How do I get 91 year old mother-in-law to bathe?

Follow
Share

I am at my wit's end, I've tried everything I can think of to convince my Mil to bathe. She has lived with my DH and I for over 18 months, and has not cleaned herself at all in that time. I offered to help her into our walk in shower, but she was upset she would get wet and have to be undressed. I told her I could give her a sponge bath while she was fully clothed, or she could use a powdered no water needed shower soap, and even asked if she preferred to have a stranger come in to help her bathe. My Mil would have nothing to do with any of my suggestions. I've even asked for her ideas on overcoming this fear, but she clams up. I just don't know what to do, the smell is just awful. She does not have dementia, but is very difficult to deal with. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
3

Answers

Show:
Veronica - two excellent ideas!

Hosing down would be excellent, at least in the summer. And your suggestion of getting her to help with your bath is brilliant. They will do things WITH you.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This seems to be a very common problem among caregivers. Captain would probably just take her out in the yard and hose her down. Does she have major health issues or is she just old. This may be a power issue. Since she has lived with you she has lost control over everything, personal care and eating are two things she can control. Has she always been dirty? Was she clean when she moved in? How did she clean herself when she was alone? Modesty can be a very big issue. will she let you wash her hair? go to the hairdresser? I seem to be more questions than answers here, but trying to get the big picture. one thing comes to mind. Would she help you take a shower? Tell her you just can't get at your back anymore and need her help. get everything ready, undress and put on a robe. have lots of smelly bath stuff around. I suggest lavender because it is calming. Have a chair for her to sit on and hold your towels - big soft inviting fluffy ones because you will have to wash in front of her before she does your back. once your back is done don't try and keep her but let her stay if she wants to. You will have to do this a number of times before she begins to get the idea that this might be pleasant. you can also try rewards, bribery or threats - N/H. Hubby may have to step up to the plate after all it is his mother.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

just stay upwind of her . some of this crap on here doesnt qualify as rocket science. pretty simple stuff when put into a workable context.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions