How can i get my mother to bathe and comb her hair?

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She hasn't taken a bath in 5 weeks and hasn't changed clothes or combed her hair either

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My mom's memory care facility is $300 per day and they ask me to give her a shower ! Not something I want to do after already working 50+ hours a week

She tells me she showers everyday or she's not going to shower at night (when in there) but in the morning

So she's returned to her youth with a once a week bathing routine - only she weighs a lot more now :)
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I think there comes a point where elders become afraid of the shower or the tub.... maybe it is the fear of falling, as Susie had mentioned above, or maybe some elders get claustrophobic in the shower, especially if there are shower doors. I have read where some don't like the water beating down on them.

I know for my own self, there is that fear of falling even with a good bath mat inside the tub, and there is some claustrophobia so I don't close the glass doors completely. But recently I found taking a shower at night works better for me, by then I am tired out and the fear has lessen compared to first thing in the morning.
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What I did with Mom was to follow her into the bathroom and while she was toileting, I began warming the water, turned on the space heater, got out the towels and robe and just made it an assumption that there was going to be a shower. She would balk and try to talk her way out of it, but I was firm. As far as clean clothes on a daily basis, I would just take her dirty clothes out of her room and then there was no option. It was only if she saw the clothes that she would put them back on the next day. Good luck, this is probably the #1 problem that caregivers have. Just be sure the bathroom is outfitted with handgrips (the permanently installed are much better than the suction type), non skid mats, a hand held showerhead, a shower chair, and a heat source. They do get cold, and scared of falling.
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Is she living with you? I haven't read anything that indicates it's likely that you can say something that will cause her to return to bathing and changing her clothes. It's more a matter of helping her do it, without making too much of an issue. Sort of like, you can listen to the music, while I bathe you. And, put arms up so you can put on this lovely new shirt. It's your color. You know, try to make it positive, but not questioning, just doing it. Have responses ready in advance. If she says that she already bathed, suggest you know, but you have a special soap that has to used. If she says she doesn't want to change, just say, the new clothes are the ones she needs to wear that day to win a prize. Be creative with reasons to bath and change.

But, I like the suggestion of a bath aid above. They seem to do much better with the dementia patient than a family member. My cousin was quite resistant to bathing, but in Memory Care, she goes right along with it. They shower the residents there 3 times per week.
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I gave that fight up to home health aids..

Call your local Area of Aging.. Have them come to the the house for an evaluation .. With my Mom's low income they pay for the HHA .. Even if I had to pay a professional I would be glad to give up that fight..

They have experience dealing with unwilling elders.. Just think it will be an hour of free time for you..
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Is she living with you? I ask because we're dealing with this with my FIL, who is 92 and has dementia. He lives with us, so our solutions might not work well for you if your Mom is living independently. We see him every day.

Dad can't articulate why he won't shower. Indeed, he says he does shower. One whiff of him and looking at his greasy hair is proof he doesn't, but there's no arguing with him. Steps we've taken to clean him up have meant removing the decision from him. Cajoling doesn't work, so we get blunt. "You smell bad, Dad." That gets his attention. "I'll take you upstairs and help you shower." He resists. But my husband (his son) is firm. "Let's do it. I'll give you some swim trunks and get in with you."

We think Dad is afraid of falling in the shower, though he won't admit this. Maybe he just has forgotten how to shower. In any event, he needs help in this area. He lets my husband wash him. And he definitely smells better afterward! His hair looks nice. We all tell him how nice his hair looks, and he's happy about that.

As for dressing, every night we lay out his clothing for the next day. He doesn't appear to care what he wears and likes having an outfit laid out for him. When he sees clothes waiting for him, he puts them on. There's a hamper in his room into which he tosses his worn clothes (usually with wallet, coins, and hearing aids still in pants). But putting out the clothes works with him.

At a certain point you just have to try different things and find out what will work with your Mom. This kind of thing is very frustrating, but sometimes you will stumble across a strategy that works.
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