Is this okay for my 87-year-old mother won't bathe or shower, but says she has a sponge bath?

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My 86 year old Mother does not like to take a shower. I have a walk in shower and she still doens't like to shower. I have to fight her every step of the way. She makes every excuse possible. I have a headache, I have a stomach ache, I have this and this and this and this. So I let it go and let it go until I take her finally and say we are doing this today... I get in the shower with her and she has a sit down seat ... All she has to do is sit there. I do all the work. At least that way I can wash her hair. She will clean the private area herself. Which I'm greatful for. But if I didn't make her finally take a shower she would never take one.... But after it's over she thanks me and she feel so much better. go
OK this is a copy/paste from the forum "How often should my elder parent be bathing"?

My mom won't get in the tub, too weak and afraid she'll fall, (ME TOO SO NO PROBLEM).

We give her a sponge bath daily. She's 90. The entire time she complains of being cold, (God knows the heat it on 90), but we continue on. After the bath, I rub her down with Aveno and vaseline to keep her skin moist and not dry. I put Cocoa Butter on her face, and Touch of Mink on her feet. I also rub sachet cream and spray a little cologne on her so she smells nice. They get accustomed to a schedule and we try to do it daily at the same time, usually in the morning after she has her breakfast.

Elderly get itchy just like us when we go without a bath.

Hope this helps.

No one needs a daily bath, for goodness sake. esp. when activity is low. You are all being cruel without realizing it.
ANd the 90 year old mother who says she is cold is cold! So stop torturing her. Unless the person has soiled their clothes, there is no reason ---except in perfectly trained consumer land---Why an elderly person or anyone else needs a daily bath

Keep a towel or a t-shirt on the person being bathed...just like you would do when you bathe a baby. The fabric keeps the cold drafty air off of the skin. Remember: when skin is wet, the air feels cold, even in a warm room. Use your imagination! Have someone give y-o-u a bath. Then re-evaluate how you go about bathing the person you're caring for.
My Mom did the same thing when she was in my care, excuses, excuses, excuses, but she agreed to sponge bathing. She agreed to shower if I would stay in the bathroom with her but I wasn't allowed to look or help or say anything. When she went into the NH she bragged about how her showers were really nice "All I do is stand and the girls wash me it's so nice." LOL I think she was embarrassed about me seeing her. Then again nothing I do for her care is/was easy for me but anyone else could talk her into just about anything.
Juanita, bathtubs are difficult to step over. It's not just the bad knee, it's the possibility of slipping or falling inside the tub. This may sound strange, but does your bathroom have a drain in the floor? When my mom could no longer understand "lift your feet" so that she can enter our shower, dad and I 'showered' her in the middle of the bathroom. He held her hands to keep her still (she tends to walk, walk, walk - sundowning) while I poured water over her. We washed her this way. We had the bath chair but it was faster to shower her standing.

If you don't have a drain for the water to go down or a bath chair, how about having him sit on the toilet with the seat cover down? Then put lots of towels on the floor to soak up the water that you pour on him to 'shower' him.

If that is difficult to do, then we're down to using baby wipes and/or No Rinse Body Wash and No Rinse Shampoo or the No Rinse Shampoo Cap.

To avoid sores, it's important that he changes his clothes (sweat, wet, etc...) daily. If it's wet, change it. While changing it, do a quick wipe down with the wipes. FYI, I've read here on this site that some caregivers bathe their parent/spouse a few body parts at a time. Example, today, they will clean his toes, feet, and legs. Tomorrow, they will do his arms and/or chest. The next day, his back. The next day, shampoo.
We put my FIL on a regular shower schedule, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. That's when his professional caregiver gives him a full bath, which includes his hair. The rest of the week, he may either sponge bathes himself or with help from the caregiver.

He has severely dry and itchy skin with patches of eczema. If he does not get those regular baths and them lotioned up afterwards, he'd scratch himself bloody.

Before we put him on a regular schedule, he either tried to wiggle himself out of getting a regular bath by claiming he already had bathed himself - which was often not true - or he would forget that he had a bath and would sponge bath again or insist that the caregiver give him another bath. Now that he has this schedule, it's easier for everybody, including him.

BTW, when I mention that he sponge bathes himself, that's an over statement. (I secretly watched him several times.) He would fill the sink with water, lather up a wash cloth, rub himself down with it and then barely rinse off the soap. In the end, that caused more skin issues.

Although he would tell us that he actually DID use the shower, I know this is not true. He had had 2 falls in the tub and that's when he stopped using it. My BIL decided that his dad could use a shower bench and they "recycled" my SIL's. (She is obese and was using an extra large bath bench, for a few months, after she had had knee replacements. Needless to say, the bench doesn't fit properly, but they insist on it anyway.) My FIL is still too scared and physically not able to use the shower on his own....
Probably having a schedule is the best way to go.
My mil swears she no longer 'has an odor' which means her sniffer is gone. I know the 'old' W would be mortified if she thought she wasn't clean, so at first, it was enough to say, 'W, you need a sit-down bath'. Her eyes would widen and she'd get the picture and took care of it, either with the heated disposable wipes or a small dishpan of warm, soapy water. She's in rehab now and they bathe her daily which she still argues that she doesn't need, but they don't give her a choice - at least it's working at the moment

dwalker48, I had an old aunt that didn't clean herself much that got scabies in the last month or so before she died. I think they're contagious but not sure. So, yes, you need to help get her bathed somehow....maybe others have some ideas for you.
Many parents of both sexes do not like their children to see them naked.
Dwalker I would question your caregiving abilities if the woman you are caring for is in the state you describe.
No one infant or elderly needs a daily bath as long as any soiled areas are kept clean.
A sponge bath is fine for anyone BUT the room as to be warm and the towels also need to be warmed before use. A few minutes in the dry is fine. the rule is to only expose the part you are actually washing and dry immediately, ie one arm at a time then dry and cover with one of those warm towels. protect the privacy at all times if this is a concern. Wash the genitals under a towel and if the patient can manage have them wash those and their face themselves. Also have warm clean clothes ready to put on. Make sure the bed is clean and warm after taking a shower or bath. These are small things but it will help a lot with compliance.
For the person who won't agree to a hair cut I would be tempted to take the scissors to it myself preferably with help. I would not do this as a paid caregiver but family members can take some liberties.

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