I know this is common. Does anyone have tricks that worked for them with their LO. Mom took showers twice a day before ALZ. I know "what use to be is no more" but this is really getting to us. Its a battle. She is very unsteady on her feet. She gets frightened. "I just took one last night. I'm not dirty. You can't make me". Its just terrible. I use to say "Well your taking another one Mom". That doesn't work anymore.
I sure could use some help here. They won't force her at AL. Its been 3 weeks. She is in depends so cleaning is VERY important, if you get my drift? I won't threaten her with a NH.
This is ALWAYS on my mind. HELP.................
I struggled with the very same problem for months. Finally, after Mom had gone to live with my brother in law, my sister in law (God bless her) got into the shower with Mom every evening. Together she did not feel afraid. Anna shampooed and washed her and towelled her off and dressed her for bed.
Once Mom got to the nursing home after 3 months with my brother (she had fallen and her broken hip never healed right, she was wheelchair bound) the problem was solved by the staff there. They just came and gave her a shower or an in-bed sponge bath every day or any time in between when she needed cleaning. She allowed this with no protest at all.
I think it was easier too for her to accept her daughter in law's (or a nurse's) help than mine - she didn't want her daughter to "know" how helpless she was ... as if I didn't!
It was a hard several months there for me - I tried so hard to convince her that she actually smelled bad. Once she went and washed her hair several times in one day, kneeling by the tub and using the shower spray, because she felt 'dirty' but was NOT washing the right places. It was hard, and I feel for you. Good luck!
I wish I did have the answer Chris. If I did then I would use it on Dad. I hear the same excuses from him. He just had a shower, he doesn't stink (as he puts his arm pit over my nose), and he doesn't want to take one right now. We have the most success if we can catch him just as he gets out of bed and before he gets dressed. By stealing his underware and telling (not asking) him to get in the shower he will get in about 50% of the time because he's naked anyway. Part of the problem arises because he is very modest, especially around his girls. It truly bothers him for us to "see" him.
I do know it is a complicated task and very difficult for the ALZ patient to figure out all the steps. Firm guidance is about all you can do and hope it works. We don't argue with Dad, just try again the next time and eventually we are successful.
I am starting to see my mom getting this way. the last time she stayed at my house, she didn't want to shower even tho she and I had walked out in the hot sun for several blocks and I sure needed a shower!
She said she was going to take one after I did, but I guess she completely forgot because she changed into other clothes without bathing. It's not that she smells, she doesn't yet. But, I know what is coming and I would like to get her in the habit of bathing every day.
She gets so offended if you repeatedly mention it! She still lives alone next door to my sister and has a daily caregiver. So far things are progressing slowly but changes are still occurring. One thing that has helped me is talking to friends whose parents are "further along "than my mom. I am learning what NOT to say. You can no longer act logically with them.
Honestly, my mom reminds me so much of my 5 year grandson it isn't funny. You know how kids will not want to bathe for whatever reason?
then she will sit and talk to me about the old times and it's like nothing is wrong. So sad.
Thank you all for your posts. I do appreciate your time. I'm going to Moms tomorrow and get this done one way or another.
This bath thing just shocks me about my Mom. Out of all the strange things that this disease has done to her, this drives me nuts!!!! There has been 6 family members with ALZ.............they all refused to bathe? Go figure????
I'm going to be sweet, turn on the shower, get the lotion, get everything in the bathroom and see what happens.
I'm just as stubborn as Mom. Geezzzz I hate this monster that has taken my Mom.
OK, venting over.
Wish me luck ladies. By this time tomorrow night..........Mom will be clean or I'll die trying.
It's a common thing with our loved ones ... one little lady I know said the sound of the water scared her, but couldn't explain why, another said she didn't like being naked (feeling exposed) and another said it was the fact that somebody had to wash her private bits.
There are compromises, but you've got to have a willing subject and therein, lies the problem.
There is NOTHING wrong with a really GOOD sponge. I mean, wet, wet, wet .. they WILL change wet clothes and you could try "oh well, now we're 3/4's of the way there ............."
One little feisty lady I knew (and I'm being VERY polite about the feisty bit) flatly refused to have a shower. We eventually got rude and said "But you smell bad' and she said (in her dementia logic) "so don't sniff" .... shrugg .. well, she had us there I guess, but when you could smell her coming down the hallway and shudder ..............ewwwwwwwwwwwww .
So one day I said to her, just casually "Gee, I'd love to do your hair" and she said "great! Let's go" ...... so I took her up to her room, chattering constantly about how great her hair would look ... blah blah blah ........... got her into her room.......... good ........... got her into the bathroom ....... good ........ started to undress her ....... uh oh ..... "what are you doing that for?" she shrieked .. and I said "Well, I don't want to get hair all over your clothes" ... yeah ok ... that worked ...... (talk about treading on egg-shells!!) I managed to get her down to her panties and singlet ...... then I turned on the water ....."What are you doing that for" she shrieked again .. and I said "Well, I've got to dampen down your hair so I can do it properly , just like a hairdresser does, now lean back and I'll just wet your hair" ....... for some amazing reason, she believed me ...........
But dang, I'm a clumsy clot and the shower hose went all over her panties and singlet ........... darn it ......... they were wet and we just HAD to change them ............ I apologised profusely ........ begging forgiveness as I lathered up a flannel with soap behind her back (the liquid soap on the wall behind helped, she couldnt see it) and promptly dived in to wash the important bits.
She squealed, she screamed, she carried on ..... and as I finally rinsed her and turned off the water, in a little girls voice she squeaked "Now I'm all wet" .. so I fussed and dried, powdered, primped and blow dried her .......
A rose has never smelt as sweet .........
As she deteriorated and her aversion to water deepened, it simply became the norm to ignore the screaming and the carry on and just get the job done. She eventually did become compliant, but it took a year.
A very loud, long year.
Hang in there!!
... your loved one hasn't forgotten you ... the DISEASE doesn't remember you
If she is unsteady on her feet, maybe a shower chair would help. That is what we did with my grandmother. I also put in a handheld shower head, not the fancy kind, just the simple kind. That way my mom could help her wash and she wouldn't be scared of standing in the tub.
Also, a friends mom carries on in the shower. She wears depends and has to have her "lower parts" kept clean. My friend just lets her moan and groan but gets her nice and clean.
Last edited by WasFatNoMore; 07-11-2008 at 10:20 AM.
SUCCESS!!!! With the nurses help I got Mom into the shower. It wasn't easy. She felt insulted I'm sure. We really gave her no time to protest. She tried but we talked non-stop.
I fixed her nails. We cleaned out drawers..........and actually threw junk away. Thats a first.
We went for an ice cream cone. Then we went to supper. Very good day. And I was ready for a big one.
She still surprises me. I think I said that last time I was all worked up about something to do with Mom. Oh well, repeating myself is becoming a habit with me.
^5 Chris!!!! You did good. Isn't it amazing what is accomplished when our determination peaks. As Martha said to me when I first arrived (about placing Mom and Dad but it fits most things we have to do).... We do it when we get ready. I am glad it went as well as it did and I am sure that on some level your Mom is glad to be clean!! Until next time..... here's your hand towel for a job well done
My spouse has a behavior of screaming during diaper change and showers in a NH. The physician prescribe another dose of Ativan prior to the shower but that was hit and miss proposition. So I just brought some mini-Hershey bars - and have the aide give after breaking them in quarters right at the diaper change and then at shower time - the screaming has been alleviated - not entirely - so maybe it just serves as a delicious diversion. It has also modified her constipation.
When that ceases to work as well as it does now - I'll try a choc shake which is available as a 'protein' shake right at the NH. I'll try any 'diversion' technique to see (hear) what works and what doesn't. Heck of a lot better (to me at least) than another zombie medication.
My MIL refused to bathe too. We would suggest bathing in conjunction with: "after your bathe, we will have dessert"; "after your bathe, we will go to the store"; "after your bathe, we will ..." this type of promise works for more than 75% of the time and still does. We usually don't bathe her every day, but every other day. Also, we got a shower chair to put in tub and sitting down seems to help tremendously too. Just an idea. Keep us posted.