Mom gives me a hard time when I suggest she shower. Any suggestions? - AgingCare.com

Mom gives me a hard time when I suggest she shower. Any suggestions?

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Mom refuses to shower when I suggest it. She thinks washing up is good enough when it's not. She is prone to UTIs and we have spoke with all of her doctors about it. They said showering every 3 days is sufficient. I can't get her in the shower twice a week but maybe once a week. Today she refused to shower. We were planning on visiting my husbands family and she agreed to go with us. I refuse to take her unless she showers. She continue to get dressed and put jewelry on, ignoring me. She says that washing up is good enough. I told her she might as well not even put any jewelry on or get dressed because I'm not taking her. And she said I'll get a cab there. She doesn't even know where she lives and she could not even make it out to the curb to get in a cab. She's on oxygen 100% of the time. She has advanced COPD, heart issues and a mass in her lung that is suspicious for malignancy (she doesn't know this). Unfortunately she is high risk and cannot endure any invasive testing and surgeries. We have already spoken to a palliative care doctor regarding her situation. She can just about walk and when she does can only go four to five feet at anyone before having to sit and rest. We cannot see my in-laws because she is being stubborn. I am at my wits end end. She doesn't even care about how much my husband and I do to help care for her to enable her to stay in her own home. I am living with her and have for the past four years. My husband lives four blocks away and comes four days out of the week to sit with her while I work. We have one lady who comes in on Mondays and my sister comes another day. I just cannot believe how hurtful she is by actually telling me she isn't showering to spite me. She got me so upset crying that I actually told her I hated her. I really don't hate her I love her very much but she is a selfish person. She has been selfish all her life and I have overlooked it. So now my husband and I both cannot go and I think it's so unfair. I work full time and have no social life. If I want to go out, I have to find a sitter. That is hard because I have only two people and they are here taking care of her during the week. I just do not know what to do anymore. I am getting burned out.

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Sue! That's wonderful! I think you did two things that helped...you didn't ask her you more or less put her in the right spot..and the assumption was she would take her shower, so it wasn't like a battle of the wills..she felt she made the choice! And the second thing was major..you made it easy for her by setting everything up for her...good thinking! You made the conditions right and easy for her! Maybe you can reward her after she showers..maybe take her out to lunch..shopping..whatever floats her boat! Lol...hugs to you both...
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I finally got mom in the shower! I was sooooo happy all day that she took one. She was happy too. How did I do it? I walked into the bathroom to show her the "new" faucets we had put in the shower. I turned it on, got the right temperature, took out a clean towel, and left her in the bathroom as I closed the door. It took her a while, but she did get in. I think the main problem is SHE FORGOT HOW TO TURN ON THE SHOWER. Really. I'm going to try it again in a few days to get a routine going. We have a routine for church so why not a routine for a shower.
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Thank you to everyone. Tomorrow I'm going to try the "hair" trick. I told her this evening that her hair was looking a little dirty and needed a wash. She said she likes it dirty. (OMG) Any-hoo, I told her she should wash it tomorrow. She said OK. Well, I'm going to try some of your suggestions to get her in the shower to wash her hair. Basically using her hair as an excuse to get her in the shower. It is so gross. It's making me take MORE showers!!!!!!
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I think it may depend on the stage of the dementia as to how much protests there are about bathing.I know that for a good while my cousin refused to bath or shower. She lied and said she was getting them, but she was not. Even when she first went into Assisted Living she was not happy about showers. (The staff bathed her in the shower, dried her off and dressed her.) However, as her dementia progressed, she no longer has a problem with showers. Maybe, she knows it's a part of her her routine on some days, but, she no longer protest. Oh, she'a also on meds for anxiety now. That could help as well.
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OK they won't take a shower or a bath....Before my mom was bedridden we also had these problems....and you're all right, they HATE the cold....so we put a space heater in the bathroom until the room was very warm, ran the water until it was very warm....and then...."I'm not going in there!' (we have a walk in tub with a seat for showers and a hand held spay). So I put down 2 bath towels on the floor (to sop up the water) had her stay there (in a chair for the bath) covered her in warm towels and washed her under the towels. This worked until she was bed-ridden and could not move. At that point the hospice nurse took over and did warm sponge baths in her bed.....it's not easy and I send my blessings to all of you!
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Have you tried a walk-in shower? I don't know if you have one but they tend to be more receptive with a walk-in shower and shower chair. Keep the shower on schedule too. Two or three days a week. It's a compromise.
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I can't get my mom in the shower. Tried everything. All these suggestions. Her answer is simple: I just took one. Yea, right. I finally got a break from caregiving after 4 years. Went on a 2 week vacation. Left my siblings in charge. Well, guess what? They couldn't get her in the shower either. So, I have given up. But at least my siblings know what I have been dealing with !!!!!
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My grandma refused to do anything but stand at the sink and wipe down the parts she could see. She was getting constant UTI's, and she had a yeast infection that wouldn't go away once because she was unclean. I got a paid caregiver in whose job was back then just to focus on giving her a good shower and helping her dress. They now are with me 3 hours a day to give me breaks so I can pack up the house to prepare to move but still, they come and give her a shower and do laundry. Grandma understands this and although she still tries the "I don't want to shower" game on the caregivers if she thinks she can get away wth it, she does have showers which gets her clean. You can try to hire someone in for that job and see if your mother doesn't start to do it.

We also learned that she would not get into the bathtub for fear of falling so we did a tub cut to the bathtub, bought a shower chair and put handles around the bathroom making it safe for her to be in the bathtub. It works. It might help you too. Perhaps she is afraid of water or falling in the shower or feels uncomfortable in there.
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I meant to say DIGNITY IS! GRRR!
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I remember when my Mom became bedbound from the Cancer, which had metastasized from her uterus to her pelvis, now eroding, and she was in extreme pain. She was so incredibly modest and shy, so when we did her bed baths, we would warm the towels, and keep every part of her covered, only uncovering the parts of her we were washing, starting from the top, and working our way down, and lastly her private parts, using a clean washcloth. Then again, creaming her all over, and finished up with changing her sheets and bedding. It was always a two person ordeal, mainly for safety, but also for her to be kept preoccupied with conversation. She was quite with it mentally, but was on a very high dose of IV narcotics, which were also upped, right before we had to be moving her, for any reason. We did our best to make it as comfortable and painless as possible, but it's not easy especially when they are in so much pain. Digni6is such a huge issue for the elder, heck, even for me! I think we all have to respect human dignity in every situation!
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