My Mom makes excuses for not bathing. It's like pulling teeth with pliers, even her sitter doesn't know what to do. Help us?

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She'll say she's getting a cold. She said she doesn't need help in bathing, yet she does not do it. She'll say there is sand in her water and ask if we can feel it? Of course there isn't any. I've offered her to bath at my home, she said I also have sand. I've told her I'd call the Water Dept, which her reply is that she has called. When I ask what they said, she has no answer. I insist let me call and find out if there is work order for her home. Then she'll flat out say I'm not bathing. She has a chair and hand assist attached to her tub, but she won't bath.

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Then don't bath her!

Put a chair by the kitchen sink and give her a sponge bath. When it's time to do her naughty bits, have her stand up and hang on to the counter, if that's a problem. Powder her up . . . put aromatic lotion all over . . . done.

Do her hair with a very wet washcloth, a little shampoo, and a plush towel around her neck and shoulders.

This works fine for mom. She was afraid to get in the shower. She wasn't far off. Getting her in and out, even with grab bars all over the darned place, was an accident waiting to happen.

You do it yourself the first time. Have her care giver watch. She should be able to do it in the future. Don't take "no" for an answer. Try humor, too. "Mom!! If we don't do THIS?? We're going to have to hose ya' down!!"
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my mom lives with me and she refuses to bathe as well. She will say she can't get in and out of the tub, but she can with my help. Too cold so we tried putting on the heater even in summer... still finds another excuse. She refuses to shower saying the water hits her in the face... tried added a shower hose...still another excuse. She says I will just wash off so I supervise and we wash her really well. Better than nothing but I still think a regular bath is what is really needed. When I tell her she needs to bathe she will say ok but the minute I run the water she says "no, she is not getting in there". I am at a lose myself as to what to do.
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You could try tough love, but how much you can do depends on her situation. Is she living alone? If so, do you take her grocery shopping? If so, you could refuse to let her get in your car because she stinks, and then buy groceries for her (but only buy the essentials, none of the good stuff she normally likes) and drop them off inside her kitchen door. Tell her you'll not come inside until she's bathed and you can't smell her. If you must go in, hold your nose a lot and stay only as long as you absolutely have to, letting her know that you're very uncomfortable and are leaving as soon as you can because she Stinks! Ask her sitter to do the same... to stay as far away from her as she can and make faces and hold her nose...have her use a hand fan and tell mom it's to keep the stink away because she smells. Maybe this will "shame" her into bathing, even in the sandy water? Sounds harsh, but might save her from getting a terrible infection!
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You ask her MD to order an Occupational Therapist. The OT will come out and may ask you to add grab bars. The OT will do a dry run of her getting in and out of the tub. YOU could go to youtube and watch a Teepa Snow video on how to bathe a dementia patient.
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