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My mother has developed a yeast infection under her breast and onto her stomach. I am at my wits end. She will not wash up or bathe. She smells awful!! I have the anti fungal cream and powder, which she is using (not to brush her teeth I hope) Will not go to the doctors either.I cannot pick her up and carry her, what do I do? She does have moderate dementia. I have a glade plug in by her room. It helps, but am I risking my & my Grandkids health by her being unclean? Worried...and tired!

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I'm in the same boat. My mother won't shower or bathe. Says she's scared of falling. Well then take a bath or ask me for help. It's not like she's 90 years old and unable too.She's 52 and works 40+ hours a week so she has the energy and strength to do it but she just won't anymore.When it comes to hygene she's just lazy and doesn't care anymore.We're going on day 20 without bathing but that's nothing.One time in the past she went 2 months with out taking one, it was like 65 days without bathing. She also stopped brushing her hair and just left it in a bun an stopped brushing it so now it's all matted together in a bun shape and doesn't need a hair tie that's how matted it is.It looks like a bird's nest it is gross looking. A little collection of everything that comes into contact with it and just sticks like linen,pieces of paper etc. When she goes into public she wears her work hat so she's embarrassed but she won't wash it to try and fix it. She also won't or doesn't brush her teeth ever. I understand some people forget every now and then but she doesn't forget she just doesn't brush her teeth. Last time I remember seeing her brush was over a year ago. I love her to death but this is a serious health issue and I can not take this anymore. This is affecting our relationship. Who do I contact or go about getting this problem taken care of?
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Have you tried using something like "comfort personal cleaning Comfort Bath"? There are other brands, I'm sure but these are a lifesaver. The person doesn't have to take off their clothes, just use one cloth per body part. I know from personal experience I don't like feeling exposed and cold. With these, you come out smelling fresh and the body stays soft and CLEAN. They look like baby wipes but are bigger and do a much better job. I hope these will help your mother.
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My husband has that old people smell and his blanket will smell absolutely terrible. After some research, we had decided to buy a specially designed Japanese persimmon soap, body wash, and shampoo by Mirai Clinical - miraiclinical.com will soon find out if it works. For his cloths, I found by adding baking soda, oxyclean, detergent, and Clorox will get the odor out of his clothes. I have also found that vinegar and ammonia will work too.
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I'm a senior who hates baths and showers. Wouldn't bother me to go years and not have one. My family took care of this by getting me a product called "Comfort Bath" It's a package of personal cleansing washcloths that you warm up in the microwave and use each cloth for different parts of the body. No more fear of stepping into a shower or not being able to get out of the tub and they leave your skin really soft and smelling nice. I only have to take clothes off the body part that I'm washing.
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Check on the internet or phone book and see where you can buy bath cloths. They are packages of wet cloths that you microwave. Usually a minute or two is all you need. Once your mother is naked, take a very warm cloth that is wet and wipe her down starting with the face. They are nice smelling and you won't need to clean up the water on the floor. Once she's wiped down, let her air dry and put clean clothes on her. They use them all the time in the hospitals for bed-ridden patients who get washed by aides. You can choose to dry shampoo her hair or let her lean back like in the salons if you have the right height chair. Otherwise, the dry shampoo works great. Also, many stores now carry the swivel stools that you can sit in the middle of the tub instead of the kitchen. Put a sprayer hose on the faucet and wet her down, soap her up and rinse her all over. It works and you don't have the floor to clean up. They are great but in some places are a little bit pricy. If her doctor writes a script for it, you may get reimbursement from Medicare. For my dad, we used a plastic $5 chair that we set in the tub. I would call my brother to come over every other day and bathe him for me. No sense in him missing out on all the fun!! Either way, you can do this easily and at little expense.
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SA,

Thanks for the laugh. Poor Sean.
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Mee123 - I couldn't agree with you more! I am new - about a week now - and until I came here I had no idea how common some of the awful things I am dealing with are. I truly felt alone. Bathing was a major issue - my mom went 3 years without a proper shower even though I tried home health nurses, and other interventions. She is now in a facility where a weekly shower is mandatory and next week is moving to a NH where she will hate having one twice a week - but she will have them! As clear by the number of 2015 post this is still a hot topic. I wish I had known about this site years ago. I'm sure this thread would have at a minimum provided me a measure of comfort - as I'm sure it is now doing that for others!
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Spooky62's question may be an old post but is still relevant and on going problem that others continue to need answered. There are folks asking for help for 2015. The post may be old but the problem is new for each first time caregiver
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cwillie I just noticed that too, but it came up as a new question yesterday....hmmmm, they need to fix this it has happened a few times, quite a waste of typing and re hashing especially if person is no longer a member!Oh well, hopefully it will help someone new...
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my father hasnt bathed nor brushed his teeth in years and smells god awful. its very stressful hes 73... when you tell him he needs a bath he gets upsets and carries on so no one tells him. hes an embarrassment to my family no one wants to be around him, they talk behind his back how awful he smells. he doesnt wash after he uses the toilet quite disgusting if you ask me... he smells so bad i dont think a doctor would examine him in that condition. he smells like he pees and defecates in his clothes
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She will get UTI infections possible others besides the unsanitary/smell issues...they have waterproof rolling shower chairs as used in hospitals and rehabs...look online...makes it much easier to transfer directly to that, roll into bathroom and shower then transfer back. Can also be used as a bedside commode if needed.If she won't shower it is a health issue...my mom dislikes it also but she will do it with prompting, better than going to the Doctor or a NH as I tell her it is a health issue.
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Refusing bathing is common in this stage of dementia as others have mentioned 1) fear of water and 2) disorientation to time/ST memory impairment ("I don't need a shower - I KNOW I just had one!!") and 3) privacy/dignity concerns. I like all of the suggestions for making bathing a spa experience, wrapping towels for warmth & discretion, etc and I suggest that therapeutic fibs be utilized even if there's no MD visit - insist that she get clean. Don't ask - tell her it's time to bathe and the doctor's insisting for health reasons. Remind yourself this isn't personal and if she knew how bad it was she would take better care of herself. She could also have severely impaired procedural memory and changing her routine by just leaving her room or getting in the the bath might be too scary as she doesn't remember where she is and what she is supposed to do next. If this is the case, ask the doctor for some anti-anxiety meds to take just before bath time. Also there is oral anti-fungal medicines that can treat systemically which may be easier than creams & powers. Tell the doctor and ask local elder care agency or Alz Assoc chapter for specific help with caring for mom at home.
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This is an old thread, spooky posted in 2013 and as far as I can tell has left the site.
I wish the Admins would close new comments on old threads .
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sorry, I meant you can't let her intimidate you, not can.
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Spooky62, boy you need help! first of all, I would explain to her that she NEEDS to be bathed at least twice a week if she won't bathe herself. Many seniors are afraid of falling, getting burned from hot water, etc. I used to work as a CNA while in nursing school and I had to bathe many older women who didn't want to bathe nor did they think they needed one but mercy, they did! For one, I had to get permission from the nursing home, which they gave gladly, and I got the other CNA's (3) to help. One went in first to make sure the water was hot enough to use, one other got the soaps, towels, etc. ready and I helped the woman into the wheelchair. She protested some but finally let me wheel her in the bathroom. It took all three of us to lift her, put her in the bath chair and soap her down. We also leaned her back against the sink and washed her stinky hair. We had to work fast but got her clean for the first time in a very long time. We tried the same things such as lotions, massaging her feet, painting her nails (both hand and feet) and brushing her hair dry. She suffered from a mild dementia and complained the whole time but after it was over, she did admit she felt much better and knew she looked better. She did complain to her family but the home told them it was either that or they would have to remove her so they dropped the complaining. Sometimes, you just have to do what you need to do. If your mother will not bathe, get a couple of family members to help do what I did. Once you tell her that will happen unless she bathes herself, you may see some changes. Sometimes medicare will cover home help for a couple days a week. You need a break and you should call them. A CNA or nurse can help you bathe her twice a week, treat her yeast infections and do what is needed for her regardless of how she feels about it. It may be dementia that is making her hate the bathing but you can let her intimidate you into doing what she wants because she's not thinking clearly. Best of luck to you though. I hope you call medicare and get some much needed help.
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I imagine under the breast it may have started as heat rash and then went on from there. It surely is painful. Would she let you clean it with a soapy wash cloth? Then rinse with another "rinse' cloth?

Try "Gold Bond Powder" ????
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I congratulate all of the care givers out there who do their best in assisting the elderly. I have a VERY suborn father who will only do sponge baths and wash his hair once a month. He WILL NOT go to the doctors PERIOD! I have tried every thing possible, but he will not go. He is 92; had a great mind, but his hips are frozen tight due to arthritis and uses a walker to move around. He becomes extremely cantankerous to me and I have crying spells to quell the high stress in my life. Anybody have any idea as to how to continue to live a happy life?
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Forget the perfumes and lotions, then, but does she dislike water, too? lol Keep us updated and let us know if the plan works! I hope so, if not for her sake, then yours! I am a very clean person...If my mom so much as spilled drink or soup or whatever on her shirt, I changed her shirt immediately. Her bedding was peed on every night, in spite of pads and depends, so in the wash they went. I like a nice clean house that smells good, and I'm that way about personal hygiene myself, so there is no way I would have let my mom get away with what yours is doing. I would have threatened to call an ambulance and have to taken somewhere where they WOULD wash her, and what she wanted be damned. Yes, you need to have some respect for the person you're caring for, but not to the detriment of their...or your...health. Sometimes you have to be respectful, sometimes you've got to get creative, and sometimes you've just got to put your foot down.

What is the doctor saying? He must notice what's going on, and I'm sure you've discussed this issue with him...what does he say about it?
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She is 83,has moderate dementia.She ses the dr regularly,and does not care if she is dirty,lol.She had an eval. (goold) done in May.The RN said I cannot make her bathe or shower,I can only remind her.Personally I really disliked that RN.She saw my mom on a better day than usual.Mom accused me of stealing her underpants today,she has been throwing them in the trash.I put on gloves fish them out & wash them.Things are crazy!!!She hates perfumes,and lotions.all around she is pretty unpleasant,lol.I have a plan...will let you know if it works...til then...Fe breeze.
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I assume she has a physician. Make an appointment for her. Tell her they called and need to see her. Make up any excuse that will work. I find my MIL will wash when she has to go to the DR. Then take her to the Dr. and let him see this infection and treat her for it. Or let him see how stinky dirty she is, explain the situation and let him tell the both of you the options available. Her dirtiness can endanger your family's health. No one has the right to do that.
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SA cant stop laughing just picturing you hosing your mum down!! But as you say whatever works!!
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It wasn't that my mom would refuse to bathe, but there was no way for me to get her into the shower. She couldn't stand for long, let alone walk, so for a minute I was stumped. I never ASKED my mom if she wanted a bath, I TOLD her it was time for one. I wasn't hearing arguments. Finally, I hit upon a solution that worked for us. I stripped her down naked and gave her a towel to hold over her chest, while she sat in her wheelchair. I brought her over in front of the sink, soaped her up, had my son Sean help her stand when I had to wash her butt and privates, then she sat back down...and I took the sprayer hose from the sink and hosed her off, right there in the kitchen. My floors were underwater in spite of towels I placed under and around my mom's wheelchair, which was more work, but hey, mom was squeaky clean and actually laughed and seemed to enjoy getting the bath. Hey, whatever works. lol Also, after the bath, I'd break out some really good smelling lotions and body sprays and give her a 'spa treatment'. She enjoyed that, too. Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do... Good luck!
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Can you tell us a bit more about your Mom. How old is she? Are there other health issues? does she live with you full time? Is there easy access to the bathroom? can she depend on her privacy. Has she allowed you to see her breast infection. Are you sure it is yeast and not something more serious. is it open and weeping, draining pus. can she still manage to bathe alone? Is she afraid of falling? Do you have handrails in the tub/shower. it may be very painful to touch the infected area and even plain water may hurt not to mention a washcloth and soap try some baby wipes and a light dusting of the anti fungal powder. Have you inspected her underwear? Don't cringe put on gloves and wear a mask if you have to. She may have a vaginal infection or again something worse in that area. One way to go is call in Public health or take the bull by the horns and bathe her yourself. Enlist the help of your husband if you have one and both of you march her to the bathroom. She may give in if she sees your husband is going to help and you can do it alone. Respect her privacy no one likes being stripped naked although it does not seem to bother hospitals these days. Wrap her in a large towel and probably use a shower chair. if you have a detachable shower head it makes it easier. other wise fill a large bucket with warm water, wash her from that and rinse off with a jug. let her wash what she can herself but help with feet and back. If she is reluctant let her keep her underwear on till everything else is clean then wrap her in a large warm towel and she can discretely wash the genital area. Make sure you wear gloves for the bath and handling dirty laundry and towels. After use wash your tub and the tub of your washer with bleach and the toilet seat if others use it. keep all linens separate for her use only. If this is all not possible your only option is to call in public health. even they are unlikely to physically force her to wash if she refuses so it is going to ultimately be down to you. keep in touch your experiences and solutions are a great help to others.
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My paternal grandfather was the first to present the type of challenge you're describing. He ultimately had to be taken to a supervised environment in which he knew he had to do certain things. Don't misunderstand, he received kind and excellent care. Family was able to look in on him regularly. That said, he knew he would not win an argument with the doctors and nurses. They would not take no for an answer when something needed to be done, and he could bathe himself or be helped by two large, young orderlies.

My living grandfather, my maternal grandfather, goes through similar periods now. He can still be reasoned with on good days and will allow certain people--very few--to help. He knows that he has to give a little to remain in his own home, and that's important to him. He has to be reminded of that sometimes when he's resistant to things, though.

This is an issue of health and quality of life for you, your mother, and your family. If you feel you've hit a wall and can't talk through it with her, then you do need help, and there's no shame in that. If it were just a matter of odor, it might not be worth the battle, might be okay to go a few days between washing. Once certain skin conditions or infections present themselves, though, a line has been crossed. And StandingAlone is correct, there is a risk to you if you don't address the problem. It might not be this issue that does it, but if there's another problem, a more serious problem (a fall, for instance) then there will be scrutiny. I know it's hard, but it's better to deal with this now and on your own terms.
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I agree with SA make her wash OR threaten her with a home? Its works for my mum I just mention home and she shuffles up the stairs cursing me!!

Ive read that they are afraid of hot water and confused I know you may have done this but I read that if you put a towel soap and clean clothes in front of them all laid out it makes it easier for them to wash? I dont have this problem YET? my mum is washing once a week so better than not at all? I run the bath for her make sure its not too high or hot she seems more keen when i run the bath for her!
Anyway im sure youve tried everything? Get a nurse in as this is a health issue and needs to be sorted.

If my mum dosnt behave the very mention of a NH seems to scare her? tough love!! good luck and let us know how you get on.
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Spooky, I feel bad for you. It's like a rock and a hard place. Imho, you have to get harder about cleanliness. It may well come to 'forcing' your mom to get clean. She's already developing infections. If someone from DSS came by, they could very well get YOU for neglect. MAKE her wash, period. Or call DSS yourself and ask someone there what to do, maybe they could arrange for an aide to come out. Somethings got to give...
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she doesn't allow others to wash her.I cannot force her..
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Hi poor you! Tea tree is very good for this its candida but not always from not washing try washing her with this as I had thrush once and used this. Also natural yougurt rubbed into it! I personally would if you can see an alternative doc as the natural products worked better for me than conventional docs and antifungals! Also (sorry but cured myself from candida years ago so a bit of an expert on fungus!!!) yeast feeds on sugars maybe cut down on her sweet things. even lactose in milk can irritate it!

Hope this helps as i dont think its just from not washing bad diet can cause it too! You can get teatree oil soap also most health shops sell it!

try googling candida albicans for more info! and good luck!
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