My mother is 92 and is very independent, outspoken, and stubborn. I have legal executive power over her finances. Sometimes she wears the same clothes for weeks at the time. She says she washes herself, and changes her clothes often, but we know that's not true. The doctor says she has beginning stages of Alzhiemers , but most of the time her mind is sharp .I buy her new clothes, even though she has a room full of clothes, and I take her to get her hair done, I have done everything I know to convince her that she needs to change clothes more often, but she declares she has. she refuses my help. I am the only girl in the family. I love her so much. Please help me.

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Good answers. Sometimes the problem is getting the clothes off at night in order to switch them out. Many seniors sleep in the same clothes they wear all day. I used MRSA. Shingles, yeast infections, threats of skin breakdown, all sorts of dire warnings as a reason we had to take extra care to be clean and I didn't ask permission. It's easier for both of you if you assume the sale. It's bath time and here we go. After a routine had been established with the home health aid my mom and my aunt began to look forward to their shower and shampoo. After you get it started it will get easier.
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I like GivingItMyAll's answer about removing her daytime clothes from the room once she's changed into nightwear and gone to bed.

Another idea would be to buy more clothes that look the same (or very similar) to those she's been wearing for weeks at a time. Then all you'd have to do at night is take the ones she wore during the day, replace them with a (similar looking) fresh set (to wear the next day), and throw today's dirty clothing in the laundry basket.

Regarding bathing and showers, as GivingItMyAll indicated, space heaters can make a big difference. Both my elderly parents get cold so easily in the shower, but a space heater has really helped.

One thing that helped when my dad kept refusing to take a shower regularly was being frank. I simply told him he was starting to smell. (I'd made a list of 5 or 6 different reasons regular showering was important--including statements made by his dermatologist about his various skin issues. The smell issue was the only thing that made an impression.)

Another thing that's helped, when one of my parents doesn't want to do something he/she needs to do, has to do with the lack of control they feel. It's got to be tough to have to depend on others, even those you love. So as you're working through a problem like the bathing issue, find a way to give her back as much control as possible. Offer choices: Would you like a washcloth to hold over your face while we rinse your hair? Would you like some earplugs to wear in the shower? Which color bath towel do you want tonight? Do you want to brush your teeth now or wait till later? Little things that can make a big difference.

One more thing that's been useful when someone is starting to get upset is the power of distraction. Let's say Dad is sitting on the shower seat and he's getting angry because things are not moving along fast enough. To completely change his focus, I might start asking him questions: What do you want to do for lunch, Dad? Go out or eat at home? What DVD do you want to watch this afternoon? What do you think your grandson is doing today?

You sound like such a sweet daughter. Wishing you and Mom the very best.
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I used to go into her room after she'd go to sleep and remove the dirty clothes. She couldn't put them back on if they weren't there. As far as bathing goes, that is a very, very common problem. First of all make sure that the bathroom is warm and safe. And by safe I mean grab bars, a hand held shower head, a shower seat of some sort, a non skid mat. Things of that nature. I used to follow her into the bathroom when she'd get up and begin warming the room with a space heater. Then I'd get out the towels and clean clothes and just make like there was not going to be any option. When she got up from the toilet I'd just assist her to the transfer bench (long shower chair that extends out from the tub) and help her get her legs over the side. The whole time she'd be saying she didn't need a shower, but I would just nod and say it was the day for a shower. There were still arguments about it, but at least it was doable. The thing she hated most was a shampoo. She did sponge baths most days of the most important body parts and a full shower/shampoo once a week. There were a few times she began her shower with her gown still on because she would refuse to take it off first. Modesty is a big deal and you do need to respect that. At first I would pull the shower curtain closed and assist when necessary, and as time passed, I was doing the whole thing. If all else fails, you can hire a bath aide, sometimes they will do for others what they won't do for family. There are videos on YouTube that might help you.
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