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My FIL has dementia and was moved into a lockdown facility a few months ago because it was becoming impossible for MIL to care for him at home. He refuses to bathe, and the nursing home staff do not push the issue with him. I think he has changed his clothes only twice in 4 months. Today, he allowed my husband to clip his toenails. It was terrible. my husband scraped large chunks of 'stuff' from his toenails and between his toes. The skin on his feet and legs look like it is beginning to crack. We are so worried that he is going to get an infection...and if his feet look like this, what do other parts look like? (He was always so fastidiously clean, but he was having difficulty cleaning himself before we moved him.) How can we get the nursing staff to bathe him...even though it's not his choice? Isn't this included in the services for which we are paying? I just wanted to cry today, the stuff on his feet, the smell of urine...it was all too much. And then he started crying and said he just wanted to go home.

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Jane, MIL may indeed have the beginnings of dementia, but dementia isn't caused by stress. (Thank goodness -- or there would not be a caregiver in the country without dementia.) Stress does bad things, and reducing her stress would be good, but it probably won't change her dementia, if that is what she has.

I would not think family need take responsibility for getting a nursing home patient bathed. As Pam suggests, see that there are medical orders for it.

My mother was very resistant to bathing. In the nursing home the aide simply comes in and says "It is time for your shower" and off she goes. Nursing home staff should be used to getting residents to shower or to get clean.
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Jane! Orders for bathing come from the MD, not the administrator. Gosh I never talk to anyone in the administration. Call the MD. Work with the head nurse. Admins are CLUELESS.
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Thank you, Pam! I had heard the name Teepa Snow in the past, but had no idea who she was. My husband has been very frustrated, and he is now hooked on Teepa! He feels more confident in how to communicate with his dad. Unfortunately, after watching her video on the signs of dementia, we are pretty certain that my MIL is in the beginning stages of dementia herself, likely brought on by the stress of caring for my FIL. We talked to the administrator today and was completely unconcerned about our concerns. Time to look for a new facility.
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Go to youtube and watch the teepa snow video on bathing the patient. From what you describe, he already has a foot fungus. Get a written order from the MD for bathing and foot care. Nurses follow written orders.
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