I am the daughter of a sweet mother (88) with dementia. I can absolutely not get her to bathe. She insists that she just took a shower when it has been at least 4 weeks since her last one. I have tried everything I can think of: telling her we will have a spa day and I will help her if she wishes. I bought her a nice shower mitt and shower gel and a stool to sit on while in the shower. I have tried a calendar showing her the last time she showered. She gets very angry and nothing I can do or say… read more
What works best for me is telling my mom that I have a doctor’s appointment and need her to come with me, making her believe I’m the one that needs her help seems to be the key to convince her.
What is working, so far, is that I go ahead & arbitrarily run a bath (sometimes bubbles included!) & once filled I inform my wife that the bath that she wanted is ready. Fortunately, she almost always accepts this & sometimes I have to tell her that she wants to look good for going out, visiting others, etc., which currently works as inducements. I purchased a Paraffin wax hand/foot therapy container which is used with the explanation that her appointment at the spa is ready. Bath is included!
People with Alzheimer's become afraid of water. That is helpful to keep in mind. I bought a detachable showerhead so my Mom can now be in control of where the water goes. I can guide her and get the soap on her as she is rinsing where she likes and then once she is relaxed take it and quickly get the soaked areas rinsed. Getting her in is the hardest part but once she is in she always likes it. Also make sure the bathroom is very warm.
My mum was a nightmare at shower time. I dont think she had a shower for a year until i moved in. She was good at washing herself down. I asked the community nurse for help, but mum kicked off everytime...im ill, i cant get out of bed, i had one yesterday, you are not around all the time u dont know! I asked mum when she would prefer having a shower and i negotiated with her, twice a week, Sunday and Wednesday! At night! It has to be toastie warm, all set up etc! She tries to get away to bed before i notice, but i sing a song, distract her with her foot warmer! Ask if the water is just right! Then she gets into gear and gets it done. Its very stressful and if it goes off smoothly i relax. Each day is a new day! Mum hasnt washed her hair in two years. She runs a wet comb through it, she used to put it in curlers, but doesnt anymore! Wont go to the hairdressers or have one come in. She insists on cutting her own hair then i say let me get the bit at the back. Next day she says the buggars have cut my hair in my sleep! You need a sense of humour! Nothing is logical! She has about 30 seconds of short term memory!