Mom insists on showering almost daily, even though it exhausts her and causes great pain. Any suggestions?

Follow
Share

My mother has very bad osteoporosis, and has had several surgeries. She is on pain medication, and this September fell and broke her hip. She cannot stand for more than 2 minutes without severe pain, and needs a walker at all times. She tires extremely easily, and usually takes at least one nap a day (2-3 hrs). The most exhausting thing that she does all day is take a shower (she does have a seat in her shower, and uses it). I have suggested to her that she use the baby wipes in between regular showers, or just do a sponge bath, but she is resisting. She has always been very put together, so I understand this is difficult for her, but by the time she finishes with her shower, she is too exhausted and hurting to go anywhere anyway, so I don't see the point. Any suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
6

Answers

Show:
Yogibear - I think you're right. I think she is afraid of losing her independence. She isn't worried about going to a nursing home - she knows that is not going to happen, but I think she doesn't want to be a bother to anyone, and wants to be as "normal" as possible. Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions - I appreciate them.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Has she had anyone that she cared for that didn't take care of their hygiene(sp)? Or do you think that she thinks if she can't care for herself she may end up in a NH? Have you talked to her and offered your concerns? Not just make suggestions to her but ask why she insists on causing herself more pain? She could be afraid of losing her independence.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm not sure, Yogibear. I'd wondered about that, but since it seems to cause her so much pain by the time she's done, I wouldn't think it would be worth it. When she first came home from rehab after she broke her hip I would go in and help her, but once she was able to stand by herself without the walker, the nurse said she do it herself. She always leaves the door partway open in case she needs me, she can just yell.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Maybe she likes the warm water since she has such pain?
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

It's just that she has such a limited amount of energy. I would rather her see her give herself a sponge bath than use up her limited resources, and then still have something in reserve, so she could go visit a friend or something. By the time she gets herself all done up to go, she's hurting too bad and too exhausted, and needs to take a long nap to recuperate. She's lost weight because she ends up sleeping instead of eating. I can't stand seeing her in that horrible pain, shaking so bad and almost collapsing. And it happens almost every time. My main concern is that every day she escapes into sleep, she loses more weight. A year ago she weighed 133. Today she weighed 116 It's scary.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Hi,eguillot. Are you worried that your Mom may get hurt taking her bath? I can see where that could be a concern. But if she is capable to shower without danger I think you should honor her wishes. I mean if your only concern is that it takes a lot of her energy and she doesn't go out. It just seems to me that it may be more than about wanting to be clean -which is good as I have read several posts where elder parents refuse to bathe (!) - maybe about keeping control over her failing body as much as she can? Just a thought. From an outsider who doesn't know diddly. Butting in.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.