Follow
Share

She wont bath or brush her teeth or anything that concrns cleanliness. When approached with any of these things she gets extremely mad.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Bring in Adult Protective Services to get the Alzheimer's patient clean. If she puts up a fit, stand your ground ever so hard as it may be. As far as the doctor appt., you're in control, e.g. "you get her there."
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I went through that with my mom who acted the same way. I had to make the bathroom extremly comfortable with a small heater even though we have a big one. Big bubbles and salts.. Put her clothes out and make it cosy as heck. Then I kept asking her to take a bath. It works but still like once a week. Smh..which is better than before.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

I know I may be repeating myself here, but I can't stress the fact that you may need to seek out experienced & knowledgeable help to get your mom going on the bathing issue. The right fit/person is crucial, may not happen on the first visit, yet it should if they are truly experienced with ALZ. There needs to be a chemistry between your mom & your chosen help. The day has to be about her, all attention on her, a lot of compliments & praise. You may need a reward for her, a lunch date, manicure, a salon visit. A routine & consistency works for my brother, once I got on board with the what to do I had him doing a shower daily. I'm glad I accomplished this, because with progression of the ALZ incontinence will occur, in & out of clothing, washing/showering is a must. I ran into the same fight with going into Depends, needed help, I had my gal on speed dial, mission accomplished. I don't think to many people or to much firmness is the way to approach this. You don't want her to be frightened, or, more confused with all the goings on. This disease is tricky, like a toddler it seems there is a remembrance of a bad experience, the last thing either of you need. Once you and her get over this hurdle it will be a huge relief for you. There will be more challenges yes, but, you will be ready & able. Hang in. Wishes of luck!💐
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

when all else fails though, sometimes the only thing left is to just pick them up and put them in the shower and give them a bath. Sometimes when someone is so stubborn nothing else works, this is the only option left when all else has failed and I know that for a fact. Sometimes this is the only option and I actually know this for a fact because it happened to my foster dad at some point. Oh yes, he would use a bar of soap and clean his face neck ears and even what little hair he had and he would even shave. However, he never washed his clothes or showered, just changed between dirty outfits, making the smell worse. He always wore his clothes until they rotted and fell apart. When he got between the hospital and the nursing home, they cleaned him up and he got new clothes
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My old client hated to shower. I know she thought she could fake out everyone, but no shower for a week and you're also incontinent? The smell was a dead giveaway. My job with her did NOT include showering, luckily, but unluckily, it did require me to be in close quarters with a dirty body. Her refusal to shower or bath was the deciding factor in her family placing her in LT care. One person who smells atrociously can make a whole house smell. I think it's very sad, but nobody could get her to do anything. Thank heaven she had a standing hair appt each week. At least she "looked" groomed for a few days.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

They have a professional hairdresser who comes to the Memory Care facility to cut and style the residents hair. (Professional basin and hose too.) My LO who has severe dementia, still enjoys having her hair cut and styled though. Even when I mention it, I can see her body seem excited. I requests that she get cut and styled each time the lady comes in.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

These answers are all so accurate and made me cry. Oh, the passive aggression!! I would try every appeal to encourage my Mom to shower and she would sometimes quip "ok, if it will make you happy!" Or "well, I guess Deàn insists" (not remembering that I'm Deàn.) She would go several weeks without showering. The real knife to the heart came when I was lovingly and gently shampooing her hair one time and she accused me of trying to hurt her. It made me so sad that her diseased brain could think that. I never took her to the dentist again because I couldn't bear to be the one always causing her pain. I know that's a mistake but I don't want the end of her life to be spent catching up on deferred dental stuff. Now that my beautiful Mom is in a dementia facility, sob, her hair is always shiny and smells so good when I kiss her head. Prayers for all of us in this together.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

These sound like some challenging concerns. Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's is an ever-changing and sometimes overwhelming responsibility! We've compiled some resources on Alzheimer's and dementia that may be helpful: http://www.partnersinhc.com/chronic-disease-management/alzheimers-disease/.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

if you happen to be lucky enough to have heard an inside joke from the person's family from long ago that may have convinced other people to do something, you may use that joke in this situation. For instance, my foster dad would run around half naked. I convinced him that the people in the TV could see him and that they were watching that he better go dress up. He was finally convinced enough to go clean up and dress up and look his best for the people in the TV because he was always watching TV. This joke was based on something he told me when TV first came out and everyone came looking like they crawled out of bed and sprawled out in front of the TV. The joke pulled by his dad convinced everyone right away to get up and go clean up dress up and do their hair and sit very nicely in front of the TV
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

I have read that a number of things can contribute to the refusal to bathe. For some dementia patients, the sensation of water hitting the skin is painful and a sensation that their brain cannot easily tolerate, so, patience and new techniques are required. The patient may also genuinely believe that they have already bathed, so, in their mind, they are clean. Their brain can't process that that they are wrong. And I've read about fear of water too, though, I've never seen that.

Do you think that she will swish a rinse in her mouth? My LO's dentist recommended ACT dental rinse to cut down on plaque between brushes or if she refuses to brush. There's only so much you can do and you have to pick your battles.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Veronica is right 100%.
Call someone to cover your butt.

That said, this is very common with Alzheimer's patients. It's common with a lot of elderly with or without dementia.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

what you need to do as mentioned here is call APS. Meanwhile, perhaps you need some back up with other people around you also approaching her with everything she needs for cleanliness. That way, you can all go through this together and support each other if all of you are passing everything she needs for cleanliness but all of you do it at the same time. Every time she throws a fit keep doing it anyway and eventually she should start thinking and getting the hint. Don't back down and definitely don't give up, stand your ground and keep approaching her but maybe if one person isn't enough, maybe having five of you doing it all at once will send a stronger message or go from 5 to 10 people until she gets the hint
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Don't know if you are handling all her care responsibilities these days? When the refusing to shower, brush teeth & most grooming necessities start to occur your role becomes more difficult & challenging. A visit to her doctor for a check up may be a good idea, but, this may be due to the progression of the ALZ. Sorry for her, & you, but it may be a new stage of the disease. It's not her fault to not want to. She may be forgetting how & confused with all the steps involved. She may be afraid of falling, or water. It's overwhelming to her. As a caregiver to my brother with ALZ, he/we went thru this. He would not shower at home, yet, no problems at a facility he loved, big $$$. This was at an early stage of the disease, he was not incontenent, could still handle all everyday skills. Their bathroom handicap accessible, shower bars, seats, no shower lips or a tub in sight, making it an easy task and safe for any & all stages. It was open & visually appealing. His private bath at home lacked a separate shower, had a closed in look. After a respite stay, he showed me the bathroom, "How nice," I said. I asked him, "Do you like this?" A tear was my answer, I had a perfectly ok bathroom but not for him. I felt confident of my decision to make necessary changes. A happy ending I thought, it looked it, but no. I tried encouraging & suggestions to no avail. Questioned the staff at the facility 1 too many times,"Just needs direction, no assist," they would tell me. If you, like me, are a primary caregiver I have heard no from day 1 to almost everything. This was early in to the disease, I was still learning, ?s all the time. I soon realized, "No," would be it no matter. You may have to call in for assistance for her & a learning tool for you. I did & it was a break from the first day. I listened, hidden from view, heard water running, her in control voice, no begging or pleading needed. Her demeanor was calm, she was in charge, but she allowed him to feel he was, that he still had control, needing no one, yet he really did. That day was a break through, a happy one, but sad as well. I realized how serious this disease was & that I had so much more to learn & work on to caregive. My technique yes, but so many things, my voice, body language, my presence even. It wasn't useless. Get all the knowledge you can, it is powerful. It will aid you as you go along helping your mom. You can do this, if you chose, a personal choice, but there will be curves & roadblocks along the way. Stay strong & focused. Take care of you as well. Blessings
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

We've done everything that the boards recommend: A handheld shower, pre-heating the room, supplying ONLY what she needs in the shower (a washcloth, soap, and shampoo), I turn the water on a warm, gentle stream...and still very often she refuses the shower. In her mind, she remembers her prior hygiene habits. She often says "I took a shower this morning!" But she perhaps hasn't had one in a week-or more! I've noticed that certain triggers work. If she thinks she has a doctor's appointment, someone is coming to visit, or she's "going home" she will usually shower. It isn't a guarantee, though. Yesterday (Sunday) she got up convinced that she had a doctor's appointment, so I took that opportunity to suggest bathing and she went very willingly to shower.

She's like a petulant child, too. Sometimes she cusses me and throws things. Sometimes she is just super passive-aggressive ("Do I smell good enough to suit you now?" "Am I clean enough to sleep in this bed for you?") It is very hurtful to try and do your best to take care of your loved one and be treated in such an ugly manner.

I've used the line about Medicare dropping her if she is recalcitrant about the doctor. I've also just told her I'm taking her "home" and she gets in the car, and five minutes later she doesn't remember why she's in the car.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

You say that she's been diagnosed with Alzheimers. Did that happen before she started refusing to see the doctor? In that case, she may not be able to understand why she needs to get clean and that it can cause some health problems. And her getting angry is not unusual either.

If she's living alone, that may need to be changed. Normally, professionals in AL or Memory Care know how to work with dementia patients to get them bathed. You can also do some reading about the issue. Teepa Snow has some helpful videos on You tube about dementia care as well.

It's not likely that you can just wait it out or hope that she'll change her mind. Sadly, the caretaker has to take measure to manage the struggle, if she resists. Resistance to care is quite common with dementia patients. I'd work on creative ways to get her to a doctor. It's challenging, but, there are various ways to get her to a doctor. Some family members say the appointment is for themselves and they ask the LO to come along for support. Or that they have to get a flu shot or mandatory check up.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Understand that when you are dealing with someone who has dementia, you have become the parent and they are the child. Engaging in a battle of wills with that person will leave both of you stressed out and exhausted. And, in my mother's case, on occasion the battle would become physical. Try cajoling her with pretty soaps, candles, spray colognes, etc. or promise her a trip out for lunch/dinner, or her favorite meal at home if going out isn't possible. She is acting like a petulant child and won't be forced into anything. Threats won't work, but bribery with rewards for good behavior might. You can also consult with her doctor to ask for help based on their experiences.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Try telling her that her insurance requires she go in for a check up or they will cut off her benefits, then get her MD on board (before the appointment) with addressing this? Ask if she'd prefer living in a facility where they would do all these things for her?
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

You may need to call in Adult Protective Services she is definitely endangering her own health and you don't want to be accused of neglect if she is living with you.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter