Mom runs to the bathroom 6 or more times a day. She will not bathe or change clothes. Her underwear are stained. What can I do?

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When she lets me change her I see this . Does anyone have this problem? She has Alzheimers 4 years now?

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A little humor here---------my father was in the hospital for a week. When he came home the visiting nurse came in and an aide. I told them I was having difficulty getting him to shower. They talked to him and both got him in the shower with laughing and talking. For days after, all he did was tell everyone how he had two young, beautiful women giving him a shower. That being said, he continues to not want to shower. Maybe I need to get a couple of young women to come in???? :-)
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M y mil would "bathe", but never used soap, water, or towels.....but always perfume!
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My mom can't walk or feed herself but when it comes to taking a shower she turns into Rocky Balboa! I believe it has to do with fear.... We finally had to try a sedative, first Seroquel, which didn't help with the combativeness but did make her sleepy the rest of the day. Then we tried Ativan. First a tablet (I think it's 0.5 mg), then half a tablet, now we do a whole tablet a couple of hours before bathing and then a half tablet 4-5 hours later to prevent the upset/crying that she goes through when the morning pill wears off.
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I posted the same question recently and yes it is hard to get them to bathe and wash their hair. I finally told Mom that I would hire a nurse to come in an bathe her and help her wash her hair if she refused to do it of her own free will. Well World War III broke out and it turned into a huge ordeal just because I asked her to please take a bath and wash her hair because we had a lady coming to the house to train me on an INR machine for her.

I thought maybe it was because Mom got scared taking off her glasses and not seeing well or was she afraid of falling but I could not even get to that part of the conversation with her because of her outbursts when just asked to please do it.

I took her for a hair cut yesterday and when we came home I asked her if she would like to jump in the shower now and get the loose hair off her body and from her hair. She replied she would later. At 8:30 she had her things in the bathroom but was sitting on the living room.....resting. About 9:30 she is out of the shower but did not wash her hair.....because it was too late. Her hair is about 2 inches long on top and dries in about 5 minutes! There is always an excuse, always!
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Having come from the old depression/conservation days, my mom was a "shower every 10 days even if maybe she didn't need it" kind if person. Way before her dementia, she had really bad mobility problems from body wide OA and showers were - and remained forevermore - exhausting. She would often skip washing her hair so that it would be 20 days in between that. She had apparently lost her sense of smell, thought I was making it up and was always angry when I "forced" her into shampooing by telling her I wasn't going to take her out in my car if her scalp didn't smell better.

After one hospitalization, she qualified for home PT/OT which also included a home care young lady twice a week. I left the showering up to them and stayed completely out of it. My mom was congenial, laughing and joking with the care lady, and completely cooperative. GREAT, I thought innocently. BUT there was always hell to pay for 3 or more hours afterwards about how could l permit a stranger to come into the house and force my mom to "get naked and be touched all over" by this person, and how do you think that would make you feel?, etc. And my mom had dementia at this point, so how could she remember THAT for so long?

When we no longer qualified for our home care lady, I just switched into the the same routine of doing it myself. I retained the two times per week schedule that had been established. It was pretty much the ONLY event of the day when it came around because the process was exhausting.

My mom was being forced into a conservatorship by a non-caregiving sibling and the court ordered a parent evaluation team to make care recommendations. Stupidly, IMHO, they said they'd like to see her showered 3 times per week!? And we then had to justify to the court, not on the basis of any rationale (such as not being good for the skin of a 90+ year old to bathe that frequently), that we were going to continue with two times per week because my mom "refused" to comply with more than that!

As time went on and mom was less and less active, more and more in pain from her OA, we could only manage one shower per week. About 6 weeks before she died from pneumonia following a heart attack (she had already been diagnosed with A-fib), she wasn't feeling good, so we let her skip one shower.

When I say "we", it was my decision but agreed upon by our day time caregiver, whom my mom would never permit to do her shower, only me even though I am disabled. We worked it out because my mom would become hysterical if anyone even walked into her bedroom (bathroom attached) while she was undressed. Our caregiver dressed in scrubs, and we tried one time to suggest a bed bath, trying to be casual about the caregiver being a nurse. No no no no no!!

By the second missed shower, mom was really feeling poorly so we missed another shower. 3 or so days later (when she was quite ripe!), she fell in the early AM hours of a Monday morning and was transported to the hospital. Because of her age, her A-fib and the fall, the ER doctor decided to do a heart enzyme test, which was when my mom's heart attack was discovered.

Mom was admitted to the hospital with a noticeable and remarked upon odor, and the professionals there were questioning her caretaking. To this day, I believe if I hadn't had the backup testimony of the caregiver about why my mom HADN'T been showered, and how we had tried yet been unsuccessful in obtaining my mom's cooperation, I would have been in serious trouble with charges of neglect (and nevermind that my mom hadn't felt good because her body was leading up to a heart attack - no one was focused on that, just my moms bad smell).

So, to those of you who think cleanliness is no big deal, let me tell you: YOU ARE MISTAKEN. Even though my main motivation was to keep my mom mentally as well as physically comfortable, if I had it to do over, I'd have left my mom long enough for her to think I had gone - even though that in itself caused her severe consternation - and let the caregiver either talk her into a shower or a bed bath, and I would not return until the job was finished.

Decision making for a dementia patient is very stressful because you know you are taking away their independence and freedom of choice. I've always been a cat person, although now I have only one dog, but let me throw in for some levity: as Garfield the Cat says, "It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!"
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I too had this same shower issue problem with my 94 yr. old mother until I discovered some products which solved the issue. I found "No rinse shampoo" and "No rinse moisturizing body wash" at Walgreens for a reasonable price. They are ideal for the homebound or for someone in the hospital.
I bypass the shower and just have my mom sit in a chair in her bedroom, drape a towel around her like a cape and lather the shampoo into her hair. No water is needed and you don't have to rinse it out, so there is no water dripping to contend with. I towel dry her hair. You can also use a hair dryer afterwards for more thorough drying and then style with a curling iron. This leaves her hair fresh and clean.
Then I put the body wash on a wash cloth and bathe her arms then her legs, etc. I have her hold a towel in front of her for privacy and I have her do her own privates and under her arms (since she is ticklish). Again....no water is necessary and no rinsing of the body wash is needed though I do rinse the washcloth after each area I bathe. I talk to her soothingly during this whole process.....which seems to help both of us. I then put hydrating body lotion on her and massage it into her skin.
I have always been squeamish at this level of intimacy and avoided it like the plague, but when the time came that she really needed me, I was surprised that it really was ok after all. I feel like we got closer as a result and I got some healing in this area. Who would've known?
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I've compromised on almost everything to be able to take care of my husband and cope - by applying the DIRM principle (Does It Really Matter). But there are two things I won't compromise on - and that is cleanliness and safety. My husband, too, was always clean and well-groomed prior to this illness, so I continue this for him. Yes, for him. Don't get me wrong - he resists, so it's a struggle most of the time, but I resolve to persevere. For me, the thing that usually does the trick is I tell him if he wants to sleep next to me (we still share a king-sized bed), he's going to have to bathe. He loves the closeness, so it's worth it to him. I do it in the evening because we're usually both worn out by the time it's over.
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I disagree with those who say 'no big deal'. If the patient wants visitors and interaction with others, it is a very big deal. If they were in a NH and allowed to stink, you would assume they were being neglected.
My Dad has a water phobia as many old folks do, and what works changes constantly. Sometime threats such as Madeaa suggested. He does not want to go to a NH and I WILL NOT let him stay here if he won't bathe and change clothes.
Sometimes bribery. He loves food, in general, and popcorn, specifically.
Sometimes let it go and re-visit the issue in 30 minutes with a big smile and lots of hype.
Sometimes the harsh truth. I tell him he stinks and since he has no sense of smell, he will take a shower because he doesn't want to offend others.
Sometimes a shower is required because the BM has spread too far and wide for toilet paper/butt wipes to do the job. He can see that and knows he has no choice.
Bottom line, keep trying all your Psych 101 tactics until you find one that works and then be prepared to change it as necessary. Good luck, prayers and a big hug!!!
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"Ferris1" is right; this might not be the biggest issue in the world. As a dementia expert/nurse practitioner said: Nobody ever died from not taking a bath. That said, if your mom is hospice-eligible (and one DEFINITELY does not have to be six months away from dying), then you will get a CNA who comes several times a week and will help the person bathe. You could also try no-rinse body wash so the person does not have to get in the shower.
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Kazzaa, that is true. I'm here with my mother 24/7. She uses a potty chair in her room as it is easier for her. The bathroom toilet is to low. So the house always smells like urine.I empty potty chair all day, some days are worse than others. The pee smell is stronger sometimes if they are not drinking enough water. I have to monitor how much water she drinks as she will say I'm drinking tons of water when actually she only take a few sips. I know because I fill the glass and the water bottle. Push the water. And yes, my sister comes on sundays and sometimes I get her to give mother a shower. Sometimes they will do better for someone they don't see everyday. I have been doing this for 11 years now. It's good that you have someone come in for a bit. Any little break helps. I'm lucky I have the greatest son in the world who also lives with us and he helps all the time. Otherwise I would be ready for the home myself.
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