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It's been over 6 mo and still hasn't showered. She says "I'm not running marathons so I don't need to. Sponge baths are good enough," then storms off in a tizzy. Her Dementia isn't severe (not typical of mid/late stage but short term memory is getting bad, under 2 hrs) but she does need it since she will NOT allow me to do anything; like washing her legs or hair. She isn't incontinent and doesn't have accidents but there is a slight odor, partly due to hair not being washed I'm assuming. I need to take her shopping for clothes and underwear but I'm afraid that I'm too used to the smell, you know, like a farmer that is used to a barn smell and she won't be allowed to try on the clothes. Actually, what I'm more afraid of is that someone will call Senior Svcs saying I'm not taking care of her and her Neuro (He gave me his POA as long as I'm living with her and that I'm properly taking care of her) or he will send her to a nursing home. Her day nurse has tried and 1 of 2 things happen 1. Mom goes to bed til she leaves OR 2. She berates her and argues with her for the duration that she's here which is for 4 hours so I can get a couple hours of sleep for work. I drive a truck for 12 hrs on the midnight shift. Any ideas would be helpful since my only idea left is taking a garden hose to her when she does decide to go outside for a few min to pull some weeds. Just kidding on that but what other option is there?

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My husband is bedridden an isn’t able to get into our non-accessible shower. I wash him down every day, sometimes twice. I use baby wash because his skin is sensitive. I pay particular attention to “down there” because he is incontinent.

Poor hygiene is the #1 cause of bladder infections. And in Seniors, those can be really rough. But, I understand why Mom doesn’t want to shower. With bad shoulders and back, showering and dressing for me is a real effort. But when I don’t, even for a day, I feel dirty and itchy.

Have you told her she has an odor? Have you told her that her hair is dirty and it smells (and probably itches as well)? Have you said you’d like to go on a nice day trip and buy her clothes, maybe go to a hair salon and go out to lunch but you can’t because of her poor hygiene? If she truly doesn’t have dementia, maybe a little tough love is called for?
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Does she have any physical problems that are barriers to showering?

Would she be using a shower stall or need to step over the bathtub side? I have a bad knee and even though I'm 25 years younger than your mother, stepping over the side of the bathtub is sometimes difficult because the knee is too stiff or swollen to bend well. I have a grab bar installed at shoulder height just outside the tub surround so I can maintain balance while getting that stiff knee over the side of my soaker tub.

Does she dislike getting "hit" in the face with the shower spray or needing to turn in the shower to rinse all sides of her body? My mother didn't like showers much until she experienced hand held shower heads in the rehab hospital. Once we installed one for her at home, she loved showers.

Is your mother concerned about maintaining her balance in the wet tub? Rehab hospitals recommend grab bars, shower stools or transfer chairs, and/or a towel placed in the bottom of the tub/shower. An added benefit of the shower stool is that it's easier for an aid to assist in washing your mother's hair.

By the 80s (and sometimes sooner) most adults become much more sensitive to cool temperatures. Is the bath a few degrees warmer so she doesn't feel a chill? I heat the bathroom to about 80 degrees for my mom.

Hope some of this stuff is helpful.
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This may sound stupid, but there is a difference between washing the hair and washing the head. I have long hair, and I know that my greasy scalp needs washing more than my actual hair. Could you convince her that her scalp needs a wash, but agree about the hair? Perhaps you could do a wipe behind her ears and show her some evidence. She may remember the old line of ‘don’t forget to wash behind your ears’. If the suggestion works, the hair will get a reasonable wash as well as the scalp.
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I have a great deal of sympathy for you--it's hard enough to keep a job and then have to worry about this sort of thing. Have you tried speaking to her doctor about it? During the early stages of dementia with behavior problems such as refusing hygiene care, they can prescribe some medications that may help. Since she is able to self-care bowel and bladder, you may want to consider another option: Assisted living facility. Since she wants things "her way" but only needs minor supervision. If she is on Medicaid and she deteriorates, loses the ability to self care bowel and bladder--it is very easy to put her in a nursing home. If she is not on Medicaid, start considering that option and be very careful about how her assets are spent because there is a five-year look-back law. You will need to see an eldercare attorney to get her Medicaid ready. Believe me they do deteriorate and unless you are willing to quit your job and end up cleaning her feces and urine, change her diapers, deal with the frequent butt wounds from thin skin and considerable amount of sitting-- and basically pick up dead weight -- start planning on a nursing home route. Being a home caregiver is nothing admirable, but you sacrifice your own life and live in constant misery every waking moment for years and years..all because you love your parent. I tell people don't do it. Put them in a nursing home. You get no help from the government as a caregiver. NONE. Hiring sitters (who just sit and do nothing else) costs about $20 an hour. Certified Nurses Assistants, who help with bathing and hands-on care, is about $35 to $40 an hour. And if you hire people off the street which can do it as little as $10 an hour, you don't know what you are getting and if they CLAIM to get injured in your home they can sue you. So that's why it's better to use an agency because the workers are insured and if they get injured they cannot sue your estate, but they go on workman's compensation. Welcome to the world of elder care. And if you pay the same person over a certain amount you have to do their taxes..all kinds of garbage because the government is dirty. I do everything myself and it's back breaking and full of enormous stress..but I still love my mom and I know one day she won't be around so that puts me in great deal of turmoil I don't want to ever lose her. So yes being a caregiver left me an emotional wreck and I have nightmares of her dying. I'm just being honest--do you want to end up like me? I have two brothers and get no help from them. That's the way it is.
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JoyB1618 Sep 2018
First of all, it sounds like you have tried very hard to do a good job. Being a caregiver is hard (usually) thankless work. So great job!
In some states (Iowa for sure), if you qualify for Medicaid, you then qualify for the Elderly Waiver. The EW will pay for in home caregivers, including a bath aid. And respite services in addition for you! Not 24/7help mind you, but some help (and insured through agencies). The doctor should be able to make a referral to a home health nurse for meds, skin care, etc. And a bath aid, or the nurse could do it.
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I understand your situation. I feel your despair. Mom is stubborn and after 6 months yes the body odor is apparent to all. Perhaps her doctor could intervene with an option of personal hygiene? It may be taken care of with the aids who come,- no option available per doctors orders. Parents are perhaps more receptive with the directives being given by others....and not having the personal hygiene a family discussion as anger and resentment sets in...once a week is reasonable from head to toe....
with best wishes,
Emi
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First of all, I never ask my mother to do something. Asking sets up arguments. It sets you up for a yes or no answer. There's no reasoning with her, I will lose everytime. In this case, I simply run the bath then in a cheerful tone I say, "mom, your bath water is ready for you. You need to get right in before it gets cold." When I speak I'm not looking for permission. I'm communiacting that this is what we're doing. I was pleasantly surprised how well it works.
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I myself have not been in a shower for a year now...bad p.t.s.d. i also take sponge baths and i wash my hair in the kitchen sink every 2 weeks or so...maybe buy some dry shampoo or maybe she would like to go to the Beauty parlor and have her hair washed and styled.
Shes your mom...love her as she is and dont let anybody put her or you down. My mother passed 20 yrs ago and my adult children and grand and greatgrand children are not in my life.
P.S. Im on a waiting list for a P.C.A.
PRAYING FOR YA"LL
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I ....JUST AS YOU ARE.
BEAUTIFUL.
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I have had my 89 year old mother in law living with me for the past year.  She moved in on August 30, 2017. 
She, too, refuses to shower.  There is nothing physically wrong with her.  She, however, is incontinent.  She wears Depends 24/7, so you can imagine the odor she gives off. 
Whenever she is sick and needs to see the doctor, the diagnosis is always the same, a urinary infection.  I assume because of her bad hygiene.
Instead of getting in the shower to wash, she does sponge baths by the bathroom sink.  When you wear a diaper, as she does, this is not sufficient.
My oldest granddaughter dreads going near her because Nana often hugs her and poor J's head winds up in her armpit. 
In fact, in addition to refusing to shower, she is very sneaky.  I have witnessed her come out of the bathroom in fresh clothes and then take her shower chair and put it in the tub and turn on the water for about 10 seconds and then come out of the bathroom.  When I confronted her, as I was standing outside the bathroom door, she denied doing it, even though I stood a short distance away and watched it.
Before she moved in, we had a decent relationship.  I thought she was a clean, honest, nice woman.  That isn't the case.  She lies to me constantly and she is very sneaky.  And her avoidance of the shower is the icing on the cake.
I really don't like the person she is.  I don't understand how or why she lies to me all the time.
 I avoid contact with her but I still manage her medication and do her laundry and tend to any errands she needs taken care of.   My husband isn't too happy about the way I feel about her now but he spends a minimum of time with her also.  I always encourage him to spend more time with her since she is HIS mother  and not mine.
(She lives in our home but has her own small space - including her own brand new bathroom/shower in our basement.)
I don't know how to deal with her lack of maintaining her hygiene either.
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That is difficult. I would ask the nurse to be the bad guy since they don't live with her. Or is a specific bath aid an option? We have aids that work with the nurse. They could phrase it as "doctor's orders" to hopefully talk her into it?
A short term solution is spray shampoo (in the hairsray aisle last I saw). Or I've used shampoo shower caps. You put it on, rub it around, take it off and dry with a towel.
Do you know why she's refusing? Shame of help, fear of falling etc? Maybe a psychologist/therapy could help.
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robinr Sep 2018
This would be interesting...engaging a person with dementia/short term memory loss in therapy.
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is the bathroom extra warm? is it that she does need help, is afraid of falls, but doesn't like anyone to see her naked? (People that age can be extra modest.) Could you put soft music on? A colored mat in the tub. Inviting scents of some kind in the BR. Could you take a bath yourself and ask her to help you do your back, eg? Make it more than a chore that she for whatever reason finds un-doable. Does she spend time in the bathroom brushing her teeth, could you be with her when she does this to see whether she might let you help her wash, at first? A very good sponge bath might be good enough, if your mom absolutely continues to refuse. If you could convince her even once every week or two, this might be enough. Maybe let it go for a while, then start by asking her to help you with your bath a few times with the bathroom as comfortable as possible so she might get tempted.
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Will be following this and anticipating the usual "create a spa/put on music/make it nice etc" answers. My mom has your mom beat, and I'm not sure she even sponge bathes, though like yours, the dementia could be worse, and short term memory is very bad. Someone once said that there are like a hundred steps in bathing/showering to remember, and sometimes with guidance they can do it...sometimes can't figure out the faucets etc. My mom regularly went to get her hair done so we continue that though she often doesn't want to. I can only withstand the hassle every two weeks, and a person who does nails is next door to her hair guy and she will file them for $15. A nurse from a home care agency affiliated with a hospital was out and her suggestion was to "let it go". I was, initially shocked, then comforted because the "professional" more or less gave her blessings...but I still am driven insane by the length of time without. She told me most people die from falls and more or less anticipated that eventually happening, resulting in a hospitalization and potentially returning home with an aid coming in which they often accepted at that point. I don't want to wish for a fall...Neurologists staff sent a well-written chapter on the issue which was of basically no benefit because my relationship with mom was never close/lovey. I've been so preoccupied providing other essential tasks I haven't come round to it but am seriously thinking of connecting with someone at the local Alz Assn hoping they might be able to help.
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You have already gotten some good advice, but the cause of her not wanting to shower is critical. For my 92yo mom, it is such a physical drain she sleeps for hours after a shower. Since moving her out of her own home where she had a walk in bath she loved, she resists showers. Some ALF have a
Walk in bathtub in a room in the facility. So when considering where to place a LO, this is an important consideration for bath lovers.
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Tothill Sep 2018
Adding to this, in my small town we have a not for profit assisted living that allows community members to book the bathing room. I am not sure of the details. But I remember a patient at the physio clinic I worked at had booked a bath.

It may be worth calling around to ask.
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I agree with the fear of falls. Put a chair in her shower and be there when she showers. Tell her the truth, she smells and ANYONE not bathing for 6 months smells.
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She may enjoy going to the “beauty parlor” if this is something she did in her younger years. Explain to the staff how your mother is and ask for the most patient hairdresser they have, I take my father to a hairdresser who has a business in her home so it is usually just myself, dad and her. He enjoys the attention and even getting his hair washed once settled in the chair. Sponge baths can do wonders if supervised and use a good scented soap with moisturizer.
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I let her do her sponge baths. And hair appt every two weeks. At the end I think I enjoyed the appts more than her. It was her safe spot. Where she use to socialize. She would say some off the wall things. Kept everyone guessing.....
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My mom is the same way. When I hug her I can smell her dirty hair. She refuses to take a shower, If I start to smell other odors I don't know if I will be able to stand it. Why do they not want to take a shower....
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First you have to know this is so common, there are lots of reasons why they don't shower. My dad forgets and thinks just washing his face and brushing teeth is enough. He can't smell himself and sometimes the odor is awful. He was showering, for a while if I said I'm not taking you out if you don't shower. But last time he "showered" he smelled just as bad so I think he just sat in the bathroom to fake me out. I have a chair and a hand held hose - I have heard having water on the head can be very disorientating for them. I make sure soap and wash cloth are readily available and set the water temp and leave it on for him. I have also heard sometimes you just have to let it go. NO ONE will think badly of you (and if they do it's ignorance) I don't think there are answers just know you are doing your best - and it's enough, do not feel guilty or bad - your Mom is lucky to have you. Be good to yourself and good luck, we are with you 100%.
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All wonderful options. It’s so hard to watch our beloved parents decline. I am in the same boat with the showering issue, and now Mommy doesn’t want to eat either. :(

I have nothing to add other than hang in there, be kind to yourself, and love her regardless of the smell. 💜
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The answer by Sandy 321 sounds like the most helpful. We took care of Hubby's Mom for 16 1/2 years post stroke. I had her in the shower every week by using a voice that was kind but determined. "The bathroom IS Ready FOR YOU to take a shower right Now." or "Right Now, It is Time for Your Shower". Almost never did she decline. It was warm, the towels were warm, and she could sit down during the shower. We had a handheld shower sprayer that was very adjustable. There were bars to hold onto with getting in and out and the bathtub mat had suction cups. I put a new one in whenever testing the suction was not up to muster. I also let her wear non slip shower slippers if she felt worried. I had her do most of her own washing with just me supervising what was next to do. I did her back and helped with doing her hair as she could not raise her arms up too high due to an old rotator cuff injury in her younger days. She always felt much better after getting all washed up. She was also incontinent, on oxygen and her mind was short term memory impaired. But she was amiable and NOT argumentative.
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When Mom refused I told her she smelled. She got a shower.
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My dad doesn't like to shower either.  I even bought him some nice smelling Old Spice shower gel so in case he dropped the soap, he wouldn't have to bend down.  A month or so after i purchased it, he came to me and asked me what he was supposed to use it for.  Yikes!  He still smells.  He has a shower stool in his bathtub but that's not the bathroom he uses.  I think I will put it by the door to his bathroom and tell him to put it in his shower (he won't let me in there. I have no idea what his bathroom looks like).  Now we're dealing with another bout of cellulitis.  He's had it in his leg several times before and now it's in his eye.  I gotta think that because he has all that bacteria on him, and then he rubs his eyes, this can't be good.
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Those Hair Wash Caps are the Nuts! Our Hospice provided them for my FIL who was bedbound, and you just put them on their head (they have a no-rinse cleansing solution inside), and just rub and massage them around on their scalp, and Presto, Clean scalp and hair, and my FIL Loved the Special Attention! They definitely do in a pinch, and their hair smells clean afterwards!

Once she gets used to the feel and smell of clean hair, she may be more acceptable to washing her hair the traditional way in the future, or even over the kitchen sink! You can purchase them at the Medical Supply store, or possibly at a Beauty Supply Store, or most probably you can order them through Amazon, which has EVERYTHING!

Definitely give it a try, she wouldn't even have to leave the bed or recliner, just have a couple of towels available and one wrapped around her shoulders!
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Maybe a psych evaluation? Is she depressed? Is this a sudden change in her behavior prior to how she was six months ago? Did she shower then? You mentioned her Neuro. What does he say about her lack of personal hygiene? Tell her that her Neuro is going to report you and that you’ll be charged with neglect and she’ll be sent to a nursing home unless she showers and washes her hair once a week.
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This is one of the hardest parts of caring for a loved one at home. Here are the ways I solved the problem from the time she first came to live with me until the end. Firstly, let me say that mother had only one kidney and was incontinent. She would also get angry and put her fists up if I dared suggest bathing (dementia).
(1) I washed her hair in the kitchen sink and got her arms and back 'accidentally' wet. Then I just proceeded to wash whatever part of the top I could (ensuring that the room was warm, towels were ready, etc.) I had the radio playing and would talk about the song, rather that what I was doing.
(2) I tried putting her in the shower, but it was tough, so I got us a membership in a health club and took care of her in the handicapped shower. The membership was far less than $25/hour with a 4-hour minimum for an assistant or nurse.
(3) As time went on, I played a game with her whereby I pretended to be someone else whenever I helped her with anything personal. Seriously, I'd leave the room and say I'd send Mary in to help her dress, in the bathroom, etc. I'd come back in with my hair pinned up and a different sweater on. Either she played along, or she really didn't know it was me. It allowed her some dignity.
(4) I got a plastic storage box - about 4" high and about 3 feet x 2 feet (the kind with the lid), had her hold onto the towel bar, step into the box and soap her down and rinse her off with lots of small, clean towels. (I got a dozen white, absorbent cloths at Costco for about $12.)
(5) I got waterless shampoo and soap from Walgreens.
(6) I used extra-large (8x12) adult washcloths 240ct for about $10 by Simply Right that have aloe, vitamin-E and chamomile to keep skin nice.
(7) I had NorthShore.com deliver underwear (they will send you samples) that are infinitely better than what you can buy in the store!

Additional information to keep in mind: My mother's urine never smelled. I had her drink water during the day, sometimes mixed with a little cranberry juice, or a squirt of lemon. Her diet was 'clean.' When she first came to live with me, she acted really 'weird' and I suspected a UTI (dark, pungent urine), so I gave her D-Mannose and lots of water to clear it out. I also restricted sugar/bread. What a difference!! Urine should be pale yellow with little or no odor.
Secondly, people with dementia have fluctuating moods. Treat them as if they are like the weather - don't push what you have to do if they are in a cloudy or rainy mood. If all you get is 1/3 of the way though, it's ok. Do another 1/3 the next day, and the next - which is how I had to bathe my mother at the end.
Taking care of my mother was a blessing and a privilege. I did it for over five years; I wish we had had even more time living together. Once I recognized the ebb and flow of the disease, our time was infinitely more pleasant than when I barked orders like a child taking over the parental role.
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Same problems here. Mom is 90 with Alzheimers. She will never go willingly. Here’s what we do. My daughter gets the bath ready with stool, towels, soap, shampoo and warm water. I start talking to mom about the need for a bath. I put out my hands, face up, inviting her to come with me. She gets up saying “where are we going”. I till her to make her feel better and my daughter then slips in behind her. We walk together until she figures it out, then my daughter, (behind her) wraps her arms around her and walks her forward, with me in front, holding her hands and telling her there is no discussion, she will have a bath this morning. She screams, yells for help, tries to bite, and head butt us. We move her toward the bath and remove her clothes under protest. Once she is in and the warm water is flowing over her she totally relaxes and submits to the bath and shampoo. After its all over and she’s clean and smelling good, she takes a nap and doesn’t mention it again. We get this done once or twice a week as needed. She never holds a grudge and in some ways it seems to be getting a little easier. We’ve had to do it this way for about a year.
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robinr Sep 2018
Wow. I can't imagine hanging in when there is screaming, yelling, biting and head butting. It sounds like a football game! You are great to deal with that, and lucky to have an in-house reinforcement.
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Could you shower w her & ask her to do what you do. I stand out of shower & ask did you get this etc. there are people just come trained for showering persons. Call Alzheimer’s help number. Live persons 24/7.
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robinr Sep 2018
I'm sorry...but this just makes me laugh because I know I am not the only one who could not possibly imagine doing this due to the relationship, and even if it were a good one...bless you if it works for you...
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You aren't the only one with this problem sadly. My mother is the same way. She is 85 and has had Alzheimer's for several years and it's more or less moderate right now. I moved her in with me in October of last year and she has not bathed or washed her hair or brushed her teeth in all that time. I tried everything. My aunt even tried to help. Nothing works. She does wash up from the sink in her bathroom (it has no tub...just a small shower which she doesn't like) so she doesn't smell too bad. I do wash her clothes. Her biggest issue is her dental hygiene which is beyond horrid. She has what we call 'death breath' because it smells like serious decay. But she--like your mom--gets angry and defensive and it's even harder to talk to her after that. I'm at a loss too. I hope your situation works out soon.
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Hi 👋🏻,
I have a couple of ideas. Firstly, make sure you have it all set up and address any legitimate complaint she may have. Such as: get a small heater in there in case she’s afraid to catch a chill, get a shower seat so she won’t get tired, get the hose shower type so she doesn’t have to reach, get secure rubber mats so she doesn’t slip, get handicap rails to hang on to, get support rails to use to hold to get out...
Once you have all the safety and maneuverability taken care of then get special bath robe and slippers, nice smelling body wash, shampoo and cream rinse that leave her hair smelling good and feeling silky, get bath powder that feels good and maybe some lotion for dry skin, you get my drift?
As you’re setting it up tell her about how nice it will be and how she’s gonna LOVE this soap and that towel and how you’re going to set her up regularly from now on and ALSO that you’ve been informed that it is absolutely necessary and that you have been derelict in your job!!! It’s your job to keep her healthy, safe, and clean. So she has to eat regularly and get clean where it’s safe from any falls!

My Mom gets depressed and wants to stay in bed sometimes. She wants to just pee in her diaper so she doesn’t have to get up. I tell her, “It’s my JOB to make sure you are clean and fed!! I could GO TO JAIL for ELDER ABUSE if I let you wallow in your diaper!”

I have a big mouth and she irritates me to death with this attitude so I have an awful lot more I tell her about: getting a diaper rash, how she’s gotten bed sores and how they hurt and take a long time to get well, and stinking up the place and on and on.

I’m sorry but that just is not acceptable.

If I had to, I would get a professional in to tell her, even set up a schedule of days and times for bathing, with the veiled threat that if she wants life to continue as it is, she has to comply, or ill no longer get to be her caretaker and then she could no longer stay at home. It wouldn’t be a lie either.

Short of that, you can always resort to “grandma’s“ rules like you do for a toddler. There is no “grandma” there are just these rules that we MUST adhere to...”we have to take a bath now,” “oh no, we can’t put it off, we mustn’t,” “oh yes, it is time to take a bath, we have to get it done before we can ‘eat,’ ‘go outside,’ ‘take a walk,’ ‘turn on tv,’ whatever...

Luckily, your mom (and mine! thank goodness!) is still reasonable, though mine is prone to pout, bless her.

Mind you, mine still showers on her own (with someone nearby) but we still have plenty other issues...

Good luck,
Love Charlotte
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I had the same problem with my mother for several years (probably longer) when she was still living at her house and I was dealing with her care and hiring help but she'd send them home or tell them to sit and read a book (!) She seemed so coherent when she talked but... in retrospect, I see the signs of increasing dementia, short term memory etc. But her STRENGTH of WILL was as strong as ever and she'd "hide" her symptoms or failings and/or lie about things she'd done when I found out. Anyway, over time I learned that a type of fear of showering is very common for the elderly... She was finally moved in to assisted living (which lasted only about 6 months until she grew so agitated and problematic they moved her into memory care.) She would NOT allow aides to help her shower, she would refuse to go to the in-facility hair dresser to get her hair washed and set. I finally hired a lady from her church to go sit with her (I have cancer since last year and had to stop all my many years of caretaking my mom. I finally realized that as the daughter, she knew how to manipulate me in ways she couldn't get away with when she was with church friends - strange how often THAT happens too, they want to present their "best" for people outside the family, but for family, well, that's another story). About once a month the church lady went WITH mom and sat in the beauty shop and then helped mom return to her room. My mom was simply too anxious to allow an aide to "drop her off" for her hair appointment, leaving her there alone. Probably the aide didn't return to help mom get back to her room. "Not their job" to babysit each patient. I can't ask this church lady to do this often, but it has worked a few times. Anyway, that's a lot of my story and not exactly about what you're facing.. but maybe it will give you some insight about some possible "ways around" getting your mom to bathe and get her hair washed. It's a huge learning curve for us who are taking care of these old folks with declining mental and emotional capacities. It seems to "logical" to US to just "wash your hair mom" when she may still seem physically able to get in and out of a shower. It's also may be embarrassing to your mom to allow you or a nurse/aide to come in and get her in and out of a shower. But remember that many geriatric nurses and elderly care aides told me it is very common for older folks to become afraid of showering. The water on their head seems to be one of triggers. Have you ever helped your mom wash her hair in a sink, if she's still able to bend over a sink? Are you preparing a list of potential in-home help aides, services, to help YOU care for your mom? How old is she? Has she had any or many UTIs by any chance? My mother's UTIs began back in 2011 and she would NOT take her antibiotics as prescribed (something I was unaware of until later). So she created a chronic infection in her body by not completing those courses of anti-b's and soon she would progress to serious sepsis and/or systemic infections, hospital emergencies, rehab stays, and then go home - all to be repeated again within 6-10 months... ! Just a simple UTI in an elderly person causes temporary dementia or the correct term I think is "delirium" (pretty scary to witness). Years of these repeated UTIs to systemic infections... I'm pretty sure fast tracked her dementia. Just another thing to be aware of.. .SO SORRY you're having to learn all this. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF please. Your quality of life matters just as much as anybody's including your parent's...
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My Mom was in a similar situation I now tell her we are going to church and have to clean up and wash the hair to look nice for church. She was always a big church goer. I tell her on a Friday or Thursday and remind her she is going to the hairdresser. The aid gives her a sponge bath and I set her up to see the hairdresser at the facility. She usually initially gives me a hard time but constant reminding about looking our best for church quiets her down. Works for me.
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