My father has been in a nursing home for about three weeks.. The first week and so there was no issue. He was mad that I had to put him in there I can tell but overall there was no problems. He was doing everything he was supposed to. I visit him twice a week, bring him things, take him out etc.. Well I had got him for the Thanksgiving and I just found out a couple days ago that my father is refusing to shower.. Every since I had brought him back after Thanksgiving he hasn’t showered. The other residents are complaining that he stinks.. He tried to fight the male nurse for trying to get him in the shower. When my father lived with me when he didn’t get his way he would take feces and put it on my wall and floor. He would give me such a hard time. I feel like he’s having another one of his episodes and that’s why he’s refusing to shower.. He came in my house saw that his room was no longer there and shook his head and was mad. I have conservator over him.. Will they put him out for not showering or what will happen? I know he’s trying to cause problems because he thinks that will get him put back in my house. Now I gotta go down there around bath time to try to assist them with giving him a bath. My only issue is I feel like if I gotta go down there every bath time my father will purposely keep doing that and refuse to shower. I don’t know if I just need to step back from visiting him or what..

Find Care & Housing
By law a facility cannot force someone to bathe. But like said, they know the tricks to get Dad in the shower. My daughter says you need them to think they made the decision. Ex:

Mr. Jones, time for a shower. Mr Js response is No.
Mr. Jones won't u feel so much better if u have a shower and and put on clean clothes.
Mr. J, I guess.
Then lets go get that shower. Mr. J, OK.

The one thing that always bothered me with staff was they asked "Would u like to get a bath" of course they said No. I suggested "its time to get a bath" When the aides had a problem with Mom, they said "your daughter said u need to do this" it worked. I also told the aides it was OK to make me the bad guy.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to JoAnn29
PeeWee57 Dec 10, 2019
Exactly! This reminds me of when, many years ago, my mother was babysitting her great-granddaughter. GGD's mom would show up at the door and ask the child, "Do you want to go home now?" Of course, the answer was always "NO!" whereupon a terrific battle ensued.

Like children, difficult patients need to be given statements of fact, not questions.
Needhelpwithmom, yes I agree sponge bath. That’s what I have to do with my mother at her home. When she was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago before thanksgiving the nurse told me she refuses to take a shower but she will let me sponge bathe her. They also gave her what looks like a shower cap to wash her hair. You put the cap on your head and scrub. It has shampoo and water in it and there is no need to rinse. I’m going to buy some on Amazon.
Helpful Answer (9)
Reply to elaine1962
NeedHelpWithMom Dec 11, 2019
Wow! Never knew about the shower cap thing. Knew about the ‘dry’ shampoo but not that. Sounds good.
I'm assuming he is in LTC and not AL? Getting him to shower is the job of the facility. They usually know all the tricks to get it done gently. Your dad may be having a UTI which can cause changes in behaviors. so ask the NH to check him for that. Sometimes when people lose control of things, they try to control anything...including showering. But I'm not suggesting this is what's going on. The facility should be on top of this, not you, unless he is in AL. Good luck!
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Geaton777
Chacaretoomuch8 Dec 10, 2019
He’s in LTC. Ok thank you so I just shouldn’t worry about it and just let them? I don’t know what they wanted me to do...
My mom uses the shower cap and also bath wipes, since she will no longer take showers. On Amazon the packs we buy are blue, and wipes are $7.99, shampoo wipes are $9.99 - whatever works.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to mally1
larry115 Dec 12, 2019
I use Amazon wipes that are pleasant smelling and just under $3 for a pack of 8 wipes and free shipping.
Have you thought about telling him you will not visit unless he has showered and smells good? How about some aftershave for after shower so he will smell extra nice for the ladies around him? Good luck. :)
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to mavisgm

I have the same problem with my mother who has severe dementia. She lives with me and is ruining my life. She insists I stay with her 24/7 and will not allow me out the front door or back door without her.

DO NOT bring your father back home not even for a visit . Doing so will only make his behavior more difficult to handle at the nursing home.

There comes a time when we have to realize that loving our parent's doesn't mean not loving ourselves. Loving our parent's means being sure they are taken care of but not at the expense of losing our own lives in the process.

I wonder if you can share the name of the nursing home you've placed him in and the cost? I'm looking for an affordable one for my mother. Anyone else reading this please feel free to share.

Thanks and take care of yourself !
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to novarr
Chacaretoomuch8 Dec 12, 2019
Novarr, you’re so right! The few weeks he was there they had no problem with him and then I took him home to visit from the nursing home and when he was at my house he went to his old room, shook his head, and was mad the whole time he was in my house for Thanksgiving. I think he thought that if he did everything they asked him to he would come back home with me and I would go back to taking care of him but when he realized his room was gone it made him very angry and he’s been acted out at the place every since. He wants me to take care of him and he doesn’t understand nor care that I can’t. He pointed to the calendar for me to get him on Christmas Day(my bday)and New Years.. I had thought about it but I’m reconsidering it because bringing him back home is just going to upset him again right now and he have a really bad attitude...I thought he would be a little more grateful seeing that he wasn’t around me growing up or even really my adult life. He got three other kids and none wants anything to do with him because he was never around and even though he wasn’t around for me I’m still trying to look out for him but it’s not good enough for him...
He needs a mental health assessment, and you need to step back so that he knows you are not going to be swayed by his bad behaviour. Clearly his condition has deteriorated OR he knows exactly what he is doing and is being manipulative. If they cannot get him to shower they are not very good at their job, maybe somewhere more able to deal with loss of mental cognition would be better for him.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to TaylorUK

Sponge bath if they won’t agree.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

When my dad was in LTC, he was stubborn and refused to shower. Said it was too cold, too much work, etc. When I told him people (ladies) around him complained that he smelled, that got his attention and he went back to taking (assisted) showers. He even proudly told me how was now shaving every morning. My response, “Don’t you feel a lot better now?” Of course, he had to say yes. Best of luck to you.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to JesusCares
novarr Dec 12, 2019
You're one of the lucky one's. I assume your father was probably a very nice man before the dementia.

Unfortunately my mother was a spoiled, difficult, self centered person before the dementia .....and now is a total nightmare with the dementia.
The"don't you feel better now?", will not work with her.
At some stage in the dementia spiral some patients become very scared of bathing, to the point of hysteria. I read somewhere that it is because they cannot see the is clear. One of the hints was to dim the lights, but I cannot recall the reasoning. If this is an issue for your dad, perhaps a bath with lots of bubble bath or bath salts tbat colour the water might help.
My mother is in advanced and progressive dementia and often refuses to shower. She says it is too much bother, but staff discovered it was the whole process of using lifts to get her to the bathroom, especially the sling lift which bothered her. Time of day also plays a part. Mother is in a sleep pattern of being up all night and sleeping well past lunchtime. The staff will bathe her the moment she agrees, not a half hour later when she changes her mind or forgets she agreed. They obviously succeed because she is always clean and does not smell.
Although logic does not work with dementia patients at her advanced stage, the staff can sometimes get her co operation by saying Matron will be doing rounds soon and they will be in trouble if she is not clean. Mother was a nurse back in the day when matrons were to be feared!
Hope this response gives you some ideas.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Shezza1

See All Answers

Ask a Question

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter