My mother refuses to bathe. She sleeps in her clothes, and up and wearing them still. I can hardly get her to doc appointments as she doesn't want to go. Hardest part so far.

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I've dealt with my dad not bathing for years. His clothes are often dirty and he sleeps in them in a chair or on the couch. He says bathing is hard for him. He bathes partly in and out of the shower as he doesn't want to get water in his ears and then he washes his hair in the sink. 2 weeks ago when I went to his house, he smelled so bad in my car I could hardly breathe. I'm not sure how long it had been since he had a shower. Bathing is now on the list for the caregivers every day so they ask him (remind him) how long it has been since he showered. He's not at the point where he will let anyone help him.
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Bathing is overrated. I'm serious. It wasn't until very recently that people bathed at all let alone every day. Same with using soap. We aren't designed for it. While some beauty magazines will decry not bathing everyday as letting microbes like bacteria flourish. That bacteria is not necessarily bad for you. That's what the science says. We evolved to have that bacteria on us. Much of it is good bacteria. That squeaky feeling you have after having a nice hot soapy shower is actually bad for your skin. You washed away all the lipids protecting it and all the good bacteria. Not good for your skin, good for companies selling you moisturizer to replace the lipids you just washed off.

So she doesn't bath everyday or change her clothes. Plenty of people do that all around the world. It's called being a backpacker. My mom is the same way. I shoot for a shower a week and change her clothes every 3 days or so. As long as she has good hygiene where it matters, then it doesn't matter. I would suggest you get a bidet, they are like $20-$30, to wash the bits that matter. Don't stress about the rest.

Mom is the same about going to doctors appointments. I've discovered a wheel chair is a lifesaver. It turns out that it's just that initial effort of getting up and out of the house is the hang up. Once she gets up and going, it's not a problem. I used to start trying to get her to go to the doctor 2-3 hours before the appointment since it took 2-3 hours just to convince her to go out to the car. Then we had to use a wheel chair for a bit. She offered no resistance getting up and into the wheel chair. So even though she walks again now, I still use the wheel chair. I just wheel in the chair, tell her it's doctor time. She'll get up and sits in the wheel chair, off we go.
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shad250 Jan 2019
Interesting viewpoint.
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This seems to be a very common problem! Many have written about this in the past. You can use the search function to find previous posts on this website. It seems to become more difficult with dementia. Is that what your mother has?
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