My mother wanted a daily morning shower and bedtime washup. From the time she was 93 until she died at 97, she had increased home care services, 24/7 last two years. Expensive, but Dad had left enough money in a trust to cover it. We started with a simple shower chair, then got one with an extension over the side of the tub, so she could sit, then swing her legs over the side and into the tub. Converted shower head to one that had a hose and could be hand-held, then clicked back into the bracket for normal use. These two simple and inexpensive changes worked without a major bathroom renovation. On the mornings when Mom said she didn't want a shower, the CNAs had to gently coax her. As the bedroom and bathroom were upstairs, they would sometimes tell her she couldn't go downstairs for breakfast until she was showered and dressed. Some of the aides wouldn't try again after her first refusal, so I called frequently to make sure she got a shower. We had a hard time getting her into the shower when she was in a SNF after a fall. Even with the help of her private aide, it was like trying to bathe a cat. I agree, there is a fear of falling. If you can't afford an aide to come in for a few hours a day, then learn how to safely help someone in the tub/shower. A sponge bath seated on a shower chair outside the shower is an alternative. Be sure the bathroom is warm (if ceiling fan has a heater, turn it on) and the water not too hot. Follow up with lotion all over to keep skin from drying out.
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Reply to CatyRay

SandyToes: Often the aged individual shuns showering or bathing for FEAR. Since you posted on the Aging Care forum, no doubt your query relates to an elder. The fear encompasses many things, e.g. fear of falling, not wanting the water to touch their skin, very thin skin, water temperature and other things. Oftentimes a bath aide will have to be brought into the residence for this task.
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Reply to Llamalover47

I do agree sometimes a person needs a good cleaning if not you could be reported for elder abuse. By any means necessary.
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Reply to Justretired99

If you have space and money I suggest a walk in shower (with out the raised ledge). We updated our 1/2 bath to a walk in shower for my mom. She has a chair that she sits in, a overhead and hand shower, the door is half the size of a regular door (this gives her the room she needs to walk in and out of the shower). She has a large sink with enough space to put all her belongings and her toilet has a raised seat with handles. The walk-in has safety bars as needed. This is one of the best things we have done. We are in the bathroom with her during her shower time, but it gives her the independence she craves.
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Reply to Justretired99

Don't force a shower. Use lotion or cream to cleanse instead. Sponge baths lf soiled.
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Reply to Patathome01

My mother with dementia ended up in a Nursing Home. For the first couple of weeks she refused to take a shower. The staff informed me and I talked to her. I asked, did she want to take a shower and her answer was yes. I asked why she was not having a shower when it was offered to her. Her answer was, I don't want a shower at night when they ask me to. What good is that? I want my shower in the morning. I asked if she'd like a shower right now (in the morning) and her answer was yes. I showered her and informed the staff that it was only the time of day that she was objecting to. They adjusted her shower schedule and everything was fine, after that.
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Reply to LindaPlev

SandyToes, welcome to the forum. How old is the person who doesn't want to take a shower? Is there any dementia involved?

Please note that as one ages, taking a shower is like going to the gym, very exhausting. I am experiencing that myself as I age. Hubby also experiencing the same thing. I found taking a bath much easier than showering as long as I can still be able to stand up to get out of the tub. Hair washing is easier for me when using the kitchen sink.

If the person has dementia, it is not uncommon to feel panic when the water from the showers hits them. Maybe try a shower head that has adjustable water setting, maybe something milder would work.

Now there is always the fear of falling in the shower, even if there is a tub long shower mat. If one is using soap that has moisturizers, it can make the shower mat feel slippy.

Make sure there are professionally installed grab bars in the shower/tub.
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Reply to freqflyer

Such a common issue. My mother is 95 with mild dementia and no other comorbidities.

Once a week I shower her and that's enough for her, and I change her clothes every day. She wears cute fleece pajama pants with a long sleeved shirt and thick fuzzy socks with the rubber dots on the bottom with leg warmers.

The first thing I do is turn up the heat in the wintertime - or turn off the a/c in the summertime. I close the bathroom doors to keep the heat in. I always end up in a sweat but I don't want her to be cold because that's an additional misery for her.

I undress her while she's on the toilet and then help her step into the shower and sit on the shower chair.

Then all she has to do is sit there while I shampoo and wash her. I don't waste time and usually within a few minutes I'm finished and hand her a towel.

I help her dry off while still in the shower and then help her out to another chair where she sits and we finish the drying/dressing/hair rolling routine.

It takes about an hour or so and I try to be chirpy and positive with her the whole time.

I dislike the entire affair as much as she does.
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Reply to southiebella
Sultana Jan 21, 2023
That's exactly my routine with my 99 year old Mom, and takes about the same time, while in shower she showers me with lots of blessings, after sometime when she is settled and had her soup, she forgets everything and is mad at me for something or the othe.
Beatty, I own a home healthcare agency and I would never do that!
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Reply to Goldstar

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Reply to Geaton777

I just wrote out suggestions for someone else but here are some of the tips I got from when my Husband spent time in rehab.
The head and torso ore "vulnerable" areas so start with the feet first.
I was lucky, I have a zero entrance shower so I was able to use a shower wheelchair for him.
I would get the feet wet then hand the shower wand to my Husband and he would get his legs wet and often his chest.
The bathroom is noisy so once he was wet I would shut off the water so it would be a bit quieter, or I would put the shower wand on the floor so there was no splashing noise.
When talking to him I would use a quiet voice and lower the pitch a bit so the sound would not reverberate with all the tile.
In a regular shower make sure that he feels secure. Floors get slippery. shower shoes or good no slip strips on the floor, no mats or rugs.
Make sure there are SECURE grab bars.
If there are towel bars near the tub or shower replace them with properly installed grab bars.
If you have a glass shower door with a bar across it remove the door and replace it with a shower curtain on a tension rod. the bars on the glass doors are not strong enough to support weight if they were to be used to steady himself entering or exiting the shower.
If he takes any medication for anxiety or agitation try the shower an hour or so after he takes his medication. he may be more willing then
Sometimes it will take getting someone in a few times a week to do a shower.
If he qualifies for Hospice a CNA will come 2 times a week to shower and let me tell you they can work magic when it comes to getting resistant people to shower.
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Reply to Grandma1954

Round up three of the biggest aides to arrive on mass. One smiles & says "follow me" then leads into the bathroom. Wash face then add in each body part.

If at home & so no burly aides, try the "hold my hand" & "follow me" techniques on your own.

Taken from Teepa Snow's care videos - many available free online. Some excellent tips & tricks from a very experienced OT.
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Reply to Beatty
MurphyOr1954 Jan 8, 2023
Hi Betty, my husband who has vascular dementia is absolutely terrified of showering. It’s not that he doesn’t want to he is truly afraid he’ll fall. He does allow me to provide daily sponge baths however, which for now is our best alternative. Your person may have a fear that he or she is not able or willing to express?
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