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I don't mind taking a shower with my husband and cleaning him up in the process. The difficulty is getting him to agree to it. Advice?

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My mom fell and came back from rehab and has dementia. I use the" clean sheet " deal also. Plus she was afraid because the stand alone tile shower was slick. My husband coated the bottom with bath gripper stickers. I still have to say "Mama, we need a shampoo!" its not always easy. A treat sounds like a good idea too! Also I don't give her warning ahead of time. Just go in and get it ready and come back and say shower time!
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WorriedSpouse,
If he can safely get into and out of a bathtub, a good soaking is relaxing. However, again only if it can be safe for him, and doesn't subject yourself to a potential back injury!

In my earlier post I forgot to address the fear of falling. That was one of my mother-in-law's hangups. I easily resolved that by leaving her shoes with good non-slip soles on her, until she was safely seated in the shower seat. That really helped overcome her fear of slipping!
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Thank you for all the wonderful advice. I will try the warm foot bath, warm seat, and a wash cloth. I am wondering if washing him in a full bathtub and then rinse him off when done might be good too.
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Worried Spouse -
Showering my mom (84) has become my cross to bear. She is in a Memory Care facility and physically fights the staff when they shower her if something doesn't go right. I have given up on her getting a shampoo in the shower and have salon appointments scheduled twice a week that I pay for. She really hated water on her head or in her eyes so when she showers it's with a shower cap that is fabric lined that she tolerates.
Many of the tips Caring2love wrote about are similar to what I found works for my mom. Wish I'd seen these tips a year ago! But the washcloth on the shower chair is essential plus letting her hold the sprayer gives her the autonomy she wants. A very soapy washcloth also helps. Stopping to add more soap as you go uses up valuable time. I prepare the bathroom while she's on the toilet - hot water running, clean clothes laid out, two towels - one on her shoulders as soon as the water is off, the other to dry, a snack/treat laid out in view. It's taken me awhile to figure out a set up that works but the main thing is to make it as warm and easy as possible for her. The staff just don't have the time to do all of this.
But back to how to convince them to shower in the first place. I found changing the sheets on her bed is one thing she gets - you have to clean up to get in a clean bed. Of course, an event has also been a good rationale - someone coming to visit, a doctor's appointment, and I've even resorted to just being blunt - that the body odor was overwhelming. Basically I use a mix of tough love and compassion - make it as nice as possible but don't take no for an answer.
All that being said I'm still only able to get her to shower every 10-14 days.
I wish I understood her refusal to shower but I can't get my mind around it.
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Worriedspouse,

It could be possible that he is embarrassed by the thought of someone else bathing him, even though you are his spouse. Perhaps he may agree if he is wearing his underpants, or swim shorts. It would make it more difficult to clean that area, but if it makes him feel less apprehensive than it would be better than no bathing at all.

Another possibility is how easily an elderly person gets cold. When I showered and shampooed my 93 year old elderly mother-in-law I placed a hot soapy washcloth on her shower seat. By the time she got into the shower it wasn't hot, but warmer than the seat. It made it more comfortable for her, plus sitting on the towel with soap helped clean that area of her body. I always gave her the washcloth to clean her private areas of the body, which also helped. Another thing that helped her body temperature was a foot bath. As soon as I got her into the shower, and after she was safely seated, I had a nice warm soapy foot bath ready for her to place her feet into. The warmth for her feet helped to keep her warmer.

My mother-in-law had Dementia, so yeah, it was a disagreement for her to agree to be bathed, but with some coaxing we did that once a week successfully. The exception was when she felt ill, so we had to skip that week.

You may have to offer a treat in return for them to agree to their bath / shower. With my mother-in-law if she didn't agree, a chocolate treat became part of the coaxing, and so she was awarded that treat after the shower. By the way, she always felt better after her shower and shampoo and was thankful. In fact I also believe she felt she was more cared for as a result. I say that because it seemed the day leading up to her shower was when she was in a worse mood - perhaps because she knew that she needed a bath; yet didn't want anyone to give her one either. It's difficult either way!
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The article is well-written.

My DH was born in 1921, grew up in the depression, on a farm, with no indoor plumbing or electricity until after WWII.

So he grew up with "sponge baths" for the most part and a "real bath" once a week. All water had to be fetched from the creek and his mother would boil the clothing to wash it. They had a multi-seat outhouse.

As long as he has no body-odor, I let it go. I make the offer every time I shower and leave it up to him. At 96, sometimes it's just too much work for him even though I am showering him with a bath stool and hand sprayer. It's much more important that he is still able to use the bathroom and do the paperwork himself.  And he washes himself after using "the throne."

"We have to pick our battles."
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Thank you, FF.
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Worriedspouse, I found this article that gives tips, even though the title mentions "parents" the same tips should work for a "spouse". https://www.agingcare.com/articles/alzheimers-disease-bathing-139323.htm

Let us know if the tips do work.
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