My Mom (85) is refusing to be bathed. Now what? - AgingCare.com

My Mom (85) is refusing to be bathed. Now what?

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She is wheel chair bound and has moderate dementia. although she gets a sponge bath each morning, she really needs a weekly shower. the proper tools are in place to make her shower comfortable. she just doesn't believe she has an odor and doesn't like anyone to tell her anything. I try to persuade her but respect her refusals. any suggestions?

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Is she to take shower alone by herself? Are you the person to be with and assist her for shower? If so maybe she wants someone else to help her other than you. Would she prefer a bubble bath? Maybe she might be frightened of a shower water changing sudden temps? If it is just outright refusing, offer a trade of something she really wants for what you want or what privilege you can take away maybe... and as pamstegman suggested an odor can also be a medical issue as well, have her examined to be safe and sure of her health. good luck and best wishes...
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The bathing issue is such a challenge. Like Chicago said, if your mom were in a nursing home she'd get a shower once a week whether she liked it or not.

How about a bed bath? It's better than a sponge bath but not quite a shower. Many elderly people survive on just bed baths. It would eliminate the odor as well.

If it comes right down to it explain to your mom that she has an odor that's unpleasant and the only remedy is to bathe. She can do a shower or a bed bath and let her choose.
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Do not take "No" for answer. Make it routine. My mother was the same way and worse, by my view point. She is in a NH, now and they just do it. Everyone there is very clean.
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If you are bathing her DAILY and there is still some sort of odor, report this to the MD because something else is going on.
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