Mom who has Dementia was recently placed in board and care facility. It’s been about 3 weeks now, and is refusing to bathe. Mom also recently diagnosed with UTI.

Caretaker and I have tried coaxing her to take a bath. We are being told by her back off, she will when she feels like it.

Looking for suggestions, how to get some water on her.

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Would she bathe with you doing the cleaning?
Often seniors are very private with strangers helping with intimate cleaning and being naked.

Have the staff try the large, no rinse bath wipes (warmed) and only expose enough skin to clean it, then cover again with the clothing. She may go for that.

Try bribing, “After your shower we’ll go to the dining room for an ice cream (or favorite activity).”

If you can bring yourself to do this, mention (when you are alone) that she has an odor about her. That may get her into the shower.

I agree, a Senior only needs a bath every 2-3 days. Ask her which days SHE wants (like she has some control to this).

Maybe bring a couple of new shirts but they can only be put in AFTER a bath.

Good luck.
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Thanks for taking time to respond to my concern. This is a learning process for me. Seeing my mom who always took great care in her grooming suddenly not care is surprising. Geaton thanks for providing link related to my concern, and Freflyer you provided insight I didn’t think about.

Her board and care has someone weekly that comes in to help with bathing. I’ll see if she would be open to someone like a health professional assist her.
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Kitty, I see from your profile that your Mom is 87 years old. For myself, I am only in my 70's but I have noticed that taking a shower is like going to the gym, and here I use to be a gym rat for many years. It can be very exhausting for many seniors. Especially with your Mom having memory lost, etc.

Another thing, some seniors become claustrophobic when in a shower. Especially if there are glass doors. I know for myself, I need to keep the far door open a couple of feet.

Then there is the fear of falling. If your Mom is using a moisturizing liquid soap and/or hair conditioners, it will make the floor of the tub/shower feel like an ice rink, even with a tub mat inside. I almost slipped today while showering.

Towel drying isn't easy. I find myself hopping around trying to get one foot and leg dry, can be a challenge. So easy to get one's feet tangled up in the towel.

Then if Mom needs to blow dry her hair, that can be tiring on her arms.

Whew !!

A parent doesn't need to shower daily, twice a week or once a week is good enough, unless Mom is doing hard labor. If a parent is a Depends wearer, baby wipes work quite well between showers. Last week I came across a new baby wipe "Water Wipes" that I highly recommend. And Burt's Bees facial wipes which has green tea is pleasant on the face.
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Kitty, a very common problem!

Here are resources on this site:

This should get you started with some answers!
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