My Mom is 66 years old and refuses to take a bath, wash her hair, or even get it cut. What can I do? - AgingCare.com

My Mom is 66 years old and refuses to take a bath, wash her hair, or even get it cut. What can I do?

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About 4 years ago she had an episode, she is on oxygen and the carbon monoxide to over. We do not no how long she was unconscious, the emt's came got her and took her to the hospital.. She was put in a medical coma for 6 days. After that they sent her to Cardinal Hill for therapy. When she got out of there they sent in home health care to help. When they no longer came, this is when the issue started of her not bathing, washing her hair or putting on clothes. I am the eldest of 4 children and the burdin is mine. I agrue with her, tell her that she smells and that does no good. I have told her that I am going to contact the home care people again to come out, thinking that may work but it doesn't. I just need some help on what to do. I have pleaded with her to no avail.

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*Meant to say "One day mom said,"
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I simply tell my mom the morning of "shower" day that she needs her hair washed and needs a shower to get clean......two times a week.....that is the minimum. she complains but I still make her do it because otherwise she would smell.....anyone will smell after four or five days!

One said mom said "I have never smelled." I beg to differ with that one....especially when my bathroom has an odor lingering in it after mom has used it and she has only urinated.......clearly a sign that soap and water are needed ASAP in all nooks and crannies....... ;)

I keep a post it note in mom's room reminding her of upcoming hair appointments.....and I tell her she has to go.....even when she says she doesn't need her hair cut, etc...........we caretakers certainly earn our gold stars!!!
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can you cut her hair yourself? My mom does this for Dad, he is easier about this than when I had to take hom out to the barber (although he likes to go places). I think it might be easy to do while you are combing her hair, even a trim is better than an unkept mess?
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1.Sleeping in daytime clothes,is your family member cold? Is the bed cold? How about warming the bedroom, bedding, preparing him or her in a warm part of the home.getting p.j. that the person likes and will wear.
2. Bathing is the same, keeping the person warm or cool in the summer may be a big help.Not everyone likes showers ,some if they still can get in and out of the tub may prefer sitting in the warm water.May have suggested dry shampoos , tipping the head back can cause problems with blood flow.Learning how to do good sponge baths may be some help no single body part gets to cold by doing the body in parts and keeping the rest covered and warm. Warm the bathing soaps ,keep the water changed and warm also have lotions or creams the family member likes warm to help with dry skin.Remember the skin gets thinner as we age.
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Teepa Snow has some helpful thoughts along these lines. She is great with people with dementia. Are you all familiar with her and the resources she offers? I find that I use her tips and techniques on a regular basis.
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Yes, get help. Meanwhile, stop asking.

This happened with my own mother who is 95 and suffers with dementia. Now I just go to her and take it one step at a time, getting her cleaned up, gently as possible telling her what to do. I try to keep her presentable at all times so when there's an appointment with the hairdresser or whatever, I just hand over her purse and say it's time to go.

For this to work, you have to be strong within yourself, realizing that (by default) you have to be the one in charge now. God bless.
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I take Mom to a salon and get her hair washed and dried. She argues but our regular stylist is extremely good with her and tells her to behave and Mom responds well. For her bath I take her in to the bathroom for a sponge bath once a week. She argues with me every time; she actually throws a temper tantrum. I have to throw a cup of water on her to tell her she is wet and must change clothes. She sleeps in her clothes. She recently saw a psychiatrist and got a prescription for Lorazepam. I gave it to her before her bath last week and she only argued a bit and took 20 min for the bath instead of an hour or more. I did not have to throw water on her either. Then she slept all day. I recommend a GERIATRIC psychiatrist, not a general psychiatrist who sees older people.
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I'm a little confused "the carbon monoxide to over" ?? Clearly she suffered some brain damage. The Home Health Aides (HHA) were ordered by the doctor, you should call him and make him aware of her decline. It may be time for a thorough follow up exam to determine if there is additional brain damage.
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