Mom refuses to bathe but does not smell. Any suggestions?

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Mom is 91 and her body hasn't been immersed in water in a number of years. She lives (somewhat) independently in a HUD subsidized "over 62 year" building that only has a regular tub/shower, but no walk in ability. She uses a walker to every location in the small apartment due to stability issues and has no ability to get in and out of the tub. She has an aide that comes 3 times a week and she, and we, have tried to get Mom to let "Mary" assist her with this process. She flatly refuses and says that she does clean herself (using both a washcloth and aloe wipes, which I purchase in large quantities) and everyone does agree that she does not have a body odor issue. She is also of European descent (she's French) and claims that she never bathed every day at any point in her life. The aide massages lotion into her legs as they are very dry (no surprise) but my other concern is that there is never a full sloughing off of the dead layers of skin that must be accumulating. I have seen a lot of posts that say that many elderly do not want to bathe so this doesn't seem like a particularly unusual problem but I wonder how others have dealt with this when the elderly person absolutely refuses to do this, even with assistance? My mother does have fairly advanced dementia.

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Mom hasn't showered in five years. She has dementia and so far has managed to live in independent living. Until 2 years ago, she at least washed in the sink (we know because it was always stuffed up with soap and we had washcloths and towels to wash) But in the past two years, she doesn't wash at all. We know because the soap hasn't shrunk in the past six months, and there are no washcloths. If she uses a washcloth, I think she throws it in the garbage and she does her underware if she has an "accident". I tried buying wipes for her but she gave me a bad time. Strangely, she doesn't smell either. I have seen her skin and feet, and they are flaking and peeling and horrible to look at. She doesn't use lotion or do anything to help her skin. Its useless to try to suggest it. We have given her tons of lotion, and its never used. What is amazing is that she never misses her weekly hair appointment (but doesn't comb her hair the rest of the week.) Now she is often incontinent and dumps depends and pads, used, in the garbage and other places for us to clean up. She must smell horrible down there and I'm shocked she doesn't have an infection. We have to move her to assisted living next month so are hoping they will come up with a way to get her to bathe. We tried everything and all she did was get mad and lie. She refuses to let an aide in her apartment. I guess she is not that unusual and children can do only so much when parent is stubborn.
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Exactly, Imb234, a step back. I'm not trying to be mean, just direct. If she doesn't smell bad and there is no crusty skin or matted hair, then somehow she IS getting clean. And she is right, Americans bathe to the point of obsession (daily) while Europeans are more relaxed (weekly). C'est La Vie.
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Re: Pam's comment....I thought she was just trying to help me step back and not look for a problem where one maybe doesn't exist. She's nothing if not direct, though....right, Pam? :-)
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OK, glad she's got good hair hygiene. Some folks don't want to wash their hair either, which would be a problem.
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Well, I thought Pam's comment to be quite mean myself.
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Blannie - there is a hairdresser that comes to the building and Mom does use her for washes, trims, etc. The aide also has helped her wash it in the kitchen sink in between the hairdresser visits. So, yes....that aspect is taken care of.
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How does she wash her hair? That's my question...
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Well, I'm glad to know that all of the responses (including Pam's delusional :-)) are positive and that we really don't have to be concerned. Part of me was wondering if my not doing more could possibly be construed as some sort of elder neglect but you've all put my mind at ease. Merry Christmas, everyone!
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I'm a nurse and I had a patient who received bed baths twice a week for years. She never smelled and her body was never immersed in water either since a bed bath is not much more than wiping someone down with soap and water.

Your mom will be fine with using wipes.
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There are different ways of being clean. Your mom found her way - even if it conflicts with yours. If you're concerned about dead skin, the washcloth is rough enough to scrub off any dead skin.
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