What do I do when my mom fights the world when it’s time to take a shower?

Asked by

she has a wonderful caretaker- from an agency who comes fri-tues am- but showers are a battle.but has to be done and she is able to stand for a short time, she no longer has to be sponged- in bed- but its a battle-and she becomes so nasty- and mean- i believe control is part of the issue- but as dementia tends to alter ones reallity- and hers is so distorted- how do u deal with it? less talking, more just doing?
she tells me-" u dont know what they are doing to me-taking my clothes off-and taking me outside in the street- call the police- call the agency- this woman is terrible-"i understand, perception is your reality
and her is frightening at times, but how do u talk to someone to calm them- agree with the -change the subject?-ignore them? i love my mom, but even i cant take it sometimes when she is so lfrustrated that she cant control her anger and starts in on me- how horrible i am-how could her own daughter be so selfish- with me, it never matters what i
have done or am doing- it eentually becomes a stream of insults and then she wants to stay in bed and not move-she canmove-now that she has come home from the hospital- but she tends to want to do nothing- and she needs to move around so that she doesnt lose the ability to move-
anyone have any suggestions or similar experiences?
i dappreciate any kind of advise,thisis just the middle of a processthat i am told will just get worse-i must learn how to handle it-
thanks for your time- k

Answers 1 to 7 of 7
My grandmother is the same way. She has dementia and has been living with me for only a month now, but I am so stressed out! Every night I have to endure cursing, insults, and down right meaness just to get her to take a shower or even just a wash up. I have to force her to get out of bed daily. At first I was waking her up at 1030am so that she could eat and take her meds, then I moved the wake up time til 1200noon and she still refuses to get out of bed; now I wait til between 1-130pm to wake her up and she still refuses to get up! I am almost at my wits end! Any suggestions please!

Stressed in SC
that sounds like an awful lot of sleeping. Do you think maybe a review of meds would be in order to see if that could be causing grandma to be such a sleepy head? Maybe a firmer schedule...up everyday at a certain time, breakfast, meds, lunch, nap, dinner, then bed. As for baths my solution with my MIL is I bathe her every Wed and Sat. no ifs, ands or buts...... being firm and not wavering seems to be working for me.....I wish you lots of luck and take care of yourself....to be so stressed out after only a month...............................
Top Answer
yes-i do--your grandmas behavior sounds so much like my moms-and it is so frustrating- for both of u-
what i found was that when she wasnt getting out of bed- etc.
only to and from the bathroom- with help- she was very
constipated- and her bladder wasnt working either-
when women get older, especially if they have had multiple births,
with my mom she has diabeties also, well,i have found that many women unfortunately over time ,develope a dropped pelvic floor-
i found alot of info about it on the web- also under prolapsed.....
the muscles kind give out- it is painful and can cause other problems-
when she goes to the bathroom- is anything coming out?
with my mom, what happened was that she was in so much pain, she really couldnt get out of bed- because when she did everything just hurt and she was so sore- but we didnt know that at the time, we just knew that we werehaving so much trouble with her, and she was not moving very much- we really did not realize how bad it was-
so i suggest see if u can get her to be checked out by her doctor--my mom was hospitalized for 3 weeks- it was horrible but she is
finally able to go to the bathroom and really go...
she is very restless and anxious, but she walks aroung the house-where as before she could hardly move-
ill leave u with this suggestion for now-
chk out the medical side of this- maybe something is going on-
i have found that the forcing to take a shower is really counterproductive-
it just creates more fear and stress- elderly have this fear of water- i am just reading about this-and when they are being undressed, and touched- sometimes they express it as "im being raped" -im still working out how to attempt the shower
issue- she can be washed with wipes when she goes to the bathroom- because that area is one that u need to keep clean,
and u can even keep a wet wash cloth so that when in the bath room u can clean her face and neck-
ill let u know if i come up with some better ideas-
also maybe her meds need to be changed-it just seems like there is no one way or one answer- things change everyday- sometimes i am the best daughter- a good girl- who finally gets it- and other times i am the one who always was so difficult-who runs away- who cant do anything- is so mean to her mother-
as i am sure u know it can go on and on-
it is just the worst way to be- it isnt fair- living so long and then u become a tortured soul that lives with something that just eats u alive-
lets stay intouch-we can exchange progress reports
i hope this is of some help to u--
im so tired too- but we do what we have to-,the best we can-
and that all we can do.
Never been here before - but my dad was the same with the washing issue - and having tried to research stuff - dementia and or alshiemers (i cant spell it) - the skin becomes hyper sensitive and there fore the spray of the shower must feel like darts jabbing at their skin - it doesnt actually matter if the water is hot or cold but just the fact that it impacts upon the skin like a slap. I could be completly off centre here - as this is just my interpretation of the situ. but it just occurred to me when it happened with my dad. It also occurred to me that it didnt occur to the marvellous woman who comes in to help with his washing. No sarcasm there coz she is brilliant. only a recent happening in my family - so yet havent found a happy solution. - Except dont use the shower spray - it hurts !
My mother just moved in she is 89 and she messes herself all the time I just get her all clean up and then I smell something and it is not pretty today I took her shopping and she messed herself in the store so we had to go to the ladies room and clean her up what mess is there something I can give her so she don't have to go so much!
PT have you spoken with her doctor about this? I take it you are talking bm, not urinating? If it's the former, try some otc Imodium and she should have some fiber in her diet. If the latter, there are meds to help control that. But the first thing I would do is have the doctor examine her. Might be something medical going on that needs to be addressed. Good luck, my mil sits around all day and pees in her diapers....:)
Hi there, my dad doesn't get nasty or angry he just doesn't do it. He tells me he showered yesterday or something like that. but it is obvious he hasn't. He smells something awful and never changes his clothes, is obviously incontinent, the front of his underwear and long underwear is black, it is so gross. I remind him and remind him and he just decides not to. or doesn't discuss it and get quiet or refuses to answer.

Hang tough, I know you can get through this.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

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