When I tell mom she hasn't showered, she gets upset because in her mind, she did. I put a tissue under her bath chair, to show it is dry. She said it dried up. I am running out of ways to get her to shower. Any suggestions out there will be greatly appreciated.

I typed a whole page and someone i lost it. I'm writing again...Thank you everyone for your feedback and suggestions. So mom surprised me by showering yesterday! There is hope! It's not that she doesn't want to shower. She thinks she already did, and was upset because I didn't believe her. If it's not a health issue by not showering at least twice a week, i may just have to wait it out and see if she will shower. Thanks everyone and have a wonderful day.
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Reply to careformickey

You didn’t say what physical condition your mom is in...

But, the only time my mother showered was after she went “swimming” - haha, more like got in the pool for a few minutes and then got out - at her gym. They had a saltwater pool she liked and she would use the gym shower afterwards because of the saltwater.

Unfortunately, trips to the gym were irregular - at best and in her last few years as the dementia really ramped up - along with significant physical decline, she quit going to the gym altogether.

I kid you not - my mother went three years without a true showering. I have to say, she did a good job with her birdbaths as I never noticed any odor. Still... Eventually, cellulitis became a regular problem which I’m sure was exacerbated by the lack of bathing.

Once mom was in AL and later a NH, showers were pretty much given whether she liked it or not. Which she didn’t. At all.

Good of luck to you on this one. It was just one of many battles I never won.
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Reply to Rainmom

In my mom case nothing works and she stopped going to shower for almost year, and yes, she was answered to me the same thing, that she did it last week. Fortunately she was able to maintain some hygiene no matter what, but only after she get to the hospital and then to rehab and NH, they were able to get her to the shower....But I gave up....Part of it was that my mom is so stubborn and angry that all those things always finished so bad for me, that I gave up....So I hear you...
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Reply to poetry21

My Luz quit using the shower quite a while before she just could not walk. But she loved the step in tub with its hand held shower. It was a gentle spray instead of the typical pressure washer shower heads.
Perhaps changing the shower head to something that is more like a gentle stream or a summer rain fall could help.
My thoughts are that if she can sit in a tub holding the shower head she might relax and enjoy it a little.
If that fails try getting her to do a sponge bath using the sink for those areas that might need it.
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Reply to OldSailor

careformickey, for some of us who are climbing up the time ladder, even without dementia, we find that taking a shower can be very exhausting, it's like going to the gym.... thus it is not uncommon for a senior to make up excuses not to shower.

There is also the dreaded fear of falling, even with a bath chair. The feel of the water hitting upon us. Leaning over to turn off the shower, which can unravel our balance.

There is also cases of claustrophobia going into a shower. Especially a shower that has glass doors. I know I plan to have those doors removed and go back to using a shower curtain... those doors take a lot of effort to dry off to keep spots from forming.

I know if I had my way, and had no neighbors, I would prefer to run through a yard sprinkler :)

Is there a reason your Mom needs to shower every day? Unless she is doing hard labor or making a huge mess wearing Depends, there is no need for daily showering. It only dries out the skin, making it itchy. In-between showers, one can use baby wipes to clean those areas that need attention.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to freqflyer
Ahmijoy May 15, 2019
Boy, oh boy, FF, you hit it on the head! Everything you said about seniors and showers hit home with me. I get out feeling like I’ve just had a workout at the gym! Isn’t that silly? You stand there without moving much while water pours down on you. You lather up, rinse and get out. But, there have been times I’ve had to sit on the toilet seat for a minute to catch my breath. What the heck?!
My Alz. mom is the same way. Couple things that work for me. I tell her:

Today my brother (her son) is coming to take her out for a special date and she needs to shower (again) and gets dressed up, or else he won't come.

Today is ____ holiday, and we're visiting the temple (my mom is religious), so you have to shower (again) and be clean in order to step foot inside, or else we can't go.

If you know your mom likes to do something or go somewhere, you may use it as an incentive to get her to shower.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to polarbear

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