Hi everyone So my Mom and I had a bantering match the other day she try's every excuses to get out of having a shower, so I lost my patience and said if you keep this up I an going to call your Doctor and she will send in the respite care lady's an they will do it because Mom I am fed up!! Then she wanted to wear underwear that she wore the other day she said they were clean still well I said they are dirty and than it was the pants but I gave in on that part because I check them and they still looked clean so that was more arguing. She starting crying I felt so bad I starting crying then she said sorry for giving me such a hard time for having a shower.Then I am saying sorry then we are hugging and crying saying sorry to each other. But I continue to feel guilty very easily and worry about it that is my problem. Another thing is my Mom makes promises ever since I was a kid she never keeps them. Only the odd one and my sister does the same thing so does my Dad I think my family is very dysfunctional but my Mom I are very loving and caring people, So I called her out on all the recent promises because I was so frustrated well I made her cry again she quickly removed herself from the conversation like usual she just says I am tired don't want to talk about it. I was pressuring her to much and she can't take it all in. So I said Mom no promises please because you won't keep them so lets just forget them okay then I calm her down.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Thank you for all for the advice and support. I think the sponge bath is a good Idea GardenArtist will try it I do give my Mom back and foot massages and pedicures. She just can be difficult with so many issues very frustrating.

Its not easy to care for someone, and you are doing everything you can to get her taken care of. I wonder the same thing you are, if Im doing a good job with my grandfather. You love your mom, you take care of her, we all get frustrated ( trust me) . I wish you the best :)

After having taken care of my mother (with some element of dementia), my sister (during her final battle with cancer, and now my father (through multiple health crises and most recently 2 hip fractures), I've gradually come to accept what's important and what's not.

Keeping clean is important. How it's done is not as important as the cleanliness itself. Forget about showers and find a better method of keeping your mother clean.

My mother was never comfortable taking showers even twice a week. If I knew then what I know now, I'd just let her sponge bathe and forget about the showers. It was too traumatic. Given what she's gone through, it needlessly made her upset.

So focus on another method of cleaning. Get the throw-away cloths, help her with sponge baths, and get some dry shampoo. Put on her favorite music to relax her and make it a bonding event rather than an unpleasant encounter.

The point is if she can keep clean without a full shower or bath, use that method and avoid the upset.

As people age they don't need to bathe as often and their skin is drier. After you give her a nice sponge bath, use a good quality lotion (without parabens) and give her a nice massage. Turn what's now a hassle into something she can look forward to, without the trauma of undressing, getting cold, shivering, and risking a fall while getting into the bathtub or shower.

As for the underwear, older people don't get as dirty as we do when we're out and about and active. I wish they would change underwear daily, but if they don't to, is it worth it to upset them just to comply with a standard convention.

In the long run, what's more important...that you look back and know that you helped your mother through a difficult time and that she and you bonded during her last stages of life, or that she had clean underwear every day?

I don't criticize you at all; I'm just sharing some insights I've learned over the last 15 years of caregiving.

And sometimes just the fact that the caretaker is taking over these daily or weekly tasks (such as changing underwear) is enough to make the older person resentful and noncompliant.

So the issues become how you can accomplish the necessary cleanliness without the trauma, and help your mother feel like she enjoys the experience?

And for the record, I still get angry with my father when he won't do something I know is important, like getting rid of all the junk mail and clutter so he can freely walk through the house. It's hard not to get angry sometimes when they won't so something even if it's for their own good. You're not alone!

Well, I think you're doing a good job, it's not easy to take care of an elderly, my grandmother will do the same with mom about showering, eating, sleeping... Last time she asked for scissors to cut her shirt because she says it's doesn't fit, which it does! And because she needs constant clothes changing, she thinks that her clothes are being thrown away, and she will give my mom a hard time about it. Good luck.

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Start a Discussion
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter