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Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 4:11 PM
Joined: 1/15/2012
Posts: 6

I used to post on here back in 2010/2011 when we first were figuring out mom's issues.  Apparently the site has changed and I had to recreate a log in. HA. 

Anyway, we've been 'holding steady' since mom got on all sorts of meds and involved in a "clubhouse" - free adult day care for 5 hours a day, they provide transportation and lunch, part of her mental health facility's care. Its been awesome for her (and me!).  I'm married, work f/t and have two kids under 10, who are active in soccer, girl scouts and choir at church and school, which keeps us hopping. 

Anyway, mom here lately has started "picking" at her head - so much so that she as a bald patch. there is NOTHING there (I thought maybe she had a cut or pimple or something, but nope) just picks and picks and scratches. If I say something she acts like a kid caught with her hand the cookie jar - for about 10 seconds, then back at it. If she's not picking at this spot in her hair, she's picking her nose - so much it bleeds.  I try to get her distracted with things for her hands, but she will only use one hand and pick with the other. Its so annoying! 

She also has decided she is going to "run off" with a "boyfriend" she has made at the clubhouse- and get married.  oh boy.  

Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 4:32 PM
Joined: 1/15/2012
Posts: 6

oh I forgot, she also brushes her air - she'll do it for hours. I'm afraid she's going to be bald. If I take and hide the brushes she picks.  Any suggestions?
dj okay
Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 7:07 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 1840

My mom has been picking at her skin, her nose, and just rubbing her thumb and fingers together, so much that she has opened the skin on the thumb more than once and now has quite a callus that peels, etc.


We got her an activity muff that she seems to enjoy.  You can find them at the online Alzeimer's Store. 

We got Mom the kitten and a lot of the residents at her nursing hom comment that they'd love one, even some of those that don't have dementia.


It keeps her hands warm, and busy.  She is picking apart the squishy ball inside the muff, but I figure I can replace it if she destroys it, and better she's picking at that than at her skin.



Posted: Sunday, January 15, 2012 8:33 PM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 740

There can be all sorts of reasons why our loved ones start scratching and picking at the skin.  If it's just boredom or maybe a little anxiety, something to keep the hands busy is a great way to divert.  But ... it might be an allergy or infection, a reaction to a med, so on and so forth.  There's an article on what may cause this behavior and what can be done to help at:
Posted: Monday, January 16, 2012 8:12 AM
Joined: 12/19/2011
Posts: 146

Just gotta put my 2 cents in.  Mom is picking too!  Cuticles til they bleed along with little up and coming moles, even the occasional freckle. 


Early in this adventure I got mom a hand held electronic solitaire game, taught her how to use it and that keeps her hands busy, but the minute she sets it down the picking begins


This disease never ceases to amaze me.  The simular stories we all share leaves me shaking my head in disbelief of symptoms..