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I have been caring for my parents now for over 4 or 5 years, dad had dementia and mom has Alzheimer's. I have read, watched videos, studied, follow everything there is about getting them to take a shower or change clothes...epic fail. I am trying so hard to be patient with them but I am burned out. Hard to get help because it is all out of pocket, and they will not help me because they can stand up and take a shower on their own IF I CAN GET THEM TO TAKE ONE! I am running out of every trick I know. Mom gets very angry. Help! What do I need to do now.....trust me I have exhausted all avenues this is my last hope! thank you

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Theresamore...
Sometimes there is no option but to place someone in Memory Care. The fact that you were trying to care for at least 3 people..Your Mom, Dad and YOU..this does not count any other family you have spouse, children, pets....
You can now be the best advocate for them. You can now care for them without having to worry if you can get them to shower, to brush their teeth, change their clothes, do the laundry....I don't need to go on do I?
Be there as a loving daughter/son. Visit and enjoy your time with them. Let someone else worry about the "other stuff"
I am sure if you could go back with them in time to when they were both well and asked them what they would want you to do in this very situation what would they have wanted you to do? I am sure they would not have wanted you stressed, and worried about all the things that you have been worried about for the last 5 years.
As I have said before and say to my friends...If you can put your head on your pillow at night and say honestly to yourself that you did the best you could given the circumstances then you can rest easy!
Rest easy..sleep well tonight.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Madtoe Sep 19, 2018
Very true!
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An outside paid helper may be another option to consider. Major battles of mother fighting with father (dementia) who refused to shower. Had a male helper come in to shower him once a week. Told father the guy was being paid no matter if he showered or not- Dad didn't want to waste the money so he went along with it.
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Reply to FriendlyBedGuy
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theresamore Sep 20, 2018
I have done that too, she runs them off. Or they did not give the care they should have been doing.
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This is when you step away because, for whatever reason, they choose not to listen to you. Then you call in APS. The skin is the largest organ in the body and must be kept clean so that infection can't take hold.
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PMunoz Jan 1, 2019
Yes , my Mom has had Dementia that changed into Alzheimer's. We`ve been though the whole I don't want to take a shower, she would litterly start screaming when the water come on. I thought the water was hot, or to cold. No she was" Scared "of it. She told me.So now she sits on a shower chair & I use a large glass to pour water over her. We soap her up & pour the water over her alittle at a time. In her mind she is 2 to 3 yrs.old. So I have to be creative. We talk about her playing under her Grandma`s porch while we shower her. So loves that. She only remembers the past, not the present.
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Will they change clothes if something spills on them? I used to spill ice tea across the pant legs on my vascular dementia bath resistant Dad. We had to change clothes and take a bath because ice tea is so sweet its the only way to get the sugar off...
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theresamore Sep 18, 2018
Someone told me this today....totally will try this, I have nothing to lose! thank you!
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I have the same issue with mom. What seems to help is when she is in bathroom I don’t tell her she is going to shower, I just take her clothes off as if to get her dressed, then tell her to sit on the shower bench, which is part way in & out of tub, then have her swing her legs into tub. By that time she knows what’s going on but it’s too late to stop. I also remind her that when I was little she kept me Very clean & how important it is. And I’m just doing the same for her. Also I promise her a treat when we are done, like a meal out. Yes, it is never easy!
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Reply to Calicogal
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I am the primary caregiver for my 91 year old mom. Showering or changing underwear is a battle, she can still do it herself, and is very steady and mobile. I read an article that said to simply lead her in there and say get in. I always say, "mom can you come help me in here ?" To which she always says ok. I have towels ready water running and clean underwear. When she comes in the bathroom, I say get in there! She makes me leave the bathroom. I stay outside in case she forgets to get in. While she is in there, I pick the lock and grab her dirty clothes so she can't put them back on. If she refuses , she will say she's going back to bed, which is her response when she disagrees. I wait awhile and start over. We are down to once a week. She has no schedule anymore, so I just spring it on her. If I catch her not changing panties, I make her check them and say they look dirty. It's like having children again. I sneak in her bedroom and take her dirty clothes when she is asleep. She will wear same for days otherwise.
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Reply to hairgirlie
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It sounds like you have really been busy caring for your parents. I would suggest that caring for two seniors with dementia is a huge undertaking. I don't think there are any exact answers. Sometimes, you just try various techniques and see what works for that particular day.

When my LO was in a regular AL, they struggled with her resisting care, like baths, but, when she went to the MC, she didn't. For some reason, they just had the confidence and technique to manage it. Plus, I noticed they played music in the shower room. I could hear the staff singing in there. Maybe, it relaxed the residents. ??

You say you've read a lot about the condition and how to address the behavior. So, I take it that you have watched the Teepa Snow videos on You Tube about dementia care and behavior. IMO, that' helpful.

I'd likely discuss things with their doctor. I'd explore treatment, such as medication, if it's deemed advisable, due to anxiety, depression or agitation.

I would likely explore options for help. Have you consulted with an Elder Law attorney about your parent's situation? I would check out what services they may be entitled to both in-home or in a facility. If the funds are not available, how could they become available? More help would likely be needed as they progress and are not mobile.

I'd also keep in mind that eventually, the resistance to care may decrease, but, it may be met with more challenging situations like lack of mobility, wheelchair, or bedridden.

Before making big decisions, though, I'd get some respite time, so you can rest and recharge your batteries. I hope you can find some answers. I hope you'll get more suggestions here too.
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MaryKathleen Sep 19, 2018
OOOOOOOhhhhh!!!!! I love the advice to get some respite time for herself before making the big decisions.
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If they have the money, I would not hesitate putting them in a facility equipped to handle their declining mental abilities. You can visit daily, if you wish. But, here's my question, how does one make someone move to a facility? You can't strong arm them. How does one do this?
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theresamore Sep 20, 2018
I am getting ready to find out....and I am dreading it with every ounce of my being! I will let you know......well if I remember I think it is contagious!
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My mother had Alzheimer's. Someone told me they can be really afraid of water, also she is extremely modest so she didn't want anyone to help her. We had someone come in to the house. She got to know her and eventually jollied her into the bathroom. She had a large hospital type gown that she put on her. That made my mother feel dressed and the aid was able to work around it to clean her up.
As for my father who has dementia, he is in an ALF now. He will not let the aids there help him with showers. I have learned to lower my expectations on how often he does. I think he actually has forgotten how. But he doesn't smell. The nurse there said some people don't. He hasn't complained about any rashes. When he does I'll have a doctor prescribe a showering regime and get the aids involved. But for now I tell him the day before we go shopping and out for lunch that our special day is tomorrow. And I would like to go out with a fresh and clean daddy. I kindly remind him of the standards he held in the past. If he ever does smell when I come pick him up, I intend to get him set up in the bathroom and tell him I'll be waiting for him to come out nice and clean so we can go out to eat. And as frustrating as people with dementia can be, anger never works. It helps me to remember the fear, the insecurities, the feeling of losing control and issues like these are often behind the lack of cooperation. A little understanding goes a long way.
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Reply to piogal
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I feel for you, I’ve been there too. It’s hard but sometimes you just can’t give them a choice. If you ask, they’ll just say no. When mom has to go to the bathroom, I’ll just say it’s time to take a bath. It’s easier if you get everything ready like the towels, change of clothes etc. so they aren’t just sitting there cold. Mom hates showering because she gets cold so fast. I keep the door closed and run hot water so bathroom is warm when she’s undressing. I try to be quick. And use 2 to three towels to keep her covered and warm after the shower. I start drying her on her shower bench and keep one towel covering wherever I’m not actively drying her. If she had a shampoo, another 1 on her head like a hood. Then I rub lotion on under her towels and get her out of the shower and have her sit on the toilet as I quickly get her dressed. I try to shower her every 2-3 days but sometimes longer in between
days. By the time I’m blow drying her hair, she’s commenting how wonderful she feels! I used to get drenched by sweat and or the shower but now I’m an expert, I have my routine down : )
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