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She has not changed cloths in a week cause she has to wear a knee brace for a cracked knee cap. but she thinks she has taken a bath each day.

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@Marty1971 - Sounds very familiar. The assistants at AL facilities are usually not trained for difficult residents. You may need to move her to the memory care unit where there will be nurses on staff who are trained for this sort of behavior.
I'm sorry - it's hard to see our parents go down like this and become someone else entirely.
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My mother in law has Alzheimer's and is currently in an assisted living facility--but not their memory care unit. We were paying extra for them to help her with her shower 3 times per week, but recently stopped paying for it since she would scream and yell and absolutely loose control when they came to her room to assist her with her shower. Eventually, they gave up, hence the reason we stopped paying for that service. She used to "sponge bathe" herself at the sink occasionally, but she isn't even doing that now and unfortunately, she, more often than not, has body odor. My husband and his siblings really don't know how to handle this and the assisted living staff seem to not know how to handle it either. She also has some incontinence which she wears pads for but rarely change her panties or her pants. I would appreciate any suggestions?
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There are men who have and are caregiving female relative, maybe one or more of them can tell us how they managed the bathing. The Capt is one who comes to mind and I am sure his mother was kept clean.
Think of it this way when one is in the hospital the aide who comes to bathe you can be male or female and there is no point in making a fuss.
If you wear gloves for bathing someone of the opposite sex at least for the first few times they may feel less violated. Keep them covered as much as possible and when they are ready to step out of the shower immediately wrap them in a large towel so they are not standing there naked. For the first few times let them keep their underwear on and pull down briefly for them or you to wash that part. A parent of the opposite sex may be reluctant but will soon get used to your help. Now getting an elderly and /or demented patient to agree to a bath is another story that has nothing to do with embarressment. A bath is rarely necessary every day as long as the essentials are taken care of - hands,face, under breasts, armpits, skin folds and genitals. All of that can be accomlished in bed or on a chair but make sure it is warm and comfortable.
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@meatJeanne - I'm sorry your husband is in a home now, but sometimes it's the best option. We moved my mom and stepdad into a home in WYO about a year ago, but my stepfather died in February (advanced demential/alzheimers) and so we're going to bring her back to the East Coast and attempt to keep her home with us. Fingers crossed things will go smoothly. Her main issues are the bathing and the meanness. She was in a car accident back in 2008, a motorcyclist T-Boned her and she was in the hospital for about 6 months, in a coma for about 2 of those months. So her issue is more brain damage, but I believe she also has some demential due to that. My DH doesn't think she has dementia or alzheimers but I beg to differ with him because of her behavior.
I really love this site - thanks for all the good information I gain from reading these posts!
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Please go as slow as you can. Slow everything down. Patience works. Impossibly slow. It's the scariest thing of all. Gentle and slowly. It's so scary to a person with no control. Its like being doused with fire. Think of your loved one as an infant who had never had a bath before. They are terrified.
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DawInVB, I always asked myself that too, if they don’t take shower for a week or so, the smell doesn’t seem to bother them! I think because they feel cold easily, sometimes sponge baths are the best option.
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There is always No-Rinse Body Wash and No-Rinse Shampoo for sponge baths. . .
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I think we do lose the keenness of smelling, Dawn, as we get older. But not sure about not bathing for a long time! My husband use to take a shower, sometimes 3 every day. After Alz diagnosis, he didn't want to. I begged, cried, told him HE would feel so much better and smell so much better after a quick shower. He would finally get up, with help, and I would get him in the shower. And I was fast.... I wasted no time. We seemed to do better with that. He always got pampered after, with baby lotion on legs and arms and back. A special treat. We did pretty good with that until he couldn't remember how to walk. He is in a home now, two months, and worrying about his cleanliness is no longer my problem, I am so very sad to say.
I have heard the feel of the water on the skin can be different. Temperature of the water is not what one was once use to. Standing is not easy for the 'long' of a time...a shower chair helps too.
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It's weird how old people don't like to bathe ... I don't understand it at all. Do they lose their sense of smell so much that they don't know they need to bathe?
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My dad lives in assisted living with a wonderful walk-in shower. He will not have any of the staff help him shower and will only let me(his daughter ) help him if he wears a bathing suit and sits on a bath chair. I have to nag him to take a shower and wash his hair. He only wants to do it right before a doctor's appointment. We can go for weeks without one (shower or doctor's appt). I can not figure out a way to motivate him to take a shower more often. He does not have dementia but is 89 with limited mobility.
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I guess it also depends on your father, mine would NEVER allow another man to wash him (unless of course he was so far gone in his mind that he wouldn't know the difference).
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to Mama11ama - bathing dads is a little tricky and I'm not sure I would be comfortable with that either. I do believe there are male CNA's you could hire. But even the female CNA's are trained for bathing men.
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when it was getting to hard for my mom to help my dad wash, I contacted office of aging, who put me in contact with comfort keepers (other companies also out there) and arranged for a person to come every Wed to bathe him. He actually looks forward to that even if he has been in bed all day. And they are woman who bathe him and he has no problem, initially it took a little bit, now he doesn't care; he's just glad to see someone come. I an thinking of bumping it up to 2 days a week now. My mother has no problem (my dad is 91, my mom is 87) cause it gives her a break from all his stories,repetiviness and someone else has him for 1 hour.
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Not to hijack, but what about males? I don't want to bathe my dad or have a strange woman do it.
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I find this a challenge as well. On the days where she gives me a hard time I find if I hand wash her with a nice warm wash cloth instead of getting her in the tub she is more willing the next time. Sometimes at least in my case it's just a matter of making her feel like she has a say. As far as clothing goes at night I wash her clothes when she is asleep and when she gets in a rut and wants to wear the same thing I take her shopping, let her pick out a new outfit and get her excited to put on the new clothes. This seems to work at least for now.
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I have problems with my mom bathing too but I take a no-nonsense approach to it. I tell her she needs to get undressed and into the shower. She b*tches and moans the whole time but she does it. I lather up a wash cloth or a "lather thingy" and hand it to her and tell her what to do. Like I said, she is complaining the whole time but she washes. I rinse her off and then wash her hair. I help her out of the shower and hand her a towel.
She always thinks she's bathed already. One of the things she says is "why do I need to take a bath 3 or 4 times a day, I'm not dirty"
She calls me all kinds of names too but I've finally gotten to the point where I know this is not my mom, this is an old, sick lady in my moms body.
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I had a walk-in shower built for Mom. There is a chair in there and we shower every other day. There is a hand-held shower head also. She doesn't really like it, she says the water hurts (NOT) but I do it anyway...don't want her stinking.
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This is a very common and I'll bet most difficult caregiver frustration. Here are some tips from the caregiver support group that I facilitate: It's a trial and error thing, but these ideas worked for them: 1) Make it part of a routine thing on a certain day .... time for your shower, then we'll go out for lunch, ice cream, whatever. Always let them how nice they look after.
2) Sometimes a hand held sprayer is less threatening for them to use. - might be worth a try.
3) Ask the doctor to write on a prescription pad... Mrs.. xx needs to bath at least 1 time a week to control infections" - this is just to show them what the doctor said.
4) About changing clothes - one person bought several identical outfits and would wash the dirty ones at night, etc. and switch with the clean ones. Hope these are helpful! Sending you a virtual hug.
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check with office of aging in your area, they should be able to connect you with some companies that offer help in these areas and depending on her income/expenses she might even get re-imbursed for part of the fee.
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Sandy, home bath aides, visiting nurses and PT/OT are only covered after a minimum 3 day stay in a hospital, and only by the order of the MD and only for 60 days. Usually the discharge coordinator sets this up before you leave the hospital.
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I'm curious - if a doctor orders a bath aide, would it be partially paid for by medicare Part B?
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I agree with ba8alou, get a bath aide, she might feel more comfortable. What about one of her female friends? Good luck
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Call her doctor. He can write orders for a bath aide to come to the home.
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