How do you get a woman with Alzheimer’s to bathe or shower?


I am reaching out to those who know, did you get your mother to shower or bathe. She is adamant that her sink clean up and powder is enough. Suggestions?

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Mom is in a wonderful assisted living with my equally uncooperative father. We are planning a care conference for both. We are discovering other behaviors consistent with Alzheimer’s such as hiding dirty clothes or washing by hand. Fortunately I have 3 other sibs who are involved but none of us can get her to bathe or shower.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to didiblue52

If you don't think she's getting the job done at the sink maybe try a bed bath. She can be under the covers except the area that's being washed. Lots of towels to dry off each area after being washed and then get her into come clean and fresh jammies. Maybe have a little soft music playing and moisturize her with scented lotion. You can help make it an experience as opposed to a chore.
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Reply to Eyerishlass

didiblue, can you give us a little more background? Is she living on her own, or is she resisting caregivers? Resisting you? Is she still mobile enough to stand and balance in a shower or get into a tub? Is her vision without glasses sufficient to allow that? Has someone recently checked her skin for lesions or bruises? Is she cleaning her “lady parts”? Can you watch one episode of the “spit bath” to see if she’s accomlishing a good cleaning? Is what you’re asking her to do reasonable at her stage?

For 6 years in independent living, My Mom resisted her caregivers 2x week shower. It was a war. I finally settled on 1x week, so only a skirmish. Now at her NH I used to go in on shower day and jokingly ask “OK, which aide do I need to apologize to?” They laughed it off, but asked me to try to keep her nails trimmed. Yikes. Some residents love their shower, some hate it. One told me “they took me outside this morning, took my clothes off, and sprayed me with a hose!” And these are very caring aides but the trauma in the ladies heads is real. I think Mom has gotten over her resistance, but it’s taken a long time. This aversion to water is VERY common.
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Reply to rocketjcat

didiblue, as we age it becomes more difficult to do things that we use to do without any problems. I know for myself, even though I am only in my 70's, I find taking a shower can be exhausting, I felt like I was at the gym for an hour :P

Some elders becomes claustrophobic to the shower itself. Some elders don't like the way the water feels when it is falling on them as one's skin tends to thin as we age. And there is always that fear of falling.

Does Mom's "bird bath" do the trick? You could also get her adult or baby wipes to use on places where a washcloth and water may be tricky. Some wipes have a pleasant smell. I use those when I am in a rush when time got away from me.
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Reply to freqflyer