How can I get mom to take showers and stop fighting about it?

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I think taking showers is getting too hard for my Mom. The assisted living facility she lives at will help her (I have offered as well) but she keeps fighting me, and them, on it. Yet, she is spacing them out to the point that she only takes once or twice a week. I'm concerned - especially since she has frequent UTI's. Has anyone got advice on what I can do about this?

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I spent the day with my mother-in-law recently, and I asked her what she would do about someone who refused to bathe anymore. Being she is 85 and has dementia, I thought what the heck? Maybe she has an idea or two still. Her idea was to have a friend of the person, a peer, help with the shower. She said it's hard having her children always tell her what to do, and thought maybe someone 'old' would be better. Who knows? Not me. I did tell her though, that if she ever got like that, I would throw her in the shower and she could scream all day long. She has no friends outside of the family, so she's gonna have to deal with the hosing down, screaming method I guess.
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JoanneSS, my heart goes out to you. Really praying you can get some help. What a Christmas present that would be...
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I had the same problem with my mom. What I found is getting in the shower was the problem for her - it was confining and difficult for her to deal with. Now I put absorbent towels/ blankets on floor by shower. I give her a washcloth with soap on it and she soaps herself down. I use the hand held shower and rinse her off. The blankets/ towels absorb the water and I just throw them in the washer when done. As to hair - I take her weekly to a salon where they wash her hair for $5. Well worth it to save the difficulty with doing it myself.
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I think my reply left too soon, my cat stepped on the key board. I was saying , I am sorry for your loss, it is only a short while.... you must miss her, I know, even with the abuse here, and all that goes with the sickness, I still am thankful she is alive, and still can walk, (with a cane), and somedays, she is nice. Although, she certainly is not the woman I knew and loved so dearly. Her actions certainly alter my ability to hold, and hug and kiss her, I try. Somtimes I can. She switches from one minute to the next, and after calling me horrible names, (names I never would believe a mother would call a devoted daughter), then she wants to hug me, and tell me she loves me,,,, and I'm so guilty for this, but it makes me sick to my stomach. Sometimes, I need to turn away, when she wants to kiss me, because it actually makes me feel like I am going to puke. It is a tough battle, of course, you know. I am so sorry your little Mommy is gone,,,, but remember, she is healed, not suffering, and walking streets of gold in heaven. I'll try to remember that myself. I have no brothers, sister, aunts, uncles, grandparents, so my Mother has been my everything,,,,, all of those wrapped into one,,,,,, all my young life, until I had my own children. Even then, she was my constant companion,,,,,, and I mean constant,,, so this turn around for her is just totally shocking for me to cope with. I do feel trapped, and depressed. Even if I want to go see one of my sons, she wants to go, so it is double the work to get ready, so I dont go. My out of town son, says come and stay with us for a few days,,,,,, he doesnt have a clue, how physically demanding on me that is,,, to get her ready, packed, (all she needs), then myself, then, deal with her outrages, out of town for a few days,,,,, its just the whole scenerio,,,,, it is wearing me down. If you can, enjoy Christmas....... atleast you have closure, and you know Mom is at rest with Dad. I just wish there was more being done medically for this illness, it is horrible for the person that has it. I can see her fear, and her inner suffering. We both suffer. JoAnne
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Dear JoAnneSS, My dear mom just passed away, I buried her on Oct 5, 2009 her little body could not take any more of the illness she died with love and diginty. She is at peace. I go to web site to try and help others. I have not even been able to cry much yet. She was so sick with the ALzheimer/Dementia. She had it for years. Yes mom was up north when I first knew something was wrong, but the doctors said she had only the begining. But i knew it was worse. I had to move her down to Florida. We did before the move set up our own house as child proof. Set up her own bedroom, new bath with safety things and also a room for a nurse if needed. Not knowing how bad she was. we also did look at ten different assisting living places, there was one I kept going back to 5 times. they even had mom over for a meal one day when she came to Flroida. That was for day care or case I could not do it myself. Well only four days and a emergency call had to made to the Fl Tampa rescue unit. I was hit and yelled at by mom and she would not take her medicine and my husband was at work. I called 911 20 fireman where there in minutes. My uncle is a retired firechief in New York and explained what to do in case someting went wrong and I needed help . My husband came home and the fire dept took moms vitals and did hold her down so I could give her medicine and shots to her. It took four men to hleod her. They advised me that my mom was too ill from all the different types of wedicines alone to do it on my own. That Wed we took mom to the assisting living of which I liked. There she was treated with respect, was always clean, always looked nice in her clothers no odor to her or at the place. It was a family type place. She died in my arms Monday Oct 5, 2009 and was sent up to New York and buried with my dad in A VA cementary. I just got back. It is a hard road and I was there for her. However I could feel all her wishes I had to place her in a assisting living where she would be well taken care of and safe.She at peace. beleive me my mom knew me until the very end, and I felt bad about what I had to do. I was there 24/7 if I could. I also did sleep over, came in the day ate dinner with her , then watch Tv with all the residents and was there when she woke up for breakfast. I still go back and visit the other residents of whom I made friends with. it is nice to see a smile on their faces and call me by name. You are not alone. The fighting and yelling will not stop it is not directed to you. You can do only so much. It is in the book. Bless you patrica61
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The book the 36 HOUR DAY is great for all family members to read. it also has a part about planing thing out and what is needed. I read it so many times. it helped me get through mom illness. I still have it close by to read and always advicsed any one who is caregiver to pay it. It also comes in large print and in spanish. The dementia patient does not feel safe at all especially when they may have to go into a hospital. The fear of not knowing what is going on over comes them. It is up to the nursing home to bath him, but you can help or be there. They do not like the idea of the bathing part. It has gone from there sense of mind. It is hard and sad at times. You are doing your best. patrica61
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Bobbi, where is your Mom? Is she with you? Yeah, that showering problem is really rough. Even though I got all the extras, she still doesnt even know when she needs to bathe. Its a little easier, now, but she still makes reference to me being a peeping tom, in there with her. She says awful things, that will follow my heart long after shes gone, even though I tried so hard to take care of her, and protect her. The things she says are piercing..... it is really abusive,,,, and the rest of the family, doesnt contribute at all with their time, and yet she hails them as wonderful.
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It's funny, but today the aid at the nursing home where my uncle lives asked me to try and get him to take a shower. He hadn't taken one in a week, which isn't that terrible. He didn't smell I told him, but he needed to take one tommorrow because it is good for his skin and he doesn't want to get an infection. I told her "good luck" and to let me know. Hopefully, he will remember when asked to take one tommorrow. All good advice and as I'm reading the 36 Hour Day book, it states how especially dementia patients feel unsafe and sometimes don't remember what the tub/shower is even for :(
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Hi Patricia61: So where is Mother now? Is she with you, or in a home? I 'm not sure how long I can continue to do this,,,,,, I promised when she was well, that I wouldnt put her anywhere if something happened,,,, but I never thought it would be this hard. I'm going to have to recruit some help, I cant do this alone. I have no helpers yet. I thought when i said I would always be there for her, we would have coffee in the morning,,,, laugh, share, talk, have lunch, giggle, and just love and share our lives while she was so old. This have been by far the hardest thing I have ever done.... 15- 18 hours a day,( and goes to the bathroom 2-3 times a nite, just to walk around), still making 3 meals a day, and serving her, (I thought when my kids were gone, I could just take care of myself, and my medical needs), but she constantly ridicules me, hits, insults, and I am left to clean bm's off the floor, walls, sink, toilet,,,, left to go find my own underwear, (in her dressers), desk supplies, mail, toothbrush, toothpaste, everything, is handled by her, and she thinks it is all hers. I am just depleated, especially with the arguing, and I must start enquiring where to get help. Christmas is almost here, and I have not even been able to go out once, for the grandchildren, I'm bound to the computer to order. Well, boo hoo,,,,, but I have to plan a better way.
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Dear JoAnneSS, I do know where you are coming from, before mom was even in pull up , even before she got so ill the docotr put her in a hospital and then a nursing home she did some things I was amazed at. It was summerr time I wass up in North on a regular visit to check on mom and she had over thirty pair of underwear hanging on the clothes line. The next day I got up to make her breakfast and found a big pot in the kitchen sick fill with more panties, once again there were now twenty more on the line. When I was cleaning I found even kotex she had went out to buy and use. That is when I went out and got the pull up diapers and explain she she wass having problem getting to the bathroom in time at night wear these they will help you and I also clean up the carpet from the smell due her little problems at night. The smell was also making me ill. She would not wash herself and their was a smell. She was a a very clean person before things happen. When I ask mom where did the kotex come from she said they were mine! Sometime you do what you have do to get through the day trying to stay sane in the mind and stay calm. patrica61
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