What is the right way of handling bathing when my 90-year-old grandmother puts up a fuss every time?

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My grandmother is 90 years old. My mother is a nurse & she is the one responsible for giving her a bath. The last time my grandmother had a bath was approx. 1-2 months ago because she hates getting a bath & puts up a fuss every time. My mother deals with it by letting her go & getting her own way, instead of putting her foot down & setting the standards whether she likes it or not, is this the right way of handling the situation? Also, is 1-2 months without a bath acceptable, when her hair is greasy & she looks dirty?

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Hire someone from outside, I'm independent caregiver myself ... Sometime works much better with outside help to assisting your GM, Good Luck!
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Yes, I have the bath fits too. The only way to handle it , for me, is to make everything "her" decision. I use the shower chair (with a back). I heat it up with hot water first. I struggle a little to get her in the chair but it's smooth sailing after that. I run the shower next to her. She approves of the temperature. I always keep a little towel in case water gets in her eyes. I wet her, soap her up and rinse. I don't keep the water beating down on her. There is no dilly/dally 8 minutes is a long time, we are in and out, she is clean before she knows it! I think another thing is constant temperature, no real colds. I undress and dress her in the steamy room (dressing is a challenge.) I stay calm. In between weekly showers I use adult wipes to keep her creases clean...and smelling fresh. I hope this helps you...Good luck.
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Also, make sure you have a sturdy shower chair with a movable showerhead, and give her a shower. Baths can be overwhelming, being surrounded by water. They can also be very dangerous, because it's easy for them to fall, even with help. We have a walk in tub, and it's still overwhelming for my Grandmother. She's a lot more calm with showers, it's safer, and she will even splash the water onto her face.
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I had the same problem when my MIL lived with us. I had a small heater I kept for the bathroom just to get it nice and warm for her so she didn't get chilled. I had a swivel shower seat and a hand held sprayer. Sometimes I helped her and other times she did it herself. I would always throw a towel and her cloths in the dryer for a few minutes to have them good and warm for her. We applied lotion and powder first then the warm cloths that she loved. All this helped things go more smoothly. Hope some of these ideas will help you. Good Luck..
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If she hates baths, you should consider a sponge bath. That's sometimes the only way I can get my Grandmother to bathe. I know it's not a replacement, but in the problem areas (faces, armpits, and any cresses such as elbows, knees, etc.) You can use baby wipes and a some cornstarch powder. It helps keep her clean between baths, and it's less stressful for the person also. It will also prevent any skin irritation and tearing. Nevertheless, she shouldn't go longer than 1 week without a bath. I use Johnson's stuff on my Grandmother. I know it's meant for "babies", but that's what I found works best. The powder stops skin irritation, the shampoo cleans her brittle hair better than normal shampoo, and also if I accidently get it in her eyes it won't burn. Then the oil and lotion moisturize the skin and prevents tearing. You can wipe her off with baby wipes to keep her clean also.
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Take a look at the bathroom. Does it have a handheld nozzle because some people don't like having water beating down on their head and face. Make sure that there is some kind of bath chair in the shower/tub itself for her to sit on. Strains of staph love to live on skin and everyone has a few strains. Staph is just looking to find a way inside someone and to wreak havoc. So yes, a bath once or twice a week is needed. Don't take no for an answer. Tell her that it's time for her bath and get her in the bath. If you need a script from her doctor for a mild seditive for anxiety and/or a bath aid, go for it. Your mom could also use the tactic of saying that nobody wants to be around someone who stinks like she does. Mean, yes but sometimes being mean in the only way to go when you need to get a point across.
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There is a LOT going on with a bath or bathing.
The fear of falling
The loud noise from the water rushing all around you
All the steps that need to be done, get wet, pick up soap, lather, wash, rinse, do your hair, dry off, get dressed....it can be exhausting thinking about all that needs to be done all while trying not to fall or slip.
Shower chairs help. A bench or seat with a back.
Turn her so that she is NOT facing the water. I was told by a PT years ago that the head and chest are "vulnerable" areas and to wet those last. (what is the first thing that gets wet when you shower?...head and chest!)
I also found that turning off the water between getting wet and rinsing helped as it was more quiet in the bathroom. Talk in a quiet voice, and try to bring the voice to a slightly deeper tone so it does not sound harsh. I used to almost whisper and I would tell my husband everything I was doing...I am going to soap your back, I am going to do your arms now....it did help.
Keeping him seated for as long as possible while drying and putting socks and shoes on before he stood up helped.
I will admit I had it easy I had a barrier free shower we used and I also had a shower wheelchair that made showering much easier for both of us.

Last resort...sponge baths and no rinse body soaps will do the job. Just make sure that when you are bathing her in bed that you wash and dry fully you do not want damp areas left.
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Lots of good advice here. Take the suggestion to hire a bath aide seriously!

Look up the youtube video by Teepa Snow on bathing elders. She has some good tips, too.
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The bottom line here is that Grnadma can not be allowed to go for long periods without some skin care. Allowing her to appear filthy is actually abuse and can not be permitted. Mom being a nurse should know better. you have been given lots of good advice and methods of achieving the desired result. Soap and water, fancy bath cloths and lotions are fine whatever works but the bottom line is that everything must be warm including that bottle of baby lotion.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with a sponge bath, You don't HAVE to give your loved one a shower or bath. There are ways of hair washing even in bed, or if the patient can go out a weekly or even biweekly visit to a beauty salon is in order. Once a week is fine as long as you "top and tail"daily. Letting the genital area remain unclean leads to UTIs again a disposable cloth is fine. Also under the breasts especially with a large woman as thrush loves to lurk there and any heavy skin folds.
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This is like one of the all time difficult issues to overcome with dementia. I tried outside help and it didn't work at all. I currently have aides in the home and that doesn't work either.
What I did find that works is a sponge bath using Norwex wash cloths. I purchased their body cloths to give that a try and it works great. There is no soap and these cloths also exfoliate which has helped tremendously with all the dead skin just falling off mom all the time. You just use warm water and clean away. I started using the product myself and love it!! Soap has always been a big irritant for my skin and I know it dries out my mom's skin as well. She recently has been turned off to the use of lotion. No explanation, just is what it is. :) I will purchasing another 3 pack so that mom can have one and the other person (myself or the aide) can have one. That way mom is participating if she wants. Good Luck. Take care of yourself.
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