How do you talk to you parent with Alzheimers about hygiene?


Mom won't take a shower & wash her hair, she won't let us help her, and we are concerned about her hygiene.

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Also, some elderly people have "family shyness". They are comfortable, or at least tolerant, of paid helpers or staff changing and bathing them, even in intimate spots, but are mortified at the idea of family doing the same. While caring for my great-grandmother, my mother once remarked that Grandmother had changed her diapers, now my mother was changing Grandmother's. Even though she could not speak, after that she would get quite agitated when my mother would come to change her diaper and pad, and would insist on the caregiver doing it instead. This actually hurt my Mom's feelings as she thought of it as something she was doing out of love, but Grandmother's doctor explained that it was embarrassing to many elderly to have their children, grandchildren, or even spouses having to do this act. So you might try what the other person recommended - hire someone to come in on certain days and times to bathe your Mom. Elderly are also very schedule conscious, so if it's something that's scheduled on a regular basis, it will become routine. Good luck.
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I don't think you can talk to your mom about her hygiene and showering because she's unable to make reasonable decisions. I think you're best bet would be to take it one day at a time and tackle the issue on the days you'd like her to be bathed. Elderly people don't need regular showers unless they are incontinent and even then every few days would be good enough if she gets peri care in between showers.

Does she not want to shower because it's cold? Or is she uncomfortable being assisted in the shower? Does she feel unsafe like she may fall? I'm curious about what her reason is.

If you designate, for example, every Tues. and Sat. as shower days can you get her into the shower just those 2 days a week? Have everything you need on hand. Does she have a shower chair or stool? Detachable shower head? Get her in and out in 5 minutes. But I understand just getting her there is the issue.

There are people who shower people professionally. When I cared for my dad and he wouldn't shower (he didn't have dementia or AD) I tried to talk him into it and I never really discovered why he wouldn't shower but I hired a bath aide on recommendation from his Dr. and she came to the house twice a week and got him in and out in minutes. And he always felt better afterwards.
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