National Catholic Reporter

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Small things that have no words

My mother claws at her chin. The skin is red and raw. Sometimes it bleeds. If a protective scab forms over the wound, my mother scrapes it off.

The gerontology nurse tells us this behavior is typical of senile dementia. There is nothing to be done, except, perhaps, to “give her something else to do with her hands.”

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November 20-December 3, 2015


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