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How can OCD be treated in an elderly assisted living resident?

My father is in an assisted living facility. Over the course of his life, he exhibited OCD behaviors which while younger and healthier seemed somewhat benign. However, now, these behaviors chewing toothpicks, chewing gum, applying topical ointments, drinking Ensure, etc. are incessantly. He suffers from anxiety, depression, social isolation and other various psychiatric issues at times, e.g., insomnia, but has no physical issues, per se. His MDs have stated that he has become psychologically addicted to gum, Ensure, eye ointment, and uses these to alleviate his anxiety. He has failed typical xanax, ativan treatments and MD will not prescribe these for him. He used/uses excessive amounts without any self-control. He is on an antidepressant and antipsychotic medical treatments. He refuses any type of physical or talk therapy counseling or intervention. He hoards items for fear of not having them and becomes angry if he cannot have them. How can OCD be treated in a cognitively impaired 90 year old ALF resident? Any suggestions?

Status: Open    Jan 23, 2016 - 03:28 PM

Caregiving, Senior Health & Nutrition

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Expert Answers

Feb 05, 2016 - 08:07 AM

Hello!
My first thought is anxiety and sensory deprivation. Is he under the care of a psychiatrist who specializes in this? This might be a good option to make sure he is on the correct medication to address this vs a family physician since this sounds like it is definitely an issue. Employees of a ALF are not skilled to address this, so I would recommend nn occupational therapy evaluation from someone who has experience in implementing a "sensory diet."

They would be able to give you some ideas depending on his specific medical history, current abilities and limitations, leisure activities and medications. They look at which of your "senses" are not being met and help make a plan and a list of activities to help. A few examples would be figit blankets or fine motor activites such as a box of nuts and bolts.

What did they enjoy doing in the past? Is there something that you can provide them that they enjoy to give them something to do? Or what is calming to them - rocking chair? heavy blankets? music? scents such as a lavendar diffuser?

Look up sensory processory disorders or sensory integration for the elderly for more education.

Wishing you the best!

Source: http://sensoryprocessingmadesimple.co...

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Feb 05, 2016 - 08:07 AM

Hello!
My first thought is anxiety and sensory deprivation. Is he under the care of a psychiatrist who specializes in this? This might be a good option to make sure he is on the correct medication to address this vs a family physician since this sounds like it is definitely an issue. Employees of a ALF are not skilled to address this, so I would recommend nn occupational therapy evaluation from someone who has experience in implementing a "sensory diet."

They would be able to give you some ideas depending on his specific medical history, current abilities and limitations, leisure activities and medications. They look at which of your "senses" are not being met and help make a plan and a list of activities to help. A few examples would be figit blankets or fine motor activites such as a box of nuts and bolts.

What did they enjoy doing in the past? Is there something that you can provide them that they enjoy to give them something to do? Or what is calming to them - rocking chair? heavy blankets? music? scents such as a lavendar diffuser?

Look up sensory processory disorders or sensory integration for the elderly for more education.

Wishing you the best!

Source: http://sensoryprocessingmadesimple.co...

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