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my mother has not had a sponge bath since i do not know when, we had a brand new wheelchair accessible shower installed and she just keeps making excuses about why she can not use it or how she will give her self a bath? she can not get to sink so i do know why she is refusing. i think her belly button and under her breast are raw again?

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Cndypep, I always hate to do this, but when my mother gets super stubborn about things like allowing us to bathe her or give her a shampoo, I point out to her, very gently, that if she won't let us provide even basic care for her at home, then we will have to find a facility for her where she can have 24/7 trained professionals caring for her. She has home health people come in periodically to do blood draws, and we also have to take her to doctor appointments. I tell her that if those outside people don't think she is getting adequate care at home, they will inform local authorities who will put her somewhere for professionals to take care of her. But it's her choice. Either let me give you a sponge bath / shampoo /whatever, or get ready to move. I don't yell at her, I just say it calmly and matter-of-factly. Then I step back and say, "So what will it be? Should I pack your things?" At this point she usually gives in.

Caring for my 90-something parents I have developed greater tolerance for the folks at nursing homes. Caring for the elderly is much harder than caring for infants and toddlers, because you need their cooperation to do most things. They can be just as ornery and stubborn as toddlers, but they're not portable.
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My mother was doing that nutty stuff, too. She wouldn't even remove her house coat, long enough to wash it.

After my sister died from all of the stress mother put on her, Mother went to the hospital - rehab - assisted living - and the NH. Guess what? Suddenly she is dressed, clean, has her nails and hair done, etc. Every patient there is clean and dressed.

So, sometimes keeping them at home, is not actually the best route to go. Mother is 95 and fine. My sister wasted a good portion of her life jumping through hoops for Mother. (Good luck, to you. Every case is different, but the same in many ways.)
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I am positive that the nurses are quite aware of seniors refusing to bathe....this seems to be a common complaint among caregivers ...just do a Search on this forum and you will see plenty of this behavior!
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the thing i am worried about the most is when the visiting nurse comes and sees that she is not clean will she try to remove her from the home?
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I agree with hiring a health aid if she still refuses...my mother is the same...she has every imaginable excuse not to bathe...I told if she doesn't, I'll hire someone to give her a bath...she doesn't want that so she will do it herself every 2 or 3 weeks which is better than nothing...
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we have gotten the bathing clothes she will not use them, we bought the caps to put in microwave for her hair,nope. we have baby wipes. she is just sooo stubborn
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How about hiring experienced home health aide, I know they will give shower or bathe with hair wash. Your mother might screams or cusses but in end she will smile!! Just say take a couple of minute(5 min)!! My experience: the first day when I was in the small AL, this very nice gentleman was living at AL for 3 month and never had showered or bathe.... He had very painful gout!! He had very bad body orders!! AL operator/aide told me about history of him, he just simply refused so they couldn't assist him(they didn't have any experiences and do not know how to deal with him) and their excuses was "Patient Right"!!! I didn't want to know how they got the AL licence???? but I did assist him for SHOWER and I did cut his hair(get permission from his wife), when his wife was came to see him that day.... she was so happy and tears in her eyes. to me nothing to it!! I found out later that day.. He was retired Army Coronal, I should gave him crew cut! short hair LOL "Diferent Folks, diferent stroke???"
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I've read about these between shower wiping cloths for the whole body.... maybe that will work, especially if the cloths have a really nice smell.

As for using the bathtub/shower, I know some people have a fear of falling. Even I did when I was younger, I found a really nice white Rubber Maid bathtub safety mats [unfortunately they aren't as easy to find now a days].
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Ive read that its fear of water? getting everything ready like towels soap etc is supposed to help. i run mums bath as i know shes afraid of hot water so maybe do it all for her and see what happens worth a try!
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i have offered to take her to her hair dresser and she refuses and when a friend did do her hair she had her wash her hair in a bucket instead of shower, that is how stubborn she is. i have tried to force her to shower and all she does is get verbally abusive and i can not take it, she did it in the hosp, when it was time for PT.
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Get your washclothes, soap, shampoo, get it ready, get in there, and give her a shower. Fresh towels out of dryer.. If she refuses that much, use babywipes for the most important areas. If that feels good for her remind her how good a real shower will be. It's the loss of independance that is getting her. Can you take her to a beauty salon and have her hair done?
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We had the same problem with my father. He didn't want to bathe. We didn't give him the option of saying no. Before I got here he would go a month or more without a shower. It was terrible for him. So we started making him take a shower once or twice a week. We would get the house warm and everything ready for him, then my mother would sit with him while he showered. He always felt better after he showered, so it was worth it.
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