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Advice needed on showering

Bear44

Registered User
Sep 28, 2015
126
USA
My father was recently diagnosed with dementia, although I have suspected that he has had it for a few years.

I don't know how to get him into the shower, if I bring it up he yells. If I suggest he takes one at lunch when I'm there he says I like to shower in the morning. I've even offered to put my bathing suit on and him do the same and I would get in with him. Still a big fat screaming no.

I've installed shower bars for him so he can steady himself.

I can see his hair yellowish from lack of showering. I know he cleans up with a wash cloth but I really need to get him into a real shower. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Terie
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,941
North East England
Hi, Have you thought about telling him that he smells? Sometimes it worked telling my late Mum that her hair smelled/looked dirty. Tell him that, because you worry, you want him to shower while you are there, or tell him that the Doctor insists that he shower when there is someone in the house to prevent falls. Tell him that if he won't shower when you are there, he will have to have a carer ( a STRANGER) come in to do it with him, worse case, tell him that you will be looking at homes because he can't look after himself!
It is not an easy option being a carer.:D
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
12,011
London
Some people with dementia become afraid of water. You need to try and take the fear away by making it a nice experience. Make sure the bathroom is warm and there are non-slip bath mats, grab rails and maybe a shower seat or shower board over the tub which he can sit on. Also, have you tried a bath instead of a shower? Hair could be washed over the sink without taking any clothes off. To be honest, unless he is incontinent or really reeks, a daily shower is not necessary. Wiping someone down with a washcloth will usually do the trick, and some companies like Tena use wash creams you can use instead of water.
Here's a good article: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2014/04/5-tips-how-to-get-alzheimers-patient-to.html
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,730
My Ma developed a bath and shower phobia! at first I was really worried but the carer or hairdresser washed her hair over the sink once a week. We gave up on trying baths and showers and the carer gave her a really good wash down twice a week and then a she washed herself in between. To be honest with the new pads she really didn't smell at all - other than nice - and she didn't get stressed!!!
 

Beetroot

Registered User
Aug 19, 2015
362
My mother hates showering, being enclosed and the water pouring over her. I take her to the local day centre and borrow their bath with a seat . Not sure it would work for you as the seat goes up quite high with a hydraulic lift and then you shove it over and lower the "bathee" into the water and reverse the process to come out.
 

Bear44

Registered User
Sep 28, 2015
126
USA
Hi, Have you thought about telling him that he smells? Sometimes it worked telling my late Mum that her hair smelled/looked dirty. Tell him that, because you worry, you want him to shower while you are there, or tell him that the Doctor insists that he shower when there is someone in the house to prevent falls. Tell him that if he won't shower when you are there, he will have to have a carer ( a STRANGER) come in to do it with him, worse case, tell him that you will be looking at homes because he can't look after himself!
It is not an easy option being a carer.:D
I feel like I have to treat him like I do my children. Except he's more stubborn and swears at me. [emoji6]

I will try the get in or else approach. Ty

Nothing about my father is easy. Haha
 

Bear44

Registered User
Sep 28, 2015
126
USA
Some people with dementia become afraid of water. You need to try and take the fear away by making it a nice experience. Make sure the bathroom is warm and there are non-slip bath mats, grab rails and maybe a shower seat or shower board over the tub which he can sit on. Also, have you tried a bath instead of a shower? Hair could be washed over the sink without taking any clothes off. To be honest, unless he is incontinent or really reeks, a daily shower is not necessary. Wiping someone down with a washcloth will usually do the trick, and some companies like Tena use wash creams you can use instead of water.
Here's a good article: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2014/04/5-tips-how-to-get-alzheimers-patient-to.html
I do have heaters in both bathrooms, slip mats and shower bars in there. I have suggested a bath also and told him I would have my OH there just in case he needed help getting out.

He does wash up with wash cloth daily but I'm worried about his skin breaking down. I'd be happy with twice a week showers.

Thank you for the article, I will look for the Tena wipes
 

Bear44

Registered User
Sep 28, 2015
126
USA
My mother hates showering, being enclosed and the water pouring over her. I take her to the local day centre and borrow their bath with a seat . Not sure it would work for you as the seat goes up quite high with a hydraulic lift and then you shove it over and lower the "bathee" into the water and reverse the process to come out.
I have asked if he would like a seat for the shower. I think I will just go buy one for him.
 

LYN T

Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
6,960
Brixham Devon
I have asked if he would like a seat for the shower. I think I will just go buy one for him.
Bear-it is a problem isn't it? OT should be able to provide a shower seat for your Dad or a swing over bath chair. Perhaps give them a call?

Take care

Lyn T XX
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
Occupational Therapist - I think. My mum prefers the bath, hot and bubbly, but only once a week. The rest of the time I wash her hair over the sink and then hairdresser every 6 weeks for good trim and shampoo. rest of time we do a top to toe - top bit one day and toe bit the next. Chiropodist comes to house and this gives me an excuse to wash her legs and feet just before the visit. Bits and pieces I know, but at least I know she is clean most of the time!
 

Bear44

Registered User
Sep 28, 2015
126
USA
Thank you tin. I'm checking into different options I need to see what insurance covers, as I'm in the USA all insurance is different.