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She isn't at all. Couch smells, wont accept help with showering. I was going to tell her she either comes "clean" and tell me the truth or I will call her social worker. I hate to do that though, any suggestions???

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Hi, frustrating isn't it? In all the posts I've read there are all kinds of answers like fear, independence, etc. Who knows? They're all different. I know my Mom can't SEE the need because her eyes are bad. She doesn't seem to SMELL the need. Doesn't seem to care cuz she has no plans to see anyone. Fortunately, I found that her vanity worked in my favor. I had to actually mention the smell to her. "Would you like me to open your window to get some fresh air in here? I'd hate for you to be embarrassed if so and so sees that you look like you haven't showered for a week when they stop by.." Sweet as pie to her so it never seems like criticism. Or a Drs appointment the next day would always get her to shower. "If the Dr sees that I can't keep you clean I'm afraid they'll want to move you elswhere" Not my fault if the Dr reschedules ;)
It's not a laughing matter, but try to find some way to keep your sense of humor.
Also, is she afraid of falling? Can she see well in the shower? Has anyone told her that the couch smells? Careful honesty might help. From someone other than you. They sometimes spar with a caregiver out of boredom and to exert free will.
Good luck, I hope things get better 👍🏼
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JD, I think that you've gotten a lot of very good practical advice about getting your mom bathed here! But the question remains for your mom's doc; depression or dementia...what is s/he doing about it (the doc, that is)? Meds, further evaluation by a neurologist or psychiatrist. She COULD have both; the brain changes that happen in dementia often go hand in hand with brain changes that cause depressioin. but while dementia is not treatable, depression IS.
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I'm curious why you think she doesn't have dementia?
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Going with the idea of not being able to see in the shower and getting fun products to try, how about adding a bathing stool for the shower for safety? ( you may have all this already - just trying to suggest something not already mentioned). A nice shower wand that allows her a bit more control of the water pressure and direction. Maybe she needs grab bars etc. She might be worried about falling. It's generally considered a sign of depression to not want to bath but she might have just gotten out of the habit and then forgets and then you show up and notice. Does she change her clothes or her pjs or bed linens? Maybe a salon shampoo or mani-pedi would boost her interest in hygiene. Perhaps you could shampoo her sofa and give her house a good cleaning. Change the chi, if you will, of her space. One last thought, go into her shower and make sure it all works properly. My mother was very resistant to an aid helping her shower in the beginning. Then she just loved it. Would not go without her bath three times a week. She complained if she didn't get a good bath while she was in the hospital. My sister and I had a list of items we refused to compromise on with out caretaking. Cleanliness was one of them. So don't give up. Maybe you can get home health to come in and help her.
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I couldn't believe my mom was lying so much. She taught us that telling the truth was ultra-important, and she never lied....But what was happening was that her short term memory was disappearing. She was making up the best answer she could think of to address the moment. Turns out she did have dementia / Early stage Alzheimer's as diagnosed by a the neurologist I took her to. She did think she was doing these hygiene things(bathing, brushing teeth, washing clothes etc). but she was not.
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Call her social worker. Get her proper help. Why on earth would you think it better for her if you engage in a battle of wills and force her to admit to you something that she is ashamed of?
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And don't be bullied by people giving curt, or hurtful responses. You don't need to defend yourself. Most of us here understand and are in the same boat. ive found a lot of help here and am now preparing Mom for SNF after years with her. I explained what helped me in another post
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I apologise if you felt I was bullying you. But yes I was curt. You need the truth? You already know the truth. Why does your mother to have to get the words out? You say, for example, "TRUTHFUL... that's all." But in these circumstances, being truthful is not a little thing. Being truthful involves admitting that she's stained her own couch with body odour, maybe old urine. That's a painful confession, if you put yourself in her shoes.

I like Stressed's range of ideas for getting her to accept help very much. I especially agree with the point that it can be much easier to discuss these things with a professional outsider than it is for her to talk to you - someone she doesn't want to 'fail' in front of. Gently does it, and good luck.
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One characteristic of dementia is a loss of the sense of smell. She may not realize that you and others can detect the objectionable odor. The best option is a home health aide or a certified geriatric caregiver who can be there with you to help give her the next shower or bath. Be prepared with a shower chair that has a durable back on it so she can safely sit in the shower. Some geriatric patients are terrified of falling - especially in the obvious places (i.e.The shower, stairs, uneven surfaces, deep carpet, etc) so her lies may be a combination of fear, anxiety, loss of smell, denial, dementia or even a small stroke. Rigidity in the elderly is so common.
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Huge battles of my father fighting my mother on the once a week shower. The solution was to get a once a week paid helper to come in with the prime reason being the shower. My father did realize that the guy was getting paid regardless of whether the shower was taken or out. After the first time there was no problem at all- it was easier on him with an outsider being the "bad guy" pushing for a shower.
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