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Before my MIL went in the hospital 4 weeks ago, she was doing several things on her own, like getting a shower and staying by herself when I was gone from the house a few hours. Both of those things changed when she came home from rehab 2 weeks ago and she is not taking the change well. She likes the aides we have hired as companions to talk to, but doesn’t want them to do any hands-on care. When the physical therapist reiterated last week that solo showers should be a thing of the past, she agreed. I was surprised and dismayed when she told me this evening, after I suggested she let the aide help her shower tomorrow, she said that was not necessary because she had gotten a shower herself this morning! We actually had a big row about it, with me insisting she was being unsafe (and stubborn) and her accusing me of being bossy and robbing her of her independence. She has Parkinson’s and arthritis and will be 93 next week.if I were an outsider I might say, good for her, at least she wants to do for herself. But as the responsible family caregiver, I emphasize “safety first” and find it really hard to just ok the solo shower. Neither of us backed down. Obviously it was a control issue with each of us believing we are right. Another issue that came up yesterday, she doesn’t want me mentioning any negative symptoms when she has her appt. with the neurologist next week. I think he should know what all has been going on, and I think she wants to put a false front on to make it look like everything is alright. She says I speak too much for her at doctor’s appts and maybe I do. Taking on this caregiving role too intensely maybe. Has anyone made any headway with similar issues?

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You’re right Lannie, for my MiL it’s as much a privacy issue as one of Independence. She said she didn’t want “that young girl” (the aide) to see her naked! Your idea about modestly helping her in and out is a good one. Then give her some space while in the shower. That’s the plan.
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And also try to figure out if MIL has actually taken a shower. My mom would fib about that because she didn't really want to take one when she was in her middle 90s. Or she'd tell me she'd take one later that day (she never did).

It may be a privacy issue too with MIL and not so much independence. She may not want a stranger seeing her naked. Maybe the shower person can help her get into the shower with a towel around her and sit in the bathroom with the curtain closed while mom cleans herself. I'm not sure if that would work or not. It that would work for a couple of times and if the helper is personable, MIL might soften.

I know my mom always felt SO GOOD after a shower, but it was sometimes a struggle to get her in there when she didn't want to do it. It also wore her out.
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Thanks gladimhere, I will write the doc a note.
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Grammy is right. If MIL is sensitive to your discussions with doc, write your concerns down, give it to doc's staff asking doc to read before the appointment. Doc's are accustomed to this it happens frequently.
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For the doctor, write it all down and have the receptionist give it to the doctor before she goes back. Or drop it off a day before.

As for the shower, will she let you help? Or maybe make sure to have everything ready and safe...a shower chair, a bar, a seat for her when she gets out, towels set out or a robe, etc.

Good luck!
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