Mom is 85 and in stage 4 dementia.
I know the advice on this site is: it's ok for a dementia/elderly person to shower only once a week. I also read a few other posts about showering. But those posts talk about making the bathroom nice & pleasant- which has no effect on my mom. She doesn't care for music in the bathroom, favorite soap or towels etc.
Mom has not showered in over at least 2 months and has not changed clothes in over 4 days. I can smell the urine and a horrible odor when I'm near her. She feels warm and comfy in her stinky clothes and doesn't want to change even though the heat is at 75*. She, of course, completely denies the odor, tells me to wear a mask or get out of her room.
I try rewards, ie put on a nice movie/ a favorite snack after fresh clothes...she lies "no, I already changed my clothes yesterday , I showered this morning. Im 85 years old - leave me alone".
Today my husband got angry at how she was refusing my efforts to help her be clean and suggested maybe I could try "change clothes first, then lunch." So I tried this tactic but mom refused to eat and sat in her room all day. Obviously I'm not going to try this anymore.
She won't let me brush her hair either and won't do it herself. She's looking very unkempt.
Before the pandemic, I had hired aides from our community. So this lady came yesterday to say hi to mom & maybe coax her into wearing fresh clothes. But mom did not remember her at all and just smiled and said " I already changed/I will change tomorrow"
I'm getting fed up of these weekly battles & mom's stubbornness. If she gets UTI, falls sick..so be it.
How do I not get so involved ? How do I let all these battles slide off my back?
I was so upset today I cried & finished a bag of chips.