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She is stubborn and when I ask her to take a shower she always says that she grew up without ever taking one so she doesn't need one now.


However, she is smelling like urine and is stinking up my whole house.


I have a partner who is sick of her being here and wants me to put her in a home, but I would feel too guilty.


My mother has always been somewhat of a recluse and doeesn't really like people around. She just watches TV all day and sometimes will do crossword puzzles or read magazines. I can't take her anywhere lately, because of the pandemic and her smelling awful. She doesn't listen when I tell her not to touch everything. She doesn't want to do anything I tell her to do, plus she has dementia.


What can I do?

Why would you feel guilty placing your mother in a Memory Care Assisted Living community where all of her needs would be taken care of by a team of caregivers who work 24/7??? That never makes sense to me when I hear people say it. Would you send your mother to the hospital if she had a physical sickness? Of course you would. Yet sending her to a managed care community for a mental illness would cause you to feel guilty. I urge you to reconsider the sensibility behind your thinking. My mother lives in Memory Care and I would have lost my own mind long ago if I was caring for her at home. It reaches a point where it becomes impossible....shes fallen 68x, and that's just 1 example of how dementia has affected her over the last few years. Just the incontinence issues alone and changing wet bed linens and Depends daily is too much. My husband is a wonderful man but I don't know that our marriage would have survived my mother's presence here, truthfully.

Watch Teepa Snow videos on YouTube to learn all about dementia and how to handle your mother who refuses to bathe. And how to create a safe environment for her to feel comfortable to bathe, etc. Alzheimers.org is a good website to learn more about dementia and what lies ahead if you keep her at home where she will require 24/7 care at some point.

Wishing you good luck and Godspeed
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to lealonnie1
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Dementia is a cruel thing. She probably doesn't know or care that she smells and that it's not acceptable to smell like that around other humans. She doesn't remember that you ask her not to touch everything. It's not her fault. Her brain just ain't what it used to be and you need to come to terms with that, as hard and awful as it is.

I understand that you would feel guilty about putting her in a home. BUT often it really is the right answer. Living with someone with dementia is HARD. And it just gets harder. Maybe you can limp it along for awhile longer. Get someone to come in to handle giving her a shower or a sponge bath. And someone to give you a break. The 24/7 demands of dementia are too much for one person to shoulder. Get help and keep your sanity.

And when you just can't do it anymore, know you did what you could and place her somewhere that can deal with her needs on a 24/7 basis. You can let yourself get to a place where you don't have to be feeling guilty about it. It's often a necessity and you deserve a life too.

Good luck.
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Reply to againx100
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First, do you have all the appropriate safety measures in place for her to be able to comfortably take a shower, like grab bars, shower seat, slip proof matt, and hand held shower head? If not, I would start there, as a lot of folks as they get older are afraid of falling in the shower. Then if all that is in place, I would either hire a CNA to come and assist her in the shower, as some people do better with an outsider coming in rather than a family member, or since it's your house, tell her that if she doesn't taking a shower at least twice a week, that you will have no choice but to place her in the appropriate facility, as you cannot continue having her stink up your house. It sounds like she's getting to the point of requiring more help now anyway, so probably best to start getting your ducks in a row. Best wishes.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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