What to do when parent refuses a bath? - AgingCare.com

What to do when parent refuses a bath?

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What can a caregiver do when the parent yells, "No, I don't want to take a bath" and they physically fight you when you try to get them up out of bed or their chair to help them into the bathroom? The whole situation becomes heated and very stressful every time, which is quite frustrating because I don't believe that forcing someone to do something they are clearly adamant about not doing is wrong. However, cleanliness is a necessity! Not bathing/showering can cause serious health issues for the person, as well as the caregiver. It has become a battle twice a week, and I even hired a CNA Batahing Nurse to come help, but the same thing continues to happen and the Nurse won't force her into the bathroom either. Please help. Thank you!

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Sometimes we get so bogged down with the daily caregiving and frustrations builds up. I completely forgot about Teepa. I used to turn to it in. My dad has moved on to another stage, past the not-wanting-to-shower, etc... I need to go back to watching her videos on this specific area. My mental thinking needs readjusting, again. And instead of just reacting, I need to be proactive to lessen my stress.
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Pam, Jessie, great answers as always! I need to remind myself, not to use "the Nursing home " words, in a way that are not threatening, as you do get to that point of frustration, and sometimes those words are hard to bite back, and then you feel terrible about saying them.

But boy oh boy, getting to "that point" is such a difficult place to be! The emotions and feelings they dredge up, especially when you have been at this a long time, Uggg! We are currently tip-toeing into those uncharted waters ourselves at the moment, after 13 years of caring for my FIL in our home.

I hate it, but unfortunately, we are all "aging in place", and somethings gotta give, before one of us caregivers gives out!

In most cases, our parents wouldn't want us to Never Enjoy our Own Retirement yYears, finally being free from our many years of hard work, raising our families, planning and saving for our retirement. We are indeed the Sandwich Generation!

Clearly I'm frustrated too, sorry to have gotten of topic, and now obviously, I need to go and watch some of those Teepa Snow Videos on Utube!!!
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BTW, when you are telling her why she needs to bathe, it needs to be in a way that you are working with her to keep her healthy. Using a nursing facility as a threat would be a bad thing to do. She may ultimately need to go to one, but again it will just be to keep her healthy as possible in the time she has left.
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You don't mention what her impairments are. Does she have dementia? Or is she just older and out of energy, so doesn't want to bathe. If she can understand you, tell her the truth -- that if she wants to keep her skin and privates clean, and if she wants you to continue to care for her, then she is going to have to get a bath at least once (or twice) a week. Otherwise she will need to go to a place where they will be able to care for her. It is not a threat to say this. It is the reality of the situation. We can only care for them if they will let us.

We went through through this with my father. He would have never showered, given the option. After I got here we made him shower at least once a week. We turned the heat up in the house and put a towel on the heater vent so it would be warm when he got out. Then my mother turned the water on to the right temperature and sat with him until he was finished bathing. He always felt better after bathing. I don't know why he hated so badly to do it. I guess he was afraid of falling or maybe the water felt wrong. He never said. He had mixed dementia and was frail.
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Wow, I had never heard of the woman, Teepa Snow. She is wonderful and her videos are so enlightening! THANK YOU!
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You watch the Teepa Snow videos on youtube. You also ask the MD about an anti-anxiety medication prior to office visits and baths.
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