Mother will not get her hair cut. What do I do? - AgingCare.com

Mother will not get her hair cut. What do I do?

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Dealing with family members who have dementia can be quite challenging, especially, if you are doing it alone in the home. Is that the case?

Often the person with dementia avoids things like bathing or has an obsession with something that makes no sense to us. Dementia may also enhance OCD. My cousin had this thing about wanting to keep her tennis shoes on all the time. Even in bed! I had to beg her to let me take her shoes off. Sometimes, I would let her keep them on, but then I felt it was not healthy, because her feet were staying damp too long, so I just went over and took them off and talked about what we were going to do the next day. By distracting her and not giving her the time to object, she accepted it and the problem went away pretty quickly.

You might try the girl that she has used before. If she has a winning personality, it might work. I might approach it as a very special opportunity, and say, OH, you have a hair appointment. I'm jealous. You get to be pampered. How nice is that. and then start the cut. I might not give a lot of advance warning. I wouldn't say things like you have to do this. And I wouldn't sound defeated.

Plus, look around on this site. There are many threads where others have discussed methods to get people bathed who are resisting due to dementia. Hiring a bath aid is one option. It seems that family members have more trouble with bathing dementia patients than professionals do. When in Memory Care, they just get their baths. I'm not sure what the key is.

And I agree with the idea upthread about medication. I'd discuss it with her doctor. Medication can really help with some conditions. Does she take anything for anxiety? That might help is she is just too anxious.
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There are lots and lots of posts from people with the same problems you have with bathing, you might want to search the site to see what others have written, often you need to be a detective to get to the bottom of their fear/reluctance and find a solution. Do you think she would agree to one of the no water/no rinse products available? In the long run she may need some medical help to control her OCD.
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It's a problem, because she won't wash it either. Lucky her she has a full head of coarse curly hair, and it's becoming matted. She will not bathe either. I have not been able to get her into the shower for several months. She has very bad OCD problems and people touching her is on the list. Occasionally she will let the cosmetologist daughter of a friend cut it, but I am not sure she will even do that now.
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So why is this a problem? Do you know why not, is this a power struggle, does she have mobility issues that make it difficult, does she dislike the person cutting her hair, has she developed a fear of the salon?
Is she still shampooing at home to keep clean? If you can keep her clean there a lots of ways to keep her hair tidy without cutting it short.
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