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 Chewing finger 
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Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:24 pm
Posts: 2
Post Chewing finger
Hi all,

My father has had LBD for several years now and lives in a C class CBRF with a staff familiar with his needs. He can no longer speak, and can only minimally move his hands. When he does, he chews his finger and frankly it ends up looking pretty bad.

We have reviewed dental, pain, boredom issues. I feel he chews as a frustration because he can no longer communicate. If we bandage the finger, he tries going after another. I recommend splinting it, which they will consider.

In past postings, I have seen this issue once (this severely); when a man chewed his finger and broke it.

Does anyone have any suggestions besides splinting? He will chew on anything and everything so we can't make him wear anything else (ie: boxing gloves!?).

Thanks in advance,

Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:35 pm

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3441
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Chewing finger
I don't know what you think about this idea, but if you put something on his fingers that tasted bad, do you think he'd stop then, or has he lost his senses of smell & taste? I've used a hot sauce mix on various plants and animals to keep other critters from chewing & licking and it's worked. Never had to do it with humans, but it's just an idea.... You must be frantic! I hope you find something that works. Lynn

Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.

Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:59 pm

Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Chewing finger
My father's roommate at a SNF tried to pull out his feeding tube. Actually he succeeded once. Then the staff put cotton mittens on his hands to prevent him from doing this again. It worked. I don't know if your father would be able to pull the mittens off?

I'm sure this type of clothing is sold at medical supply stores.

Thu Sep 22, 2011 9:39 pm

Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:28 pm
Posts: 464
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Chewing finger
Interesting timing. Mom's SNF just had a family party, with all of the residents inviting family members. It was supposed to be a picnic and would have been fine outdoors, but it rained and everyone was indoors. It was rather noisy and chaotic and I think Mom was pretty anxious. And, for the first time, I saw her put her finger in her mouth. I don't know if she was chewing or sucking on it, looking for all the world like a frightened child.

So, I wonder if anyone remembers what our parents used to use on thumbs and fingers to get children to stop putting them in our mouths. I think it was something bitter. Mom didn't use anything that recall, but I know that some of my friends' moms did. Any ideas?


Kate [i](Cared for Mom for years before anyone else noticed the symptoms, but the last year of her life was rough and we needed to place her in an SNF, where she passed in February 2012)[/i]

Thu Sep 22, 2011 10:04 pm

Joined: Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:24 pm
Posts: 2
Post Re: Chewing finger
Thank you everyone for sharing your thoughts on this subject! I will discuss trying a human form of "bitter apple" that is used with dogs to prevents them from licking sore spots with my sister and mother.
And thank you for all you do for your loved ones.

Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:44 pm
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