My mom has become incessant about picking her skin. We have dressed her in long sleeves and put high socks on so its hard for her to have access to her skin. This helped but now she won't wear the long sleeve clothing or the socks. When she is not picking her skin Mom will then focus on picking lint off of the carpet and furniture. She is undeterred in her determination to pick at anything. We used to be able to distract her with puzzles, crosswords, conversation and giving her lotion to rub on her skin. Now, she cannot stop or control her obsession. I was wondering if anyone has had to deal with this obsessive activity and could offer any suggestions. Thank you!
It could also be anxiety. Once she starts to scratch an area continues to be ititqated so she goes back to it.
Picking at blankets and clothes is very common in the elderly especially those with a compromised mental status.
Is there anyone reading this when under extreme stress has not performed some kind of repetitive movement for distraction. For example rubbed on something in your pocket, rubbed your fingers together, fingered the pages of a prayer book at a funeral and anything else you can think of.
It sounds as though Mom is getting close to needing a higher level of care. No 88 old man or woman can stand the stress of caring for an Alzheimers patient.
I'd consult with her doctor and see what they say and I might ask for psychiatric referral. I'd explore if medication could help. This condition is not just found in seniors or those with dementia.