Ask a Question

Are obsessive behaviors a symptom of Alzheimer's?

My mom is obsessed with washing her hands, she washes them every 15 minutes to the point they are dry and cracked. She also constantly buffs her nails, applys and removes nail polish multiple times per day. I tried taking the polish away and she became frantic. She has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's but trying to redirect her does not work. Is this just a symptom of her illness or should I be making another appointment with her neurologist to check into other causes?
Status: Open    Feb 07, 2016 - 02:12 AM


Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

1 answer


Feb 12, 2016 - 01:44 PM

Obsessive behaviours can be a symptom of Alzheimer's.
There are medications that can help. It may take a while to find the right medication and the correct dose.
In the meantime can you get her to apply lotion after washing her hands? This would help the dry cracked hands from over washing. Also switching to a mild soap maybe even a baby soap. And I personally would avoid any soap that is antibacterial. They seem to be harsher but you also don't need to build up a resistant strain of bacteria that may cause problems later on.
the nail polish, see if you can get the kind that is used for children, it will wash off so you can avoid the use of polish removers. They can also be very harsh.
If you can not find that then look for non acetone polish remover.
And as a side note I hope your Mom does not smoke. Very dangerous if she is using polish and removers.
Has she always been concerned about her nails? Did she have a set appointment for a manicure? If so you might even want to try using a good moisturizing cream and gloves and tell her is a spa treatment. That might give her skin a break for a while.
Take heart though...or treasure this time as this phase may fade and she will soon forget to polish her nails and wash her hands.
Answer this question

Recently Active Members