How can I convince my grandmother to bathe?

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I'm one of two caregivers for my grandma who's 81yo.(My mom is the other. Im 43, moms 62) My grandma has mobility issues.osteoarthrotis and hip problems. she wont even let us TRY to help her in and out of the shower. Shes been doing 'washups' for more than a year.In the last few months I sense that shes given up on even washing up.She also has instances where she loses control of her bladder -and a couple of times, her bowels because she will hold it in so long.(she refuses to swallow her pride and say she needs help getting out of her chair.and when she finally heads to the bathroom- its too late) my grandma lies and says she took a shower when we were gone.there are no dirty towels or wet rags, plus we know she cant get in/out of shower without help.I dont know if shes flat out lying, embarrassed, or if she believes that she showered. My grandma has mild dementia and mobility/ pain issues. she pretends shes doing fine when we know shes not.Shes also pretended that she needs help when shes just trying to manipulate us into spending several days at her house.(my mom and I take turns spending 2-3 days with my grandma on the occasions when shes depressed or in too much pain to care for herself.but on the occasions when shes able to move around and take care of herself we go home and spend time relaxing.but My gma makes us feel guilty for going home. she talks about how she might as well die.and she refuses to talk when we call her because we went home for the night.shes VERY mean and manipulative) I'm sorry I'm jumping around on topics.I'm just so sick if her making me feel like crap when I want to spend a couple of days at home with my own children and grandson. For now im asking How do I convince her to bathe and take better care of herself? Her house smells like urine.The time that I mopped and bleached her kitchen and bathroom she was embarrassed and cried all day.plus she took offense and said if I had a problem with her house I didnt have to come over.Her rugs and the chair she sits in smell like urine and I'm concerned that someone from senior services will say she's being neglected .I've mentioned before that this was a concern, but she gets depressed, cries and becomes hateful... and still no shower.(she had someone from HHC that came over every other day for 'bathday' but my grandma lied and said she'd let me or mom wash her.she tells ppl what they want to hear and sends all professionals away.We're stuck being caregivers whether we want to or not.Shes refusing dr appts that will get her the pain meds she needs so she can move around unassisted.I seriously feel like she's doing this on purpose because we're forced to be here caring for her as long as shes in pain.To her, as long as she is in pain, we have to be here... and she doesn't want to live alone anymore. but we have lives to live also.I feel so guilty.but mom and I are missing out on so much by catering to my grandma.(and dont even mention assisted living or continued care facility because she will curse you out for mentioning it)

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I am, however going to take babalou's advice and write a letter to her doctor.thanks everyone for listening. I really do feel horrible when I explain how hateful my grandma is/ always has been.I do want whats best for her.Im not cut out for this caretaking.Its an emotional rollercoaster.
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Im grateful for everyones advice.I sure wish it were as simple as you make it sound. I should have explained in my original post that my grandma is very hateful, critical, bossy and a racist.shes been this way her entire life even before she was diagnosed with mild dementia.when people come into her home to help her, she calls me later to tell me how disgustingly fat the nurse was, or how mad that she was that an African American showed up. She has always been hateful.(we've had a couple of good times..but 80% hateful) It would take forever to explain how unhappy and miserable my grandma has always been.this makes it harder to deal with her worsening situation.Trust me,terryjack1, there will be no bonding over sweet conversations and memories of the past.as soon as we bring up something nice - for instance if I told her I went to my friends house and watched a movie, my gram either talks about how disgusting it is that my friend married a Mexican.or she will make me feel guilty that I can walk, that I can leave the house , and even be angry saying " it must be nice to have people care about you." its alll guilt. I know that my grandma does NOT want friends. She can find something to hate about ANYONE. I think that she is addicted to sympathy and she's not the only one in my family that is this way.Ive never had a close relationship with my grandma.none if us have.my grandma has never given hugs or said the words I love you.It makes me sad to see my 62yo mom still trying to get love and acceptance from someone who's going to bad mouth her as soon as she walks out the door.
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I didn't read the updates before writing my response. In light of what you said Debbra, it sounds like you need to have her placed in a really nice nursing home. (Assisted Living is better for people who are well. They also charge extra for everything including bathing assistance.) If she won't go you can always call 911 and tell them she's in extreme pain, you don't know what her underlying condition is, and she needs to go to the ER. Once she gets there, refuse to take her back. The social worker has to make sure she has a safe place to go home to. She doesn't. She lives alone. The hospital social worker will be forced to find her a nursing home bed. Good luck!!
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One more note about Helpiong Hands for the Disabled: it's free!
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Debbra523, it sounds like your grandmother is very lonely. I'm sorry about that. It also sounds like your life and your mom's life are being consumed. It's a difficult situation. I think things would be a lot better if your grandma were only happy. She's just a touch older than my mother, and my mom was very lonely too, because all of her good friends had died. It sounds like she's neglecting herself because she's learned that's a way to get company. Do you or your mom have friends whose mothers or grandmothers you could introduce to your grandma? Does anyone come over and visit her? Here in NY, there's an organization called "helping hands for the disabled." It's a companion service. A person will come to the elder's house, for a visit, conversation, movie or craft. It's like a paid friend. This person is not an aide. They will not bathe her, clean the house, etc, but I think it gives the elder dignity knowing that someone is visiting just to have her company, rather than to take care of something that needs to be done. I'm guilty of that, and it's hard not to be. When my mom was still at home, I would come busting in from work (after a 2-hour drive) and I was focused on getting her fed and bathed and groceries bought and put away, med check, etc. It made my mother feel like a project and I'm sure that hurt, but I had an hour's ride home and just wanted to make sure those pressing needs were taken care of. Like I said, it's difficult. I don't know where you live, but you could certainly contact "Helping Hands for the Disabled" and ask if they can refer you to something similar in your area. Once your grandma has a happier, fuller life and doesn't feel such an extreme need to have you two around, she may be more willing to take care of herself, including allowing someone to help her bathe. I hope this helps. Good luck.
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See if she will go visit her doctor, let him know what's going on. Maybe he will be able to control her pain better if he knew what she is using now isn't working. People are afraid of falling in the shower/tub, a walk in model is great but many times it's just not affordable. A sponge bath is better than no bath, offer to assist her with it, you can do the 'difficult to reach' parts, this way you can see for yourself how well she can do or not do. While she is 'bathing' discuss family or reminisce about past events, while she is distracted you can wash her and before she knows it her bath is complete. It's difficult for any of us to realize we can no longer do the things we used to do, it's not always easy for people to ask for help. If she had less pain, bathing would be easier for her. Is there a tub chair? if not get one, she can use it to sit on while sponge bathing, and if you are lucky, you can convince her she can use it in the tub. You can assist her with getting in and out of the tub, this should help to lessen the fear of falling. If she has some dementia, she may not have the same feelings about bathing as she once had. Dementia changes the person we know, they become someone 'else' but the same. Don't be to pushy, I have found this doesn't go well, I wouldn't like it if it were me. Enjoy the time you have left, pick your battles, while cleanliness is important, it's not worth a huge fight to get her in the tub when a wash off will do. It may not be who she used to be, but it's who she is now. Don't feel guilty, you do what you can and that's all you can do. Love her for one day she will be gone.
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Anytime your in a rock and a hard place situation, get a shrink. A shrink will get you fresh eyes, and tell you the exact words to say to grandmom. You are giving all the power over to your grandmother. I would start telling your grandmom all she does right. How brave she is. Compliment her on any bit of cleaning she does, self or apartment. You want 5 compliments to every negative comment. Then adult to adult, not grandmom to granddaughter, tell this has to stop. she and the apartment gets cleaned twice a week.Make a schedule, put it on a calendar. Be honest tell her she is wearing your Mom and you out. If things don't change, she will be in assisted living. She will argue, kick and scream. Stand firm. Tell her you are sick of the fights. Compromise on once a week. Let both of you have a victory.

You are in a crazy tug of war here. You need to pick your battles. Your life has become all fight and no fun with grandmom. Pull back, try to get some laughter and enjoyment back into the situation. Clean that house whether she likes it or not, then plop a big kiss on her and tell her she is welcome.

You're not alone. Stop the guilt and worry. it never helps, and just wears you down. I am heading back to the shrink, because their is a situation I can't handle. He will tell me what to do. It is a great relief. Good luck, honor your grandmom's autonomy, and maybe she will come around. You can't place her in assisted living without her permission, and you can't let this situation continue.
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Easier said than done, but, you need to get tough, stand up to grannie, do what has to be done and get your life back. Someone posted elsewhere, "Why do we let little old ladies push us around?" Screw the guilt, you can't let her do this to you.
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If grandma won't get herself help or allow you to help effectively, then you may have to practise some tough love and leave her be. You can't reason with dementia. Ahe can only hold you hostage if you volunteer.

Ahe sounds as though she is long past the stage of being able to manage at home with occasional help. I wiuld call the local area agency on aging and tell them that she won't let you care properly for her. I would also write hwr doctor a letter, sent with a return receipt, outlining your concerns about her care, hygeine and safety. He can't five YOU information, but you can certainly let HIM know what's going on.
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Maybe she wants attention. Think about a place where she will be able to talk with people of her generation.
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