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My husband is in memory care and I am happy with the care he is getting. Nothing I try works and the aids there don't like to try and force this.......Any ideas?

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Ah yes, claustrophobia in the shower. One doesn't need to have dementia for that to happen, some are from side effects of certain meds.... for me it was anti-cancer meds I was taken which caused a bunch of panic situations :P

I have to keep my sliding glass shower doors opened a bit which does help somewhat. I rather run through a water sprinkler if I could :)
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or even a hair wash!
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Mum doesn't mind having a shower - for her it is the palaver of getting undressed then the shower then the drying the creaming the getting dressed again is becoming too much for her especially as I control it all. I think the control for her is possibly the source of any issues we have. So now I get her to the bathroom and then she sits on the toilet while we chat for a bit and she gets her breath back. The while she is still sat there I get her undressed. She has a seat in the shower with arms so she feels safe and then when I start the shower I make sure I spray that first cold bit into a bucket or similar so she doesn't get any of that initial shock then give her the shower head. OK so I get drenched - I dry of eventually but then I am in the shower with her (ours is where a bath used to be so it is plenty big enough for two to get in there.) It also has lass panels so she can see everything in the bathroom - not that anything is HAPPENING in the bathroom but she likes to be able to see....just in case!

While I am doing all of this the towels and her clothes are in the tumble drier warming up. I also put a towel on the floor because she feels she might slip if not.

So a lot of reasons in there as to why he might not want to shower cold, claustrophobia, no control over the shower, feeling safe from slips and falls - perceived or real - they are real to him or maybe.

Failing all else he could have a bed bath and there is absolutely no reason why he can't have this and even a air wash in bed too if they have to. One thing is for sure - he might not want a shower and I wouldn't force it, but he would be clean one way or another!
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Rainmom, thanks for sharing this info. I wasn't aware that claustrophobia could be a factor in shower avoidance. That's interesting.
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I took my mom to a geriatric psychiatrist today. After mom had left I asked him why it was such a common phenomenon that people with dementia dislike/avoid showers. Well my wise comrades, he said no one knows for such and gave many possibilities, all of which I have seen suggested by posters on this site. The suggestions he gave for sucess were - do it as much by routine as possible; same days of the week, same attendant, same procedure from undressing to redressing and everything in between. Have all supplies at the ready and use products the person is familiar with and seem to prefer. Make sure the water temp is to the persons liking - don't assume everyone likes the water really hot. Try to make the room warm and without drafts. He did say clostriphobia is more of a factor than most people realize - even for people who have/had no other issues with small(er) spaces in the past - at this may only present at shower time.
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Elders with dementia seem to hate baths for a number of reasons, sometimes known only to them. To one, it may be the water hitting their skin, to others, it may be the dementia making them think they just had a shower. Regardless, they need to bathe at the very minimum, twice a week if not more. Anyone who fights against baths, obviously has a mental problem. So, talk with the aides and ask what their schedule is. Make sure you are NOT there when they are supposed to bathe. Go have lunch or tell your loved one you will have lunch with them AFTER they bathe only. I've had both knees completely replaced with metal knee parts and while the muscle is almost gone, I still love my showers! I had to wait almost 3 days before they would let me shower but when they did, I sat in my chair and enjoyed the hot water and soapy body wash! Just tell your elder that baths are part of living at the AL and it will be done, no arguments. If there is an argument, ask the doctor to provide a sedative or anti-anxiety med to help her calm down. Make sure she can sit while bathing so she will feel safe and not risk falling. Have the aide in there with her helping her. Her health is very important and bathing will help keep the bacteria from attacking her body. I would never let one go 2-3 weeks without a bath unless the doctor said she was not to have one. There are also packages of adult size wipes that you microwave to warm them and either you bathe her or help her bathe or get the aide to do it. Sometimes, elders just want the attention so they create a hissy fit to get what they want but don't be swayed. Good luck, hopefully you won't have any more problems with your elder and the baths.
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My grandmother is one of those people who doesn't bathe or any regular basis. She happily goes for 2 or 3 weeks without even making an effort and with her kidney disease, that's asking for problems. But my grandmother lives alone and refuses to pay for any kind of care, even if it's to help her bathe and get some tips to stay safe in her own home. Nursing staff should be equiped with tricks to get someone to bathe. Maybe let them know that you would like him bathed at least 3 times a week, no ifs, ands or buts. If drugs are needed to keep him calm through the shower, so be it.
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Most people, especially someone with dementia, become "nose blind" to their own odors.
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My elderly friend who was an Army medic said that they dealt with people who didn't take a shower. He said they were ordered to give them a G.I. bath. Perhaps you can come up with a much gentler strategy than a G.I. bath to get him into the shower, especially if he's going to be around other people. Others just don't want to be around people who stink. There are some people whose stomachs will definitely turn at the smell of this kind of terrible odor. You definitely don't want to smell that when you're trying to eat because it's enough to ruin anyone's appetite.
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Weeone, another thought here.... try stepping back and let the nurses/aides do their work. I realize you want to be with hubby and want to make sure he is getting the best care, and you are trying to help.

It could be that hubby sees you there and he starts to act up to get your attention because he wants to be "home". That isn't uncommon. The patient becomes stubborn, pouts, throws tantrums, etc.

Please note that the nurses/aides have a routine that they use for patients, and usually that routine works as this isn't their first rodeo, they have experience with 100's of patients throughout the years.... they know what to do. Ask when bath time is, and come to the facility after that time frame.

To help, come during lunch and dinner to help feed your husband if he needs help, the nurses/aides really appreciate that because then they can concentrate on those patients who have no one to help.
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The facility should not place this responsibility on you. I would be insulted. They are in charge of his care. They will need to give it some thought, consult with professionals, devote sufficient, trained staff and time to get it done.

Many dementia patients in Memory Care dislike baths, but they all get them. The facility needs to figure it out. I'd let them know that is what I expected. What does the facility do with residents who have no family members to rely on? I think they are passing the buck. They'll address it if they really have to.
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Accept that he doesn't want to shower and find other ways to keep him clean. Suggest some of the no rinse products; he can just be washed up without total immersion.
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Not to pass the buck--but of your father is in a facility--this is their problem. My FIL was much cleaner in the hospital than he ever was at home. It's good of you to be concerned, but a mention to the staff and you're pretty much off board. Gosh, I hope I am right about this--we may be placing mother this year.
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My surrogate dad wouldn't bathe either. Someone kept telling me that the nursing home would clean him up when they had him in their own care. Lo and behold, that person was definitely right. Shortly after entering the nursing home, I noticed how much cleaner dad suddenly became. The nursing home should take the initiative and make this man clean up, because after a while it becomes a health issue when bacteria accumulates. It will not only affect the health of the person carrying the bacteria, but it will affect other people in many ways.
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Weeone, sometimes people who have Alzheimer's/Dementia are afraid of the water hitting their skins as in a shower. It terrifies them. There isn't anything anyone can do to change that person's mind.

As Vegaslady had mentioned, there are other ways one can keep clean without going into a shower.
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Showers aren't the only way to stay clean. Is he clean anyhow?
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