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We're having trouble with my mother and bathing. Unfortunately she has many issues that make this hard. She has some incontinence along with bad knees that limit her ability to get to the bathroom in time. Plus the doctor has her on Lasix which makes her go a lot more often. So she uses Depends - and she doesn't change them nearly often enough. I think she just goes in underwear instead of even trying to get to the bathroom.


And then there's the showering part. She refuses to let anyone help her shower other than helping her in and out. Then she doesn't really get everything washed. Plus it's an ordeal to get her in and out of the shower because of her mobility problems.


We are getting complaints from the senior residence where she lives that she smells and they are getting complaints from other residents. Even getting her to change the Depends more often is an ordeal. Last time I was there, I insisted that she change them before we left to go to the doctors and she seemed put out by the idea but eventually complied. I can see why people are complaining, she's going aroudn with a full diaper all the time. Ugh!


It's almost like she's just stopped understanding the social implications of really bad hygiene combined with a full diaper. Any suggestions???

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I would vote for a complete physical if she hasn't had one lately and a visit to a geriatric psychiatrist and/or neurologist. You may find "Mild Cognitive Decline" going on. Yes, there maybe depression, but keep track of her reasoning skills.

We thought our mom was becoming incontinent of bowel. It turned out she was misusing laxatives and immodium, which was causing fecal incontinence. It took a hospitalization to correct.
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What does the incontinence stem from?

Why do you say she doesn't have dementia?
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Thanks for your comments Babalou and MaggieMarshall! She doesn't have dementia. The thing is that she is capable of taking care of her self for the most part. A higher level of care seems like overkill. She recently moved into the independant living place where she lives. She gave up her house and moved several states away to be near me. And her reactions are sometimes like a toddler or a teenager being defiant in that "you can't tell me what to do" kind of way. She has lost a lot of independence. She willingly gave up driving (what a blessing!). And she has always had a hard time making friends and this new place is no different. I think she's depressed more than anything else, although getting her to entertain treatment for that would be a whole other battle that I'm not sure is worth fighting.
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Robin, your profile says thstvuour mom's primary pronlem is incontinence. Does she have dementia? With dementia, folks lose the ability to reason, to understand how the eotld works. That other people might be bothered by things th as t no longer bothrr her. To take a perspective outside her own. It really sounds like she needs a higher level of care.
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Well, you're right about that. She's lost the understanding of the social implications of changing Depends, getting to the bathroom on time and general cleanliness.

It's understandable, really. Everything is soooo HARD for her.

You're either going to have to put her in a higher level of care or pay her existing care level more money every month to assist her. She needs someone to get her up in the morning, into the bathroom with a change of Deoends, remind her to use wipes and get her dressed. Then She needs someone to physically take her to the bathroom every few hours during the day.

Once a week, she needs a personal assistant to get her either showered or bird bathed.

There's really no alternative.
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