How can we get my stubborn mother to take a shower?

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My mother has dementia, and my sister and I take care of her. We are having a problem with her not taking a shower. We feel like we are arguing with a two-year old brat! What can we do, besides putting a clothespin on our nose?

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People with dementia become afraid of water and therefor refusing to shower or take a bath can stem from the disease I was not aware of this until I started doing home health care years ago
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you can see why capnhardass got his name
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ps im minutes from being tossed off here myself so i have little to lose. damn this black sabbath sounds great !!
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my mom hasnt climbed in a shower in 30 years . stop imposing your self ritious ideals on her. i wouldnt lick you if you steam cleaned yourself you damn whale. quit screwin with mom..
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When I tried to give my mother with dementia a shower she said the water hitting her skin agitated her. I have been sponge bathing her. She still resists but the job gets done.
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My mother-in-law lives with us and has dementia. She refuses to take a shower because she thinks she already has had one. We have resorted to waking her up or wait until we hear her waking, get her and escort her to the shower. She doesn't argue, she undresses and takes the shower, supervised. We have designated two days a week for showers because we want it to be part of a routine for her. This has worked for us so far. Everyday is a challenge and everyday is a new adventure.
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I don't know much about dementia, so I'm not sure if this is a side effect from the desease. I do know that my mom is 90 and afraid to stand in the tub. She feels as though she cannot stand long enough to take a shower. She's 90.

Before she had her stroke, I would give her a shower and she would keep saying: "hurry up, hurry up, I can't stand long". I would go as fast as I could but she was weak and really couldn't stand that long but she'd always feel a lot better after the shower.

Now we just give her sponge baths in her bed and I've tried to tell her that I am willing to get in the shower with her to give her a shower and hold her up while my sister washes her. But she flat out refuses now.

I guess I'm saying that they know what they can and cannot do. If she doesn't want to take a shower wash her up in the bed, vaseline her down so she doesn't get ashey, and then put some nice sachet' cream on her to make her smell nice. They like this also. Put some cocoa cream on her face to keep it moist, and some "Touch of Pink" on her feet to keep them from cracking, comb her hair, and then you've done your thing. She feels good, and so will you.

And then you won't need that closepin :)
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I agree with Nance's comment....I have found that things go much better when I don't "ask permission" of my Dad to do something. I tell him as little as possible ahead of time, because then he just thinks about it and finds reasons he doesn't want to do it ( whatever it is). So now I wait until the time has arrived, and then I tell Dad we're going to do such and such. My mother was stubborn also ( she passed away), and I found with her that I got better results when I treaded lightly, and tried to allow her to feel somehow that the decision had been hers. This is not always easy, but worth a try. Bringing in third parties to put more gently pressure on the elder to do something helps also. There is strength in numbers. Having a doctor tell an elder he/she needs to do something is helpful.
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My Mom use to hate taking a shower.
I found that instead of asking-I would just anounce, come on ,it's bath time, she would complain a bit but did get in, and then say how good it felt.
With Mom, I quit asking and did more telling.
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I know she has dementia, but it might be worth asking her why she doesn't want to take a shower. She might fight you at first or give you the "I just don't want to" answer, but if you keep at it and keep changing the way you ask it you might find she has a real reason, and maybe it's something you can change to make her feel more comfortable. Good luck.
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