Please help. My mom will not bathe any more.

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My mom's hygiene has went downhill over these past couple years. My mother will not take a shower or bathe. Says she's scared of falling. Well then take a bath or ask me for help I offer. It's not like she's 90 years old and unable to move around. She's 52 and works 40+ hours a week. She has the energy and strength to do so but she just chooses not too anymore. I guess you would call it her will power. All she does when she gets off work is come home sit in her chair and chain smoke cigarettes and plays on Facebook with her phone like she's a teenager in middle school or something. When it comes to hygiene she's just lazy and doesn't care anymore.We're going on day 20 maybe 22. I lost count. Now that's sad I have to keep count of when my mother bathes, but that's nothing. One time last year she went over 2 months with out taking one! it was like 65-70 days without bathing. She also stopped brushing, washing her hair. She just left it in a bun and stopped brushing, 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 disgusting. A little collection of everything that comes into contact with it and just sticks like linen, pieces of paper etc. She knows it's gross looking because when she goes out into public she makes sure she wears her work hat, so I know she's embarrassed but she won't wash it to try and fix the problem. She doesn't change her clothes. She wears her nasty, dirty work clothes day after day even when it's her day off. Last but not least she doesn't brush her teeth. I understand some people forget every now and then and that's understandable but she doesn't forget she just doesn't brush her teeth. Last time I remember seeing her brush was over a year ago. The brushing the teeth issue is the least of my concerns right now. 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 to get help or go about getting these problems taken care of? Please somebody help me.

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BMT,
It's nice of you to try to help your mom but, as you can see, there's nothing you can do.

The suggestions here are good but won't matter if she's not going to act on them. You can't force a person to do something they don't want to do.

It is not your responsibility to help your mom with bathing but I can understand how disgusting it must be.

I hope you really want to get back with your ex and are not just leaving because you don't have a job and don't want to live with your mom anymore.
Good luck.
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I think moving away is a fine idea. So many of us have had parents who refused to take care of themselves but we were shamed by family and friends for not making the patents behave, as if we had that superpower! Go out and prosper!
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I think what Frequentflyer is talking about is the possibility your mom has been sexual assaulted or sexual harassed, not that she's been rejected.

Sudden changes in hygiene or personal grooming/clothing - refusing to bathe, change, or care for one's appearance, are often a sign of some kind of sexual abuse.

Sexual abuse is not something a mother would necessarily tell her children about - and women of older generations are much more shame-bound and silent about it than younger women.  I wouldn't be too quick to reject the notion, since so many women have experienced some form of sexual assault or sexual harassment. 

It may not have even been a recent incident.  My now 79-year old mother was very triggered about past workplace sexual harassment (going back to the '50s and '60s) by news reports over the last few years on the (edit: "alleged") sexually abusive behaviours of famous men - in particular, Ghomeshi (here in Canada), Cosby, Trump, and Weinstein.  The #metoo movement has also brought up memories for many women.

Changes in hygiene and personal grooming/clothing are also a sign of depression.

Sometimes they go hand-in-hand.
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I feel your frustration. My mom chooses cigs & wine coolers over personal hygiene. She takes it up a notch, by allowing her diapers to become so saturated they seep through her clothing, bedding etc. When I ask her why she lets it get to the point of saturation, she claims too tired to change them. But, not too tired to go on patio to smoke with her oxygen around her neck. Or to micromanage where I put thing when I try to declutter her home. Then she lies about changing her diapers. I said Mom I haven't seen a wet diaper in days. I'm disgusted with those who make poor choices. She has no teeth because of poor dental care. Refuses to leave house or see doctors. I'm a nurse and have cared for elderly my entire life and I end up with a stubborn controlling mother who insists she can care for herself. She refuses outside help too. Good luck....Sorry to admit it but your post made me laugh a few times. The bird nest and the bird baths. It's the cigs and lack of oxygen to the brain that's makes them exhibit poor decisions. My mom can barely breath, but continues the addiction. So sad. My mom s 80 and of sound mind. She is just causing me to lose my mind...lol....and yes she stinks on occasion. Good luck!
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Even when she was bathing regularly she would still sleep most the day on her days off. I mean I understand that. I would sleep really late on my days off also haha. No she doesn't have a primary care physician, insurance nothing.Even if she did she wouldn't go. Thank you all for the responses. I'm getting back together with my ex and moving from Texas back to TN. Really perfect timing for me. I've tried helping my mother talking to her an still nothing. Just time for me to pack up and move on. I can't help her if she doesn't want to help her self. She just walked in from work. If it was me I'd get out the work clothes asap and take a shower.You think she'd want to do the same. Nope,straight to love seat, plugs her cell phone in,pulls up Facebook and lights a ciggarette. She doesn't want to change.
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I'm curious, you mentioned she doesn't like hospitals, Does she have a primary care physician?

My Father has also stopped showering (and never has been able to get down into a tub due to knee problems and surgery). He sometimes will shower if my mother or I keep telling him to do it all day... It is very frustrating!
He washes his hair and shaves at the sink, I'm not sure if he really dose anything beyond that on a regular basis???

I hope you can figure out some way to help your mom understand that she needs to care for her personal hygiene.
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Your mom is so young. I agree that it must be depression if she normally bathed and took care of herself. Yes a visit to the doctor is in order. Spring is here and hopefully it’s just winter doldrums that will go away now. Wishing for better times for you and your mother.
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It sounds like your mom is very TIRED. Whether it's more than that and there is a chemical depression in the brain, but could just be a physical one, too. I went through something similar where I was just too TIRED too much of the time. I started thyroid meds a couple months back and it's made a big difference for me. I'm also pushing myself to work out a little a few times a week. I still sleep 10pm-8am every night (and if I don't, I feel tired), but at least I don't sleep on my days off anymore.

I get it about mom not liking medical care, but something is off if she is choosing to sleep on days off. I used to do the same thing. I was worn out, such low energy.

She needs to be evaluated by a doctor imo, do blood tests and also tell them about how much she's sleeping. I hope she'll see the wisdom in going in and talking to a doc about how tired she is. That's not normal. And she could get significant help, and possibly get on the track to feeling much, much better. She doesn't have any quality of life right now like this. :-(
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It sounds like your Mom is very depressed. She is showing a lot of the signs of severe depression; little attention to personal care and hygiene, shutting out the family, things like that. There is no rhyme or reason to why someone suffers from depression. It has to be diagnosed and treated by a doctor.
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Thanks to everyone who responded and gave me their input..freqflyer nah that's not it. Since she got divorced years ago she's not worried about a relationship. She never had problems meeting men or dating. She was always a beautiful women if anything the men were the ones upset when they were rejected haha..Alibobali she really doesn't exercise she has really bad pain in her feet from a few years back working 2 jobs 90+ hours a week. That took a toll on her body. So she doesn't exercise.Ive tried using family members to shame her hoping it would help. Nothing. Her mom was telling her to just cut her hair and it would grow back but still nothing. Other family members told her to wash her hair and they would buy her a wig since her hair is thinning, still no progress and you're other question Ali about her having a physical check up. She won't go to the hospital for really anything. A couple years ago it was that time of the month and she bled constantly for over a month and finally I got her to go to the ER. They had to give her four pints of blood the Dr told her 1-2 more days she would have been dead. She just doesn't like the hospital.She does donate plasma but have been in a couple months and they do a physical so she had to be kind of healthy for them to let her donate but she does seem foggy and run down. How she walks now, her days off she sleeps all day until like 4-5 pm and then come 10pm she's right back in bed and has no problem going back to sleep and sleep another 15+ hours...Gardenartist-- people at work do know.I used to work there and I talked to her boss about it. I talked to my neighbor her employee about it and one day at the apt. While he was here I was like Mom the hot water is working great now, I washed clothes and there are clean towels if you want to take a shower. She didn't even answer me she started taking about something completely different. He seen first hand. They all love her up at her job and don't have the heart to say anything Gardenartist I know the falling factor plays a role she has vertigo but she plays the falling card way too much. I tell her take a bath and I'll help get with anything, also I tell her about the shower chair.She acknowledges it and says that's a good idea but never looks into it. I'm currently unemployed and looking for a job so I'm not able to buy her one but will as soon as I get a job. To be honest I don't think that'll make a difference, hate to say it but I just don't.She just wants to get off work, come home play on her phone, Facebook, look up recipes,chain smoke cigarettes until she goes to bed. Music won't help. She takes like birdbaths some mornings before work and perfume/body spray I guess to cover up the smell, but birdbaths just washing your arms and hands and face is not the same as taking a shower or sitting in the tub bathing from head to toe....A big thank you and God bless you to everyone who took time to answer my question.
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