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Hello! First time here! She does it begrudgingly, but does it when I push. I help her to the bathroom morning and night and make sure she’s used a bidet toilet seat both those times. She wears Depends day and night and I help her change that before bed and in the morning. I pretty much get her meals. She has memory loss and I have to make sure she brushes her teeth and cleans her dentures each night.

Betsy, I read that you’re having to wash Moms hair 3 times a week due to stuff on her scalp. My Mom developed an oily flaky patch on her scalp that I brought to her nurses attention and she immediately said “cradle cap”. They switched her shampoo to a medicated one and it cleared right up. I don’t know the brand they used in the NH but there are some over the counter brands you could try like Selsun Blue. Also I’ve read that tea tree oil shampoo is effective, or an infant cradle cap cleansing oil. It may help reduce the number of washings, if it sounds like this could be the problem.
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Thank you for your comments. We do an ensure shake like thing every day. She really likes the chocolate Boost nutrition shakes. She does well with shakes, I could probably get her to have another shake everyday. Sometimes she just doesn’t want to chew, so I have blended up the chicken soup so she can drink it, and that still tastes good like chicken soup! She is really easy to take care of. And I am glad I get to serve her, even though she doesn’t always want to do what needs to be done. She doesn’t fight me, just groans sometimes. 🤗
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Betsy, in your question, I read that you are assisting her to toilet morning and night with a bidet, and also changing depends morning and night. If I am reading that correctly, that is not enough changing of soiled depends. UTIs can develop from a few bad practices (like not wiping front to back) and also from sitting in soiled unders. I would recommend putting her on a toileting schedule like they do in the facilities of every 2-3 hours, with a fresh depends. I know it can be a hassle removing shoes and pants for this, that’s why the facilities use the kind with tabs, which make it easier and quicker. Just a suggestion.
As far as bathing, at Moms NH and every NH I interviewed, the standard shower routine was once per week plus morning cleanups at the sink. This was fine with me because she too wasn’t a fan of showering (didn’t want to be cold etc). Even the AL places I toured 1 per week was standard, but more could be requested. Are you actually bathing her, or showering? Is it easy for her to step into the shower or tub? If she’s generally compliant with her other care, I would just council you to pick your battles as long as she’s getting one or 2 a week.
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BetsyPE Feb 26, 2020
Thank you for your suggestions. I didn’t know they had tabbed Depends! What a great idea! I will get some of those. She wasn’t a fan of wearing them when she first was here but after her fall she wasn’t talking car eid things very well. That has improved. But I think changing them more frequently will
be better. I wa starting to give her some independence on that matter during the day . I felt like I was telling her to do so much I didn’t want to overwhelm her. And go to the bathroom with her every time she went. But if I need to I will.

the shower we have is only room for one person. She has to have help to shower so we are using the shower in the tub. Does that make sense? She sits on the seat and we use the detachable shower head to get her wet and rinse her off. She holds it sometimes to keep herself warm during her shower . I’m getting faster at showering her and that’s a good thing. I turn in a small heater in the bathroom and it’s warm when we start. I definitely pick my battles. Our relationship is worth a lot to me and I want her to feel loved and cared for emotionally as well as physically. I may have to wash her hair another time a week without a shower, but that’s doable.
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Welcome, Betsy

You are very kind to care for your mother in law. She sounds sweet. I am married for a long time too, 41 years. My mother in law was good to me like yours was to you. Unfortunately, she died many years ago with non Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Your profile says your mother in law has macular degeneration with vision issues. My godmother had macular degeneration and went blind from it. It is frightening to have lower vision or to go blind.

Do you have a chair in the shower for her to sit on? That helps.

It’s hard to get people to eat. I don’t have a big appetite myself. Some people do better eating several small meals rather than one big meal.

I am glad that you have a support system. The other thing you can do is call Council on Aging in your area. They do an assessment and then send someone out a couple of times a month in four hour shifts. It’s free. They will tidy up her room, prepare light meals, bathe her, sit with her for you to run errands.

Bathing once or twice a week is fine. Some elderly people have very dry skin and don’t like bathing more than once a week.
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BetsyPE Feb 26, 2020
Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I will call the council and see what info I can get. We do have a seat in the shower as well as grab bars. She hadn’t showered in I don’t know how long before she moved in with us. I think it was months. I tried to get her to let me help her at her home and she always said she didn’t need help. But she did.
I think I will give her more smaller meals
a day. I have been doing that more today and she seems to be eating more.

we have a in home camera that is on all the time and when we are gone, for a few hours at a time we can see her and check to make sure everything is okay. My husband works near and is in and out of the house everyday. I can usually go and leave her here because he’ll be in to check on her.

I also have other family members that can help when we need it. So that helps.
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There's no bath standard. Some people bathe multiple times a day. Other people don't bathe for months at a time. The medicare paid people that did home care for the month they covered it said that once a week was fine even though they did it twice a week.
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BetsyPE Feb 26, 2020
That is good to know. I know our daughter-in-law worked at an AL place and they were required to bathe/shower clients 3 times a weeks but I suppose that 2 times a week is probably okay, as long as “Undercarriage “ cleaning is also done. I just didn’t want to be forcing her if I didn’t have to. Of course, when there is a specific need I will bathe her as often as need be, but 2 time a week sounds doable and she will do that. I feel like I need to wash her hair three times a week though. She gets stuff on her scalp and it starts to be a scent problem. I think though that the longer she’s been here the better that gets, just because of the routine showers she is getting when at home she wasn’t showering for months. Thanks for you comment.
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Welcome Betsy. Your MIL (and son) are very lucky to have you! Regarding bathing, my Mom would rather not as well. To avoid major arguments, I sponge bathe a lot and use many many wipes. It doesn’t always have to be a shower to get the job done. As long as the areas that need to be cleaned more often due to incontinence get proper cleaning, I’m ok with that. My Mom is progressing rather rapidly into mid to late stage dementia so I am doing the cleaning with minimal assist from her. She is clean, no skin issues,
and most importantly, no arguments over bathing. Best of luck on this journey. You’ve got plenty of company and will get some great advice on this forum.
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BetsyPE Feb 26, 2020
thank you for your comment. I’m thinking that I could do or encourage her to do sponge baths. I think she would go for that.

the bidet helps with cleaning. I could probably make sure that gets done a few times a day. I did give her smaller “meal treats” today, so that will help with nutrition.
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2 to 3 times weekly is standard for a facility. AL allows people to bathe as often as they choose.

Your profile mentions nutrition and I personally believe that we should feed our loved ones whatever they will eat. You can make sure that she is getting the nutrients by giving her ensure or making smoothies with added fresh fruits and vegetables. Whatever she enjoys and works for you. I love whole food smoothies and even my dad who acts like you are trying to poison him with fresh foods loved them. They provide fiber that ensure doesn't and you have more control over sugars.

You are blessed that you are caring for someone that is compliant and good natured. She is blessed to have you to take care of her. Well done.
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