Home Care in Pembroke Pines FL
If Alzheimer’s disease has become a part of your home care journey with your elderly loved one, it is important to recognize that the symptoms that you expect your parent to experience are very likely not the only ones that he is going to experience. Seniors who are dealing with this type of condition very often show symptoms and behaviors that do not make sense to family caregivers and that can be distressing, especially when they lead to further health concerns and complications. One such behavior is compulsive skin picking.
While everyone will scratch at their skin at some point, for a senior with Alzheimer’s disease it can become a compulsive behavior that can lead to scratches, cuts, and even open wounds on the skin. When this happens, your elderly parent is at a much higher risk of developing an infection or becoming ill, putting her overall health and wellbeing in jeopardy. Evaluating the potential cause of the picking and taking steps to resolve those causes can help your parent to stay more comfortable and to prevent potential injury and health problems.
Some possible causes for skin picking in a senior with Alzheimer’s disease and what you can do to resolve it include:
- Dehydration. Dehydration is very common among elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease due to changes in their thirst signals and in their ability to interpret these thirst signals and know what to do about them. Be sure that your loved one is drinking enough water on a daily basis, and if you find that he is not drinking as much as he should, supplement his fluid intake with foods such as soups, gelatin, and juicy fruits to help keep his skin healthier and more comfortable.
- Allergy. Consider whether you have changed anything about what comes into contact with your parent’s skin. Senior skin is much thinner and more sensitive than younger skin, and can show signs of irritation and allergy that it never showed before. Soaps, body washes, lotions, detergents, and softeners are all common culprits for itchy, irritating allergic reactions. Consider switching to allergy-free, unscented, color-free versions of these products for these least possibility of irritation.
- Side effect. Many medications commonly prescribed to elderly adults have serious itching as a side effect. Consult with your parent’s doctor to determine if one of these medications is on your parent’s list and if there is an alternative, or a way that you could reduce the effect.
- Anxiety. Stress and anxiety are common for elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease, and many of them respond to those issues by picking compulsively at their skin. When your parent starts picking, determine if there is anything in his environment that may be causing anxiety, such as new people, unfamiliar surroundings, or unpleasant sounds. Also evaluate him for unmet needs such as hunger, thirst, pain, sleepiness, or the need to go to the bathroom. Try to resolve the source of the anxiety, and if the picking continues, offer a distracting alternative that will keep his hands and mind busy so that he will not pick.
If you or a family member are in need of home care in Pembroke Pines, FL, call the caring professionals at Star Multi Care today at (954) 870-4770. Providing service in Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Weston, Southwest Ranches, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City, Lighthouse Point, and Wilton Manors.
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