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I try to tell her in the sweetest way and she still gets offended. It comes to a point where her clothes starts to smell. She says she takes a bath, but my nose tells me otherwise. I very keen to odor, so just going into her room bothers me. I'm the only person who takes care of her. I work, she's home by herself until I get home, so i Don't know if she takes a bath or not, she says she does. This is frustrating, I can't even touch the subject, she starts saying that I'm offending her. Advice please.

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I had the same problem. It was a real task. What I would do is I would go through her closet and pick out a new outfit almost everyday. I would tell my mom, "I haven't seen you wear this in awhile. Do you think it still fits? Would you try it on and let me know?" It seemed weird at first telling her the same thing over and over, but she never realized what I was doing and she would change her clothes for me. When it came to bathing, I would just tell her that I needed her to take a bath when I was there to make sure she was clean. Even if she insisted she had already bathed I would just tell her that in order for me to get the government assistance that we were recieving I had to be sure she was bathing and she had to go in a bath again, so that I could be honest. She would fight me about it at times, but usually she would comply.
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In my best Mary Poppins voice I announce, "Bath time!" or "Nap time!"
"Laundry time!" or "Flu shot time!" No discussion, non negotiable, like wearing your seatbelt.
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Thank you, all theses options are very helpful. Last nite I spoke with her, as usual she was offended, but later that nite she's was bathing and this afternoon when I got home from work, she had changed her clothes.
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I'm moving my mom from AL to a NH (I'm learning the jargon here) next Monday. Today was my meeting with the new place to go over charges etc. they require two showers a week and don't charge for them. I was warning the admin guy that my mom will put up a fuss cause she hates showering and hates even more having someone assist or stand by. He said that was very common with elderly in general but almost a given with dementia residents. He told me they had one lady who spits and bites the whole time! He also said they had one gal who does all the showers - that's her total job. Says she's great at it. How'd you like to do that for a living?
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Rainmom above has some excellent points regarding the bath itself. As we age we fear falling and going into a bathtub or shower is a huge fear. If you don't have a bathmat on the floor of the tub or shower, get one as that does help. AND that bathmat is a good giveaway if someone had taken a shower earlier on and under the mat would still be quite wet.

For myself I have found the bath towels are getting too big to handle.... as one ages and has less strength, a wet towel starts to weight a ton. I could never find a bath towel that was shorter than my Mom so Mom kept using her old thin towels even though you could almost see through them. Mom just couldn't life the newer towels.

Have Mom bathe when you are home, that would make Mom feel more secure that someone is in the house in case she should fall. And sometimes we have to bribe our elders to do things..... no cake & ice cream until after your bath !!
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That's great news. I don't know what your mom's issues are, but when my loved one first got dementia she stopped bathing. She would lie about it repeatedly, but I knew she was lying. It was obvious. Her shower would not even be wet, no damp towels, ever. Plus, she seldom changed her clothes and stopped doing laundry. She would cry like a child when I insisted that she bathe. She's in Memory Care now and sometimes they still have a hard time getting her bathed. Something about dementia seems to create this aversion.
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Pour yourself a large beverage at mealtime and 'accidentally' knock it over in her direction at the meal. Apologize and quickly shuffle her into the bathroom to clean her up, standing in the tub and whoops you soak her with the handheld shower and now everything has to come off. Keep chattering apologies while you dry her off.
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Maybe do you have a cyclic issue? Dirty body in clean cloths is still a dirty body then if she's like my mom and doesn't feel cloths need to be washed after one wearing (undies and socks excluded) then you've got dirty cloths going on a clean (maybe) body or worst dirty cloths dirty body. You can try some detective work to check about the bath. Put a little bit of salt in a spot where it would get washed away. If she's not using the bath is it because she's worried about a fall or being able to get out after? Does your bath have grab bars? After you've determined the bathing, sneak a look at how clean her cloths really are. My moms eye sight prevented her from really seeing how dirty her cloths got. And - she couldn't deal with the physical aspect of doing her own laundry anymore so she just hung stuff back up. Fighting odors like this with probably take dealing with both these issues. Then I agree that tactful honesty is best. Tell her it's because you love her you're bringing it up. Tell her if you didn't care you'd let her go around smelling bad.
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marwil, that is the same thing that happens with my mother. At first she'll get mad at me and deny there's a problem. Then she'll do it later after she's had time to think about it. I believe they know we're telling the truth. It is just a bit embarrassing to be told.
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I'm sorry, but for a moment I thought about taking her clothes to the backyard, burning them, and praying for forgiveness.

Seriously: when all you do is hang around the house, taking a bath isn't a priority for a lot of depressed people. Neither is laundry. Take a sweaty shirt off, throw it in the hamper, and next week it's ready to wear when there's nothing else clean.

Beating around the bush isn't going to make her clean up her act. Next time add a dash of tough love and give it to her straight. Both of you might cry a little afterwards, but at least there will be an understanding.
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