My mom is 80 and suffers from dementia. I have moved her into my home and that's not a problem. My problem is her body odor!

Started by

Mom is also obese. I took out my tub and had a walk-in shower installed as well as grab bars. I start the shower for her every morning to make sure the temp is comfy, I also put body wash on her wash cloth and make sure she gets in safely, then I leave her alone. She only stays in the shower 3 to 4 minutes and she is done. I get her clean clothes and depends all ready for her when she gets out. BUT she still smells, her bedroom smells etc... I'm not sure she can reach her privates well enough to be as clean as she should be, or maybe she thinks she has already cleaned these areas. She never forgets her red lipstick or how her hair looks. I just don't know what to do??? I hurt for her but have a difficult time keeping our home odor free. Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

PS I love mom a ton!!

5 Comments

Does she have issues with you helping with her shower, or do you have problems with it??? Apparently she is not in the shower long enough to get clean.... or get Home Health to come bathe her.... Her Dr. can order Home Health, call and ask him/her and tell them the problem... let us know how this turns out....
I agree with ladee -- it sounds like she needs help in the shower.
Mom is most compliant. She appreciates me getting her into the shower. When she has an "accident" she thanks me for cleaning up after her. I want to respect her dignity. Like many, I have given up my FT job to assist mom, I have also just completed Chemo and Radiation for breast cancer. I have been able to continue mom's body maintainence during my treatments, a little green around the gills but successful. I have a new caregiver starting on Monday, she will tend to mom's needs the three days a week that I go to my new job. My bigger question may be a pipe dream....I was hoping some sort of shower aids were available that I am not aware of.

Thank you so much for your comments.
You can get those poofy scrubby things on a wand, which might help her reach hard-to-reach spots that her arms don't go to due to her weight and age. A spray bottle with a strong spray can also be used as a hand-held bidet to get her privates cleaner. You can put a little baby shampoo in the water in the bottle so if she doesn't thoroughly rinse, it won't sting.
My mom has Dementia also. I help her get in and out of the shower but I have to look in and check on her or she just stands there not washing herself. I have to tell her mom put soap on washrag and wash your body, then do the same with the shampoo. She just came home from hosp a few weeks ago and is still very weak so I have to wash her now. She was upset at first but I told her she use to bath me when I needed so now I will help her. Now she doesn't say anything about it. I still give her the washrag to wash her privates but I make sure she does it.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support