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Mom had actually purchased some foot kits from Avon (she had several as she would forget that she already had one!) They contain a product to mix with the water, a product that's kind of rough to slough off the dead skin cells, and then a moisturizer. They also have a file, but I don't use it. You could just use some warm soapy water, then purchase a "scrub" product to exfoliate, and then some moisturizer. We are lucky that mom can still stand and she lowers her head in the sink, I would never push her head down. Fortunately, Dad is usually able to get her hair washed when he bathes her. We also have used a shower bench and have a handheld shower.
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Yes exactly, not on purpose of course but we guide their head down and it can be tricky . I only wanted to mention it so everyone will be super extra careful :)
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Yes, that is scary! But you would not want to "push their head down". Ideally, they should lower their head themselves!!!!!!!! We would never advocate using a method that would end in injury. But that being said, sometimes those brittle bones, just give way. Not a pretty picture.
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Can you believe as I read these I feel bad my Mom cannot walk anymore and get into the tub? I miss putting her on a shower chair and bathing her in the tub! My cna files my Moms toe and finger nails for me , I am lucky on that because she has big thick nails and they grow fast and atmy age seeing those close up is tough. When I bathed Mom in the shower I had her hold a washcloth and she felt secure. I wanted to share that I have a friends whos Mom broke her neck when putting her head back into the sink for a shampoo from a chair. Their bones are old and brittle so be aware please that pushing their head down or it not sitting on a soft surface can snap a bone. scary~!
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Just came into my head! What I was going to post earlier. When my grandma had Alzeheimer's she would fight the bath. But my Mom soon realized that if she started running the bath water and she would hear it , then it was not a problem, since she realized what was going to happen. Otherwise she thought people were just trying to disrobe her clothing. It seems rather simple, but sometimes those simple things make care so much easier!
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Is their a particular file or machine you use for the feet to get the dead cells off? I use a regular foot file n have been scared to buy some of the other products for they look like metal that could break the skin n make the feet look worse.
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Peoplepleaser, That Septi-soft sounds like it would be good for people with diabetic feet like mine? My feet get dry sometimes yet only the bottom of my feet and put shea butter on to help soothe the dryness. It does a pretty good for a couple of days but then back to dry feet. That is so sweet of you to give your mom a pedicure and she actually enjoys it too. You are a daughter.
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My mom is in the late stage of Alzheimers. My dad can still get her in and out of the bathtub and does that once or twice a week. Sometimes I'll wash her hair at the kitchen sink. I also try to spend extra time on her feet about every 2 weeks. I fill a dish pan with warm water and do a home pedicure. This helps get that dead skin off her feet and from between her toes. Then I trim her toenails. She likes the pampering. I warm the bathroom up before we do the "kittie" baths. I get a washcloth warm and tell her to wash her face. Then I quickly hit the "hot" spots with the Septi-soft product mentioned above. She occasionally resists, but I've learned to distract her, then we start back up again. She has never had skin issues, so I feel we're doing a good job.
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Opps! bathing time no more than 5 - 10 minuets is what it takes for my mil.
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Alot of great tips on here. In addition, depending on the person preference of a shower or tub. make sure their is a non-slipped protector on the bottom of the tub n you may need to put a hand-rail suction cup for them to have something to grab onto as they get in and out. Denpending on their stage, my mil can give herself a bath pretty much n I help with the hair n constantly checking on her n of course with a tap on the door to give them respect n help keep their diginity. She only takes a bath once a wk for she don't get outside n do a lot and that is all she will tolerate for she can be a pistol at times. I do have to get her clothes for she will put back on the dirty ones if I don't n I do set the water tub all ready with a wash rag n such. As for washing hair, well that is a challenging so I take her to the beauty parlor when possible or a dry shampoo from the store. Good luck.
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Excellent suggestions everyone. Remember that it really depends on the person. But in general as we age our skin is more fragile. And think of this!! Have they been outdoors or indoors working up a sweat??? We want to keep all the areas of skin clean, especially if a person has no or little control over bowel or bladder. But in general a full shower or bath does not have to be done daily. Also, you may wash their hair in the sink with them tipped back. There are different types of devices available to assist with this. Or if they can afford it take them to the beauty parlor or beauty school once a week! They may feel like they are being treated like royalty!
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My mom prefers showers to baths (so do I!) and I have a nice step in shower. I do her hair every other day and shower her daily. She loves it!! She is like a small child who is delighted to get the personal attention. She chatters away the whole time. I use warm water so not to burn her (she does have diabetes too and might not feel if the water is too hot). It is like bathing one of the kids. I have adopted special needs kids so am pretty good at bathing. My grandmother lived with us until she died and was bedridden so she mostly got very thorough bed baths.

Depending in how much your loved one actually enjoys bathing, you can make it quick or more luxurious. Just be sure to thoroughly clean the person because they are often unable to do a thorough cleaning. I dry mom off and use body lotion on her, powder her, and dress her. She thinks she is at a spa sometimes! Sometimes I will light candles and put on soft classical music and have a vase of pretty flowers in the room to enhance that feeling for her.
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Hello Queen, my Mom is in late stage dementia/alz and its a 3 hour journey each morning. I hoyer her up into her wheelchair and give her pills and 10 oz coffee with miralax. We then roll into the bathroom onto the toilet. I wash her from head to toe daily with warm water wash and rinse buckets, towel dry with a powdered towel , and dress her. Then into wheelchair and over to sink where I shampoo her with a washcloth with shampoo/water/shampoo and rinse with fine tooth comb and blow dry. I then shave her and off we go to the kitchen to eat breakfast. She is 90 and has never had a sore spot on her skin and wakes up drenched with urine. During the entire process I sing to her and we get through it much easier that way. If I am not feeling well or I have to go out early, I have the thick comfort no rinse disposible bath cloths which you heat in the microwave, they're fabulous but a little bit expensive. Best of luck to you.
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There are a lot of factors to consider. Tolerance, need, type of bath (sponge, bath tub, shower, whirl pool, etc) ....
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I took care of my mother for 14 months. I am handicapped and her house was the "old style" So all we had was a bathtub. I was not able to get her in or out an my son was the only one who could have helped as others didn't come around and of course she didn't want that. So I just did the "kitty baths" and she continually kept a "redness on her bottom" also had several urinary tract infections and even got a bladder infection. As for her hair, she hated water around her face and was obsessed about it and she'd scream through the bathing and hair washing til I was finished. It was horrible for me as my back and hip[ was hurting so bad and me trying to take care of her.

Feediing her and giving her medicine and helping her change clothes was no problem just the WATER thing and of course at times she'd run me off saying she didn't know who I was. Anyway we have recently put her in nursing home and she looks for me and asks for me day and night and I know she'll jump me to take her home as soon as she'd see me - she'll know me then for sure!!!! Last time she was in rehab after breaking hip - every time I went in, she either, cried, screamed horrible things at me or would turn her head away from me in anger. I wanna go home over and over is what she said also WHILE AT HOME - she wants her Mom and sister who has been deceased and the house she was raised in burned and it was rebuilt and my nephew lives in it, and it's so sad. I tell her I'll take her next day or that night and she calms down a little.
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I shower my wife daily as that has always been our routine (she is now level 7). I installed a walk in shower with a hand shower head on a 5 ft or so flexible hose. I set the water temp first and then assist her into the shower. I then ask her to tell me how the temp is before I let it touch her and then wash her hair, ears and face all the time keeping up a line of conversation to keep her thoughts occupied. Normally I will be making plans for the day and asking her input (although she always says she doesn’t care). This continues until she is out, dry and dressed. I have a small electric heater that I use in the winter but bathing only takes 15 minutes.
I guess I should also mention that my wife is small (under 100 lbs) and is fairly cheerful and easy to work with.
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I assume you are talking tub bath? Keep in mind that a lot of elderly have a big dislike for bathing as they get older, so you should try to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Just roll up your sleeves and get the job done.....in other words don't let them talk you out of it! They chill easily so make the room as warm as possible and get everything you will need and have it ready. That way you won't have to leave them alone to go get something. Have nice "smelly" soaps and lotions for moms, they like that. I would have a towel to drape around my mil's shoulders while waiting for the tub to fill and empty....she had a handicapped tub with the door. You want the water warm, not hot, their skin is more sensitive. Doesn't take but a few minutes to soap them up, rinse them off and get them out to be dried quickly and put in a robe for warmth. Job done and at least one of you smells really nice! It won't take long to get a routine down and this whole thing can be done in a matter of minutes.
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Hi, queensemeta,

You didn't say if your loved one has dementia but no matter, when bathing the elderly you must consider keeping them warm, helping to preserve their modesty and taking good care of the skin. In nursing homes, clients are given a total bath only three days a week. Washing at other times is what we used to call a "Kittie Bath" - just bathing with a soft, warm rag and a little waterless soap those areas that need cleaning such as underarms and bottom area. A no-rinse cleanser you can buy is Septi-Soft it has a soybean-oil base for keeping skin hydrated. As you age your skin dries out and soaping it every day can bring on more problems if not done with caution. Water temperature should be that which is most comfortable to the person - I start my mom out with water that feels just right to me and she tells me whether it needs to be adjusted.

Here is a synopsis of an article from the American Journal of Nursing on technique:
Most nurses and CNAs are taught to start a bath at the head and work down because it's assumed that the head and face are cleaner than other areas. But for people with dementia, water dripping in the face and having the head wet are generally the most upsetting parts of the bath; this causes distress at the beginning of the bath. One alternative is to wash the face and hair at the end of the bath or at another time. Another is to use no-rinse products that can shorten and simplify bathing. Infection-control concerns can be addressed by the caregiver washing her hands and using a fresh, clean cloth after cleansing a part of the body that might cause contamination. Although many have been taught to cover the person during a shower or tub bath, few actually do this, possibly leaving the person cold and feeling exposed, embarrassed, and without dignity. Covering the person with a towel and washing beneath it alleviates this distress. These changes are simple, practical, and do not increase the length of bathing time.

Washing time should be that which is sufficient to get the job done; no long showers or baths; long enough to make sure the person is well rinsed and moisturized.
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I feel a short 5 to 10 minute shower to bath the person is sufficient to keep them clean.
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