Six ways to help someone with a brain injury stop touching their face during the Covid-19 pandemic.

on Wednesday, 08 April 2020. Posted in Blog

Six ways to help someone with a brain injury stop touching their face during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Six ways to help someone with a brain injury stop touching their face during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It seems humans can’t help unwittingly touching their faces, particularly the areas around the mouth, nose and eyes.

But that puts us at particular risk of infecting ourselves with viruses, like Covid-19, and bacteria from the surfaces with which our hands come into contact.

People with a brain injury and related cognitive or memory impairments may need extra encouragement to break face-touching habits during the coronavirus crisis.

Here’s a list of ideas that may help:

Put tissues in easy reach

 

  • For coughing and sneezing into.
  • To use instead of your fingers for scratching itches and touching eyeglasses.
  • To wipe your mouth or nose.

 

Spot face-touch triggers

 

  • Take time to be aware of why and when you’re touching your face.
  • Ask others in your household to alert you if you touch your face.
  • Are there ways you can prevent the triggers? (Tie back ‘tickly’ hair, for example, or use glasses instead of contact lenses to avoid eye contact.)

 

Use reminders

 

  • Stick post-it notes in clear sight around your home.
  • Set regular reminders on your phone.
  • Ask others in your household to remind you.
  • Use scented hand cleaners and creams so the smell alerts you when your hands are close to your face.
  • Consider wearing a face mask or gloves while you’re learning to remember.
  • Wear ‘jangly’ bracelets as an audible reminder when you move your hand.

 

Find finger substitutes

 

  • Your arm.
  • Your sleeve.
  • A tissue.
  • A soft toothbrush (regularly cleaned).

 

Keep hands busy

 

  • Use stress balls or fidget spinners (regularly cleaned).
  • Lace your fingers together.
  • Click or twiddle your thumbs and fingers.
  • Try tapping your fingers or turning a pen (regularly cleaned) between them.
  • Sit on your hands!

 

Self-control

 

  • Try to stay aware of the risks of face touching during Covid-19.
  • Actively try to train yourself to resist the urge to touch your face.
  • If you notice your hand moving to your face, redirect it – scratch the back of your head, your arm, shoulder or back instead, or stretch out your arm.
  • Try to keep your hands below shoulder level whenever possible.

 

 You can download a PDF version of this blog here.

 

Further Covid-19 information and support for brain injury survivors and their families, and the neuro occupational therapists working with them, can be found here: Krysalis public resources page

 

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