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So that means she goes way too long between these two things. I have tried the many things recommended through my reading these forums but none of it works. Any suggestions? HELP!

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We went out and bought a shower chair and put it in the walk in shower and showed it to her as being just super comfortable to sit on as she had been taking sponge baths at home (and probably not regularly) prior to that We then showed her how it worked and the first few days we let her know we were taking a shower (ok making a big deal about the fact that we were going to take a shower and change clothes FOR TODAY!). I also hung out near her the first few times she took a shower so that I could help her with the water temperature. She seems to be now taking a shower on a regular basis without nagging. We also talked about how since we live in a warm climate one has to shower every day to keep from smelling (ie to each other not to her).   It actually went much better than I had anticipated because when she was in her home she frequently said she had bathed when we knew she hadn't.  For some reason the new environment seemed to help or maybe it was the super nice shower we had.  (although she endlessly says she wants to go home).
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I fell very fortunate that I do not yet have to deal with someone not being able to do their own bathing . My MIL is able to do everything for herself still...my problems with her are almost 100 percent her refusal to cooperate because she doesn't think she is dirty or in need of reminding ,etc. if I didn't make her something to eat or drink she would starve because she forgets to eat. She doesn't seem to recognize she is hungry or thirsty anymore. I know I don't have all the physical problems to deal with like most of you (not yet anyway) but it is still difficult. Thank you everyone for all your ideas. It is giving me a lot to think about.
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I understand how you feel, Connie. My husband is bed bound, and I know that keeping that private area clean in very difficult. My husband is 350 pounds and with all the skin folds from his weight, it’s darned near impossible. But more than one doctor has told us that this area is probably the most important regarding cleanliness. My husband doesn’t have dementia, but my mom did and when an ER nurse told me she wasn’t very clean “down there”, we had to start testing her monthly for UTIs.

If she is mobile, what about a sitz bath? A nice warm soak cures many ills. I personally can’t stand those removable shower heads on a hose. The spray is too harsh. I feel like I’ve been power washed. On hubby, I use a bucket of warm water with no rinse soap, sometimes twice a day.
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Your father does sound like my MIL and yes I also think the actors are way too compliant but, I found the information the CareBlazer videos offer is very valuable. If my MIL was as easy to reach as those in the videos I wouldn't be on this forum for sure. As for meds, here is my dilemma. She only takes thyroid medicine and a vitamin. She doesn't blood pressure problems or anything. She has been taking the same ones for more than 40 years and when I try to add a new pill she gets suspicious and will only take the ones she is familiar with. when she broke her hip she wouldn't even take pain medicine not even a Tylenol ! I've never seen anyone handle pain the way she did and does even now. If there is a liquid form I could put it in her morning drink. I guess that is what I will check into next.
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I had the same issue with my 95-year-old father. He would not let me touch him. I couldn't get him to change his clothes or bathe. He reeked of urine. I asked the doctor what I could do and he suggested a bathing aide. That did not work because my father refused to let anyone near him and the aide left and did not come back. Then we tried to give my father Atavan when he became agitated. It has helped and he allowed the aide to give him a bed bath. Perhaps talk to your doctor about what medication to give to calm your mother-in-law down so that she is receptive to at least getting a bed bath. Also look into getting an aide; the right aide can help making the experience pleasant instead of a tug of war. I also watched the bathing videos on UTube and I felt that the actors were too compliant. I was not able to reason with my father; he would push, punch, kick, you name it if I tried to come near him. How do you deal with that? What worked for us was medication and a good aide. I wish you all the best; I know it is so hard. For me it was trial and error until the right combination of medication and aides finally got my father clean.
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Conniec; I am so sorry ! I do know what you are going through ,if you have tried all of the above ,maybe she has to get a medicine change up ,is she on alzheimers meds ,I knew people who had alzheimers ,and started takeing the meds, I want to say Arisept they showed MUCH improvement.I send my prayers, and wish you all the LUCK!!!
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Oh and I do have easier coloring books for her and her sketching materials. I leave them where she can see them in hopes she will use them.
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Thanks, and yes maybe I'll have better luck with the pads. My biggest problem with my MIL is that she's so uncooperative . She refuses to do anything I try to get her to do. She's a stubborn woman ,always has been. I believe in some ways the dementia has worsened her stubborn personality. I spent several hours last night watching CareBlazers videos. I tried the Teepa Snow ones but found the CareBlazers ones more helpful to me . Not that the Teepa Snow aren't good I just preferred the CareBlazers. By the way I keep an adult coloring book at her house for myself. I find it helps me relax while I am watching her. I can't read a book because I would be constantly picking it up and putting it down and that's not a good way to enjoy a book. I have tried to get her to color or draw but she won't. In her younger years she was quite the artist so I thought this would be an easy thing to get her to do , but no. I did get her to sketch me on a napkin once but that was months ago.
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@ConnieC - my mom refuses Depends also, but has times when she cannot control her bowels. Poise pads makes a super long and slightly wider incontinence pad that goes inside your underwear. Mom now uses these. They don't always catch all the mess, but they work better than just underwear or regular size pads, and save her a lot of embarrassment. 

I think maybe she is similar to your MIL, in that she equates the Depends with "old people wearing diapers" and does not want to admit to her physical decline. She is comfortable with the pad though - I think because it's similar to a large menstrual pad, which she's more familiar with. She also has her own garbage container with a liner and a lid, where she can deposit the used pads after she rolls them up and wraps them in tissue (again, like a menstrual pad).  She's also fine with them because they're technically made for bladder leakage, which is something lots of women who've given birth have problems with (so again, she can disassociate from the idea of physical decline).

Maybe give them a shot? I believe the one we use is labelled size 6 (the biggest).
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thank you all for your ideas and I am learning a lot from everyone's experiences . My mother in law won't shower or take a bath, she has been sponge bathing for many years, long before her dementia kicked in. (old school I believe because she was very poor growing up and that's what they did) I do give her privacy and make sure the bath area is warm. I lay out her clothes and while we are having breakfast I suggest it's a good day for a bath. She agrees but then the bathing doesn't get done. I keep on her about it all day and one of two things happen.....she gets defiant and demands I leave her alone ( this is also the time she starts getting mean towards me )says she just took a bath or she is agreeable but won't do it. I offer to help her and she declares she can do it herself , that she's not a child and says that'll be the day when she needs someone to bathe her. I have already tried the baby wipes angle and she won't use them either. I leave her towel, wash cloth, wipes etc. out for her. I'm hoping she will see these things and it will make her want to clean up. She goes behind me and puts everything away so I spend the day putting them back out. This back and forth goes on all day. She does have times when she messes her pants and I have tried the "you smell" thing and the "it's not healthy" angle. She denies messing her underwear (I think because she is embarrassed ). I have found her messy underwear in some tucked away places and also caught her cleaning them in the toilet. Even during those times she denies the fact that she didn't make it to the toilet. I think she just doesn't always recognize the urge to go and therefore she messes her underwear. I have considered pull up type underwear or diapers but I am concerned she will try to flush them down the toilet. My sister in law works in a nursing home and says this happens often. So not sure I want to run the risk of the toilet overflowing and or having costly plumbing needs on a daily basis. I think she would flush them to hide the mess from me. I do think I'll try it though and see what happens ...fingers crossed.
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My mom wouldn't change or bathe for a period of about 6 months. It was, I believe, mostly a combination of exhaustion and pain from her kidney disease, and depression - mom has suffered chronic depression all her life. Having a fatal disease and growing confusion and memory problems has compounded that depression. Not changing or bathing is very common even among young people with this problem. I would suggest perhaps talking to her doctor about it. Maybe some medication would help?

My mom has already been on zoloft for 20 years, so there wasn't much to be done about it from that perspective. Currently I have home support coming 3x a week - mom resisted at first, but those ladies are much better than I at badgering her into a shower or a sponge bath and a clean set of clothes. I let her wear whatever she wants in between these visits - she mostly stays in whatever they dressed her in until the next home support visit. But now she is quite eager for them to come and help her get washed and dressed. Feeling clean helps a LOT with depression.  (Edit:  and easing the depression might also ease some of the more violent behaviours.)
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Dear connie.c.,Please do not be worried about this elderly people are often at Times ,EXTREAMLY AFRAID OF BATHING .This is because 90%of falls happen the tub or shower even in a chair,it is very Normal for elderly people to be afraid to wash in a tub ,so maybe you can get a table ,big bowl ,or wash tub,with warm water ,no rinse foam soap,and put it I'm her room with wash clothes ,hand towels,and a bath towel.Then leave mom to her own privacy in her room to wash herself . I have been in this exact situation ,actually had to say "you really smell and your hair is greasy PLEASE wash yourself,it is not fair to other people to have to smell you.then this person went along with this plan .GOOD LUCK!!!! Oh P.S.I have tried this method more than 1 time 90% of the time it works but not always ,The wipes are a great way to go too...but definitely could be a medication problem. I mean what did they do in the old days ?? A big bowl of wash water, and privacy.
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Dear connie.c.,Please ...do not be worried about this !elderly people are often at Times ,EXTREAMLY AFRAID OF BATHING !This is because 90%of falls happen the tub or shower ,even in a shower  chair,it is very Normal for elderly people to be afraid to wash in a tub, so maybe you can get a table ,big bowl ,or wash tub,with warm water ,no rinse foam soap,and put it in her room with wash cloth ,hand towels,and a bath towel.Then leave mom to her own privacy in her room to wash herself . I have been in this exact situation ,actually had to say "you really smell and your hair is greasy PLEASE wash yourself,it is not fair to other people to have to smell you.then this person went along with this plan .GOOD LUCK!!!! Oh P.S.I have tried this method more than 1 time 90% of the time it works but not always ,The wipes are a great way to go too...but definitely could be a medication problem. I mean what did they do in the old days ?? A big bowl of wash water, and privacy.
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Maybe try a couple of different strategies. First, watch some Teepa Snow videos on bathing.
We did a few different things with my mom. Early on, I had to be sure to use a space heater to warm up both the bathroom and the dressing room, use a shower chair and hand held sprayer. I also found it better not to attempt to do her hair at the same time...I could usually get her to shower about once a week. That is not quite enough ;-) so in-between we would give her a quick wipe down. Some of the things we did were
*Use adult wipes
*Get no rinse soap and use with a wet wash cloth
*Get Peri bottles and no rinse Peri cleaner. Mix a little Peri cleaner in one bottle with water and have one with just warm water. When she was on the toilet I could spray her Peri area first with the wash and then rinse with warm water...at least it got cleaned a couple times a day.
*We also gave mom sponge baths while she sat on the bedside commode
*Now we bathe her in the bed
My mom got sometimes doing stage 5-6 but as with everything when dealing with dementia, this too shall pass. Much luck to you.
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I will look into the idea of a duty nurse. I will tell all of you that I know how lucky I am that she has no health issues except she takes thyroid medicine. She takes no other prescription drugs. Broke her hip a year and a half ago so doesn't walk as well as she used to but she refuses to even use a cane. I know I'm in for a lot worse with her, but I'm just concerned she is not staying clean in her privates. And it's ok BarbBrooklyn I know you don't know my situation and I know you are just trying to help.
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Has anyone thought of referring her to a geriatric psychiatrist for meds?  Sometimes agitation for these issues can be a blessing.

Connie, I'm so sorry that I offended you. I hope you find the information you seek! Be well.
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Look into getting a duty nurse. Just someone who is trained in assisting with bathing. I had one come in for my Mom...and she was all business and no nonsense tolerated either.

Check local agencies....they probably have someone who can come once or twice a week.
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wow really BarbBrooklyn, I joined this forum for help not to be treated like I'm some sort of a monster. My mother in law will never have in her life a person who cares for her more than I do. I am not with her son anymore and he and his siblings don't do much to help out with her. I love her and will continue to care for her as long as I am needed. I spend everyday with her, feeding her, keeping her company, take walks with her, etc. I don't do it for "thanks" I do it because I care and if I didn't do it she would have no one. I do know her history and I know her brain is broken. I know she's just trying to hold on to the last little bit of independence and dignity left to her. She's just a jeckle and hyde sometimes and I know this is typical behavior. As for outside help, she won't cooperate with them right now either.
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So, Connie, you say she "knows she's being mean".

She has dementia, right?

Her brain is broken. What is HER experience of being asked to change her clothes, or bathe?

I read a sad story a couple of years ago about a dementia patient who fought like the dickens when anyone at the NH tried to get her in the shower. It came to light that she had been raped as a 13 year old in a shower at school decades earlier.

We can't always know what our dementia folks are experiencing when we ask them to do simple things. My usually calm mom nearly drove us off the road as my husband and I drove her from rehab to a lovely Assisted Living Community. We got her in the car, all comfy, turned on "calming" music (The Pachobel Canon) and she totally freaked out while we were driving.

In the same way that you have to get inside your baby's head (there's no milk; I don't see mommy, I've been abandoned! WHAAAAAA), we need to understand the broken brains of our elders and not ascribe lots of motives.

Have you asked her doctor to prescribe a bath aide?
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Have you looked into a nursing home for her?
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however she does know she is being mean
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I did not know this. worth a try ,I'll make her an appt. thanks
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Connie, when was the last time your Mother-in-law has seen her primary doctor? She could have an urinary tract infection [UTI] which has side effects such as hitting and cursing... which she doesn't realize she is doing.
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