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Our mom has Dementia that has progressed very rapidly. She also has fallen on numerous ocassions, that have resulted in broken bones,sprains,cuts and excessive bruising. This was diagnosed 41/2 years ago. Mom was a hard worker she held a job all the while we were growing up and after as well. Mom was a nurse and worked in the ER as asurgical nurse and in later years she worked in NH's. Now she dosen't remember what she used to do let alone where she is or who we are. But we know that this is the nature of this hainis illness! We are at present having no luck getting her to bathe and clean herself properly even though have hired someone to come into the care facility( where she is at present) to do just hat 3 times a week? Her son (my husband) has tried as well as me to clean her up too! We have tried all and I mean all options except tying her down??? We are ut of ideas on how to proceed on this matter! If mom continues to fight us her health will suffer. Yes we have told her what she used to say to us and to her patients"cleanliness is next to Godliness"! One of many redirections we have used. Mom always says "I took my shower last night", we know she hasen't and we know it's the illness talking not mom........ but we have to keep her clean too? I have told her son he needs to take her to see her Dr., they can maybe give her something where she isn't so combative when bath time comes around?! Because she has dementia dosen't mean she can get away with hurting people who are there to help her! When she is in this state ,after we have told her it's bath time, She has amazing streghth!!!! And WILL NOT BUDGE from her chair or bed at that point. I don't know how it's done in NHs but I will find out and we 'll go see her Dr. too. If there are other ways we would sure like to hear about them.

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Hi Stressed Mom,

To answer your question, well it sounds like the time for your MIL might be now. Her basic bathing needs aren't being met. We placed my husband's mother in a nursing home in January. My experience is pretty limited, but I have observed that the attendants do a nice job of approaching each patient as an individual. Nothing works the same for everyone and sometimes things that worked before, don't work the next time. They are patient and persistent and have lots of experience. Of course they are not trying to squeeze a dementia patient's care into an already packed personal schedule. Her daily care is part of their work schedule. She objected to the "personal care" at first. Not having been raised as royalty, having someone attended to her personal care took some time to get used to. The aides have a demeanor that is somehow impersonal and relaxing at the same time. Now she is comfortable with the care and enjoys being bathed and fussed over.
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NancyH, Thanks for your answer. Our mom is 93 she was never a lover of music nor did she frequent spa's. We do not "wrestle" her , her bones are fragile. That's why I am wanting to know,since we, are not, able to get her clean anywhere "down south"! I keep a pretty clean home...or as clean as I can with mostly men in the house.Mom's hygeine is important to her wellbeing...and we do think it's nessesary to do it 3x's a week when she won't do it at all,... for weeks! The care givers cannot "make" mom bathe, they can just try and get her to bathe. Then when they can't, we get a call. She wouldn't even let me touch her hair...?
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Would lighting some candles and putting on the music she used to like, help calm her down in the bathroom? Make it more like going to a spa? Maybe a foot massage afterwards, or a hand massage or whatever to make it more special that being wrestled. And as long you're keeping the part of her body that's 'down south' and washing her hair once a week, is it really necessary to make her shower 3x's a week? I don't know, I'm no expert. Just wondering.
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