Suspect this may be a control issue even though I have male aide to help. Husband is fall risk, but we have safety equipment in place, & he has expressed feeling safe w/aide. May be in mid stage of vascular dementia.

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Deal with it by not making him shower if he doesn't want to. With a male aide (or a female one, come to that) to help him with personal care, his not showering will do no harm to anyone.

I did have some success coaxing a gentleman into having a shower despite his initial reluctance. He had a bath seat to sit on, and I controlled the shower wand for him. The reason it was important is that the poor man suffered from psoriasis and without a shower it was very difficult to clean his limbs of shed skin properly.

But in spite of my caution and constant reassurance, and although he *did* agree - otherwise I would never have showered him - there is no pretending the poor soul enjoyed his shower. He may not have been able to tell me why the slightly warm water and the soft jet were frightening and uncomfortable for him, but so they were.

What does the aide think? Have you talked over approaches with him?
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My demented mother was petrified of falling in the shower, which led to her reluctance to take one, even with plenty of help. And a shower that looks more like a fortress than anything else. So I bought her a pair of water shoes on Amazon that makes her feel more secure while on the shower floor, and prevent her from the feeling of 'slipping' or 'sliding' around.

If you can get at the root of WHY he doesn't want to take a shower, that may help. Then again, it may not. Dementia presents itself as an enigma; sufferers get extremely OCD and obstinate about what they will and will not do, whether it makes sense to US or not.

If you can get DH to bathe once a week, you're all good. If not, you can watch some Teepa Snow videos on YouTube about bathing with dementia. She has a 'hand over hand' maneuver she teaches a care giver that creates a feeling of trust with a dementia sufferer and may be of help with your DH. It can be applied when walking, dressing/undressing, showering, feeding, etc. Teepa's great..........check her out if you haven't already.

Good luck!
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Dear tennisnut,

Since it isn't uncommon for people with all types of dementia to be reluctant to getting bathed/showered, I would recommend you visiting the Alzheimer's Association Website ( that has a lot of information about bathing (or showering). It will tell you the reasons behind it and how to handle it. Once at their website, it's under the tab "Help and Support", then click on "Caregiving", then "Daily Care" and look for the topic "Bathing." Hope that helps you!

Right now, my 95-year old mother with Alzheimer's is in memory care along with hospice helping out and they actually do gentle bed bathing. I used to get disposable alcohol free/aloe bathing wipes which I would get at Walgreens.
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