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I live in St Louis and my 86 year old mother in the late stages of Alzhiemers lives with me. I am looking for help with her personal hygiene. I have been helping her but she has become very defensive and gets very upset with me now. She seems to be okay with anyone else. I seem to be on her bad list. I have contacted some homecare workers but they want $20 an hour with a 4 hour minimum. We can't afford that. Does Medicare or Medicade handle anything like that? ......Thanks for your time and any info would be greatly appreciated............Phyllis


Alzheimer's patients are often scared and confused with the issue of bathing. And they are often embarassed by the fact that their offspring has to bathe them. If it's not possible to pay for a homecare worker the best thing you can do is make this as comfortable as possible by creating a really calm environment/attitude about the bath and do it at the time of the day when they are most relaxed. Take extra steps - and show her - to make sure the temperature is just right, some calm music etc. Make sure that you are not inadvertantly causing her discomfort in any way. You can also have her doctor talk with her about hygiene. One friend actually had the patient's doctor write a "prescription" for bathing as lack of hygiene was causing infections.
Are you in contact with any sort of social worker? We were connected with one through a short stay in a skilled nursing facility post surgery. The social worker has been great in doing a home study for us to better understand mobility issues and corrections, but also connected us with an "aide" that Medicare pays to sit with grandma a few hours a day. She's available to do simple chores and care, and simply sit with grandma while we run errands or work. I'm not sure how to connect with someone in your location, but insurance does completely cover these few hours a day, four days a week, and it is an amazing help. Try asking primary care or contacting the DHHS/DFS in your area, perhaps?

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