ASK DR. MINDY™
MINDY KIM-MILLER, MD, PhD
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My dad was diagnosed two years ago with Alzheimer’s disease. A year ago I gave up my career, relocated, and took a lower paying job to move back in with my dad and help him through this disease. My main objective is to keep my dad safe, comfortable and at home as long as we can.
My soon to be 85 year old father has recently become obsessive. Approximately two months ago, he began rubbing and picking at his forearm and elbow. This turned into picking at his skin until it became raw, open and infected. I have treated with Bacitracin and covered the wounds with sterile pads and tape. Having gone through miles of tape, he finds a way to pick at the tape and removes the sterile pad to pick at the wound. Obviously, my fear is an ulcerated wound and/or staph infection. We have been to his physician twice to monitor the wounds.
While I believe I have found a tape with good staying power, my dad continues to pick at the gauze and tape until he has it removed. For two weeks now, my dad is up at between 1:00 a.m. – 2:30 a.m. searching the medicine cabinet for something for his wounds. When I get up and discover he has bloody hands and fingernails, I use the antiseptic wash on his wounds and get my ‘big girl tape’ out to redress the wounds.
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