure this did not happen to your grandmother. Circulation can be cut off for long periods of time using the wrist ties.

Ask her doctor about taking an anahistamine that will help reduce the "itch" of healing spots. It might keep her from scratching the spots so much.

Your grandmother may have dementia which may cause her to not remember she has been told to leave the spots alone. She probably forgets about the spots and then rediscovers them and picks at them.

Your mother needs to get a different frame of mind or she will end up losing her own health. She needs to accept the fact your grandmother does this, do what she can to help and go on with her life. Anger does not help anyone. It is a matter of learning to accept a situation and go from there.

Caregiving is not easy, been there, done that, lost my health, etc. Looking back now I see things I should have done and or changed my attitude in order to keep from losing my own health. Caregivers must take care of themselves "first".

Old 09-07-2006, 01:12 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 6
ShirleyME HB User
Re: Help! Please!

I was reading up on dementia and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders and I read about exactly what you are discribing. Picking at any thing on the skin that appears to be an imperfection.

Call the Doctor or get a new one that understands OCD and Dementia. You are describing a real problem that they have a name for (can't remember it myself.)

Good Luck -try googling dementia and skin picking and see what you come up with.

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