She is 83 with dementia pretty bad at times. My mother has dementia since 2002. It is such a terrible disease for her, yet for me as well. Watching your parent disintegrate and disappear before your own eyes, yet trying to show her face to face it's not is torturing me inside to see. She is constantly getting UTI due to her refusal to bathe or shower. The doctors, caretaker, and myself try to explain this to her amd she seems almost to get ashamed and offended and begins a very hateful, truckers mouth, example- stating she should have aborted me, or I was a mistake. I know that is the illness talking, yes it still hurts. I am all she has because my brother and sister took the money dad left when he died in '02 and they want nothing to do with either. It's her and I and that's it. I made a promise to never put her in a home and will honor that always. I did that by my choice so, No, she hasn't taken away my life or ruined it. We get along amazingly, accept this darn sundowners. That's a tough one. I've learned to just let her say what she needs, hurtful or not and it does pass. You get one mother, she is mine and dementia or not I will do anything to be sure her last years are happy, and she does remember parts of things we've done. Her dementia is very advanced though. Any thoughts on what or how to get her more hygienically clean so her UTI doesnt become a monthly thing for her?

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If its that they get cold, I had a small heater I put on before I bathed Mom so the room was cozy.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnn29

Does she give you any reasons for not wanting to clean up? Years ago the bath in my great-aunt's old house was unheated which wasn't much of a problem in moderate weather or when my aunt and uncle were younger. It took nearly a year for my great-aunt to say she couldn't stand the cold when taking a bath anymore. My cousins installed a ceiling heater with a thermostat in her small bath along with several grab bars, lever handle faucets, a shower stool/seat that could be used inside the tub or out and things improved.

As people age it takes more effort to bathe and stay clean; sometimes cognitive decline makes elders less able to stay clean but sometimes a combination of seemingly small physical declines impact the ability to clean up too. If it takes longer to clean up then the bath temperature has more impact. Standing or putting on panties/pants while standing becomes a problem that can be helped with a stool or grab bars. Lever handled faucets are easier on arthritic hands. Grab bars help with balance as well as standing from the toilet or getting into/out of the tub or shower.
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Reply to TNtechie

One option for getting clean after toileting is the bidet toilet seat (which is basically a wash and blow dry), although I'm not sure how well someone with fairly advanced dementia would adapt to that.
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Reply to cwillie

Have the doctor order a bath aide weekly and some calming meds to be given a bit before the aide arrives.

Is the doctor she's seeing someone who understands dementia?

There are meds which can be trialed to see if there is something that will make her sundowning a bit easier for you both.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn

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