My best friend's MIL has AD. The ladies son has been in denial about how bad things have gotten up until recently. He finally moved her out of her home into a senior place where she can have 3 meals a day and get bathed twice weekly. Long story short - she has been there a week. He went over the other day and she was still wearing the same clothes she had on 3 or 4 days prior. She stunk to high Heaven and he knew she hadn't bathed. He asked the aid about it and she said "No problem - I'll get to her this afternoon". Okay, fine, he thought. He goes home and that evening goes back. Still the same clothes - hadn't bathed. He ran down the aide and she said his Mom yelled at her and kicked her out -slamming the door in her face so thus NO BATH! The son was beside himself. So - he told his Mom he wasn't leaving her apt. until she went and showered. She told him he was mean and she didn't like him anymore. She finally went into bathroom and he heard her making noises with shower (who knows)? Anyway, when she came out - same old clothes. He made her go in and change and he threw her undies out. He forgot to throw the jeans out. Next day she put the same old stinky jeans on. They do have an AD wing there that is just opening up so hopefully he can get her moved there. Mean time, what does he do to get her to take a shower and clean clothes?? How can they get the aides to do it (they pay lots of money for her to be there) if it's their job and they can't get the lady to do it???? Anybody know the answer? Thanks so much for listening! C
Cyt....sorry your friend is having this problem....it's really a very common one.
I believe that they often simply forget how to get cleaned up. The sequence...take off dirty clothes...turn on shower...etc........it's overwelming to them. My MIL (who was the tidiest woman i ever knew!) just absolutely quit making any attempt to get herself cleaned up. When I realized she'd gone several weeks in the same dingy nightgown, and no shower, I felt awful! Her 3 sons made no attempt to help her, and I just wasn't aware. I started going over a few times a week to clean her up...at first she hated it...but I just kept talking softly to her while undressing her and helping her into the tub.
Those caretakers are usually right on top of things...it's unusual where my own Mother is for her to be unkempt when I visit. She had been on Hospice for 2 years...(just taken OFF because she gained 1/2 pound...sigh)...and I wonder if some of the reason she no longer is in their care is because I complained one week when she hadn't been showered in several days. According to the regular caretakers (who love Mom) the responsibility of 3 showers a week was on Hospice, not them. I returned to the facility a few hours after discussing this with a caretaker, and Mom had been showered.
I remember I had to make sure buttons were already buttoned on Moms blouses after laundry...just so many obstacles for them that we don't even realize. Those old smelly jeans were familiar to your friends MIL...he has to make sure to remove soiled stuff when he leaves. She really doesn't hate him.........again, a familiar person in her life that she can take her frustrations out on.
Often, I cried all the way home for the first years of Mom's placement. It's in the 10th year now.........so many things we've both endured! Hope this helps!.....Pam
We never had this problem once Mom got to the nursing home. (At home it had been a nightmare.) The staff washed, bathed or showered her as often as necessary - she always smelled good, they told us when she was running out of deoderant or spray cologne, and she was neat clean and always nicely dressed.
Since they did the laundry there, we had to get clothes that could be washed HOT - but after a few bad choices we finally came up with grey, beige or white cotton jogging suits, and as a change of pace, colorful t shirts that would withstand a lot of hot washing.
Mom was so much happier at the NH than at home. I think your friend may have to change her to another facility, or see if the AD unit does a better job. In my opinion it is laziness when they say "she refused." Of course she refused - that's why she's there! if she could do everything right and think clearly, she would be at home! That is what she is paying for.
Good luck! I am beginning to realize how lucky we were with Mom's placement -- they were not only efficient and capable but the staff was also loving and caring.
Oh Wow - thanks so much ya'll, for the helpful tips and words of encouragement! I'll be sure and pass them along to my friend. Needless to say they are at their wits end here. the MIL has had AD for 4 years and is going downhill fast. I'm so glad they finally moved her out of her home (and yes, took away her car)! I just can't believe it took so long. I hope they can get the help they need at this place, it costs so much, they should, or demand it. Anyone else with any ideas, feel free to share. Is anyone else gonna try and watch The Forgetting this Sunday night on PBS? I'm gonna try. Thanks again, and blessings to you all. C
The bathing problem has been a major issue with my Dad. I have learned a few things. Bath time in conjunction with getting up and getting dressed works much better than trying to get clothes off of him during the day or trying to do it while he is tired at night. It also works better if there is an event or trip that we can convince him that he is going on. You need to take a shower before you go to the doctor (or even out to supper) works. Removing the dirty clothes and replacing them with clean one while he is in the shower gives him nothing to put on but the clean clothes. Dad has never voluntarily changed clothes. The only thing in his closet are brown pants and brown plaid shirts. He doesn't even know if the clothes he puts on are yesterday's or not. Constant positive encouragement at the right time works well for him.
Mom on the other hand takes a shower sometimes several times a day but puts on the same white slacks over and over. I truly believe this is an issues because there is too much in her closet to chose from which becomes confusion. If I take three outfits into the bathroom she will chose one and put it on. If she goes to the closet she puts on those same white pants.
The son needs to check out the policy of the facility concerning showering residents. Then he will know what to expect.... and he should get what he is paying for. If that is part of their services then he should definitely talk to his Mom's case manager. If it is a facility that specializes in ALZ then they should have the necessary training to accomplish what they are supposed to accomplish. This is a very common problem with ALZ patients so it's not out of the ordinary. Don't be ugly but be firm. I tend to reward the aids thatdo what they are supposed to with little treats and compliments..... even letters to the management when somebody does above and beyond. On the flip side I calmly and rationally express dissatisfaction when necessary.
Hopefully this is just a phase that will pass soon with proper intervention