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My 79 year old mother fell 6 days ago. She landed on a lot of clothes. No injuries sustained. She did not hit her head or extremities. She stated, she was trying to wash and do other household duties, and was on her feet for a long time, and her left leg went out. She was in the basement for three days, not able to reach the phone but managed to crawl to it when it ranged on the 4th day. Help did arrive. She was dehydrated. Now, she is eating and drinking a lot of water. She is scheduled to see her doctor. She does not know that yet. She needs a bath, she is pissy. She is too tired to take a bath and I don't want to force her. People are calling her, including my brother asking if she bathed and she says no. I need to woman-up and demand she let me help her bathe. Since she is too tired to do it right now, I'm trying to respect how she is feeling and help her regain her strength. She says she feels much better. A relative and her friend, who rarely calls are asking if she bathed yet. I can imagine what they are thinking when she says no. My mother is VERY proud. It took a lot for her to admit she needed help around the house. Now, this bathing sht. They (rarely call people) are not calling, and asking me if I need help getting her to bathe, so I'm on my own. It will be 7 days without a bath tomorrow, but it's lottery day. I believe she will bathe because she wants to play her lottery. She wipes everyday after using the rest room. Please advise.

It’s a challenge not to lose patience. I lost mine too. Of course, I felt badly afterwards but I think every caregiver feels overwhelmed most of the time. I burned out and no longer care for her. I did more than my share. She’s with my brother and sister in law now.

I certainly understand your frustration about the baths. It
is a chore! Often times they are too tired. Everything seemed to rotate around their schedule. Some of it simply can’t be helped if they have a sleepless night. I was exhausted the too. Still, my mom managed to bathe weekly.

I dealt with the falls too. They were terrifying.

Do you have any other help caring for her? Have you contacted Council on Aging? There is a wait list and I only had them a short while before mom left. They only came every other week for four hour shifts. They did bathe mom and prepare a light meal for her, plus tidy up her room.

I tend to agree with Isthisreallyreal believing that your mom may need more care than you can do. You might want to look into assisted living facilities or nursing homes.

Best wishes for you and mom.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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The bath is relatively unimportant compared to finding out what is going on medically.

But meanwhile, fill a large plastic bowl with warm water and a squeeze of shower gel, and take it to your mother's bedroom (if that's where she dresses) along with several warm towels. Help her to have a thorough wash. If being clean is important to her, this beginning should encourage her to want to bathe and you can take baby steps towards getting her back to normal. Is her bathroom safe for her to use?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Let me back up.

"Help arrived"? What sort of help? Why was she not taken to ER? Or was she?

When you say shes pissy, do you mean she smells of urine? I'd take her to the doc exactly how she is. It will let her/him understand better what kind of home care needs to be ordered.

For starts, she needs a bath aide who will be very persuasive about showers and how to do them safely. Doc will script you a shower chair which Medicare should pay for.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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Poor thing.  Scary!

Great ideas here. 

I've not tried any yet, but plan to try these rinse free cloths and bathing, shampoo products.

At the bottom of this page Click 'Senior Care Products.'  You'll see bathing help with rinse free cloths (which says can warm up, too), and other products.
https://www.agingcare.com/products/rinse-free-comfort-bath-cleansing-washcloths-shampoo-cap-181665.htm

If you Google rinse free cleansing for elderly, many pop up.  Maybe you can find in a store near you, and these may help.
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Reply to lilhelp
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I’m sorry about your Mom. Three days on the floor is traumatic. I agree with Grandma that she’s probably scared to fall in the shower. Forcing her isn’t going to help. Try making the shower safer with grab bars and a chair, and involve her in the process so she can try it out fully clothed.

Dry shampoo does wonders for the hair between showers. Give her a wet washcloth to freshen up. Seven days isn’t that long to go without a shower for an elderly person. Good luck!
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Reply to JuliaRose
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Very possible that she is afraid she is going to fall again.
Does she have a bath chair or bench?
Does she have to step into a bath tub to shower or is it a walk in shower?
Even a walk in shower has a small lip that you have to step over so watch that as well.
A bench or chair with a back can provide support and make her feel more comfortable.
If she still will not shower or bathe at all for you you can hire someone to help out and they do it all the time and are very good at convincing someone to shower. (You might even want to tell her a little "fib" and say that the "Bath Aid" was ordered by her doctor to check to see how she is healing and make sure there are no bruises from her fall. Quite often people will do things the "doctor says you have to do" that they will not do otherwise)
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Reply to Grandma1954
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Rbuser1 Jan 22, 2020
This was a really good answer. Just sayin'
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This sounds similar to my mom not wanting to shower. She bird baths to keep clean, but not that hair. So, I really don't know what to say other than keep wet wipes where she can get to them and offer to stay nearby if she would feel 'safer' with someone there to help while she's in the shower.
If she doesn't want to bathe there isn't much to do about it.
Last but not least-not to make light either, but 7 days isn't that long. She will do it at her own time. Drop the expectation of the rarely callers-they are NO help in this matter.
Good luck and take care. Don't hurt yourself trying to 'help' your Mom, protect your back!
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Reply to Rbuser1
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These times of transition are so difficult. Could you offer a bed bath at least in the most important areas.? Could she have a shower seated on a stool with you there to see she doesn't fall? Can you call an agency to send someone to help with a bath?

Sounds like it is time for some changes to keep your mum safe.

I agree she should go to ER. She may have had a slight stroke.
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Reply to golden23
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I would offer to help her bath and then I would take her to the ER or urgent care. It sounds like she has an infection or something.

Now is the time to push for a life alert device that calls for help and detects falls.

Oh my, this could have been tragic. I am happy for both of you that it wasn't, but it is a wake up call for change.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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NeedHelpWithMom Jan 22, 2020
Wise words!
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