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Bathing and aggressive behaviour

Dylan1Rosie

Registered User
Apr 22, 2015
3
i am hoping someone may have any advise for me? My mother has severe dementia and in a care home as we couldn't cope. The issue we have is that the care home cannot bath her either in shower or bath or even with a flannel. She becomes very aggressive and bites, kicks etc, she acts like a cornered wild animal, Social Services has requested the home that she needs 3 or 4 carers to almost pin her down! They now do not wash her and she is getting water infections. We give her Larazapam to calm her but it doesn't help. Does anyone have any suggestions please?
 

nessy22

Registered User
Nov 22, 2014
42
Dear Fiona, I don't know what to suggest but i can sympathize because my Mum, fiercely independent with mid stage alzhiemer's also refuses help of any kind, especially washing etc. luckily she can still just about do it herself with prompting. I hope someone has suggestions for you. Good luck
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,764
Salford
Hi Fiona, welcome to TP
As with going to the dentist (or similar) when you come to hate something then the more you resist it. Does the home not have a strategy to deal with this other than "Social Services has requested the home that she needs 3 or 4 carers to almost pin her down!"
My wife is reluctant to bathe so I have a strategy to make it seem like a treat for her,
I do it in a way that although only one of us has to be naked in front of a stranger (although we've been married for 30 odd years) it make it comfortable for her.
I find the phrase "acts like a cornered wild animal" and "pin her down!" indicative of bad care and "she acts like a cornered wild animal" I find really scary.
I very well understand the hygiene issues I had a mum and now a wife with AZ but I don't understand the lack of ability to deal with it (thee home not you) correctly.
K
 

mojo1943

Registered User
Dec 19, 2013
722
North Devon
Hi Fiona, welcome to TP
As with going to the dentist (or similar) when you come to hate something then the more you resist it. Does the home not have a strategy to deal with this other than "Social Services has requested the home that she needs 3 or 4 carers to almost pin her down!"
My wife is reluctant to bathe so I have a strategy to make it seem like a treat for her,
I do it in a way that although only one of us has to be naked in front of a stranger (although we've been married for 30 odd years) it make it comfortable for her.
I find the phrase "acts like a cornered wild animal" and "pin her down!" indicative of bad care and "she acts like a cornered wild animal" I find really scary.
I very well understand the hygiene issues I had a mum and now a wife with AZ but I don't understand the lack of ability to deal with it (thee home not you) correctly.
K
only action I can think of is to use a distraction technique ? which = good ? and try to make it a FUN time eg heavy rock n roll music as / if required dress up / down = very tricky & best of luck....mo43
 

Essie

Registered User
Feb 11, 2015
563
Hi Fiona and welcome to TP,

Like Kevinl I am sad that the care staff don't seem able to cope adequately with this. I would say that if you are happy with all other aspects of your Mum's care at the home then ask for a meeting, including SS as they are involved already, and ask what can be done - simply saying 'we cannot do it' isn't an option - her health is suffering and she has a basic human right to be clean. Is there a particular time of the day that would be better for Mum - did she always have a bath in the evening at home, or would she associate mornings with washing?

If there are other aspects of Mum's care that are not great either perhaps another care environment would offer the level of input Mum now needs - again SS should be able to advise on that and where would offer the appropriate level of care and expertise for her needs.

Good luck.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,824
UK
If the Lorazapam is not working as a 'sedative' then they should not give it to her anymore. I agree, is there a time of day that she used to take a bath/shower. Will she let you help her when you visit? We really don't need a bath or shower every day and if she allows you to help, you could do this on the days you visit, it does not need any extra visits from you. Pinning her down with extra staff just sounds terrible and only adds to her anxiety/anger, sounds like bedlam straight jacket stuff- just terrible.
 

Dylan1Rosie

Registered User
Apr 22, 2015
3
Hi Fiona, welcome to TP
As with going to the dentist (or similar) when you come to hate something then the more you resist it. Does the home not have a strategy to deal with this other than "Social Services has requested the home that she needs 3 or 4 carers to almost pin her down!"
My wife is reluctant to bathe so I have a strategy to make it seem like a treat for her,
I do it in a way that although only one of us has to be naked in front of a stranger (although we've been married for 30 odd years) it make it comfortable for her.
I find the phrase "acts like a cornered wild animal" and "pin her down!" indicative of bad care and "she acts like a cornered wild animal" I find really scary.
I very well understand the hygiene issues I had a mum and now a wife with AZ but I don't understand the lack of ability to deal with it (thee home not you) correctly.
K
Thanks for your reply, I think mum has a fear of water now which makes it harder! I struggle so much with her care and thought moving her to a care home I could back off worrying and concentrate more on spending quality time with her, all I seem to do is control her care well try anyway? Costing me an absolute fortune in the process to a very bad level. SS don't seem to want to get involved that much and I worry so much that she will fall again after a water infection due to bad hygiene? I just don't know where to go?
 

Dylan1Rosie

Registered User
Apr 22, 2015
3
If the Lorazapam is not working as a 'sedative' then they should not give it to her anymore. I agree, is there a time of day that she used to take a bath/shower. Will she let you help her when you visit? We really don't need a bath or shower every day and if she allows you to help, you could do this on the days you visit, it does not need any extra visits from you. Pinning her down with extra staff just sounds terrible and only adds to her anxiety/anger, sounds like bedlam straight jacket stuff- just terrible.
SS wanted to change to Diazapam but we said no, can't keep giving her stronger drugs! There used to be a bad time of day but it's all merged into one now! And I do try when I go. The whole experience is terrible. I entered this forum to see if there were any secret strategies I could follow? Looks like there isn't an easy answer. Thanks for your response.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,770
Kent
I also find the `pin her down` phrase horrifying.

My husband always loved a bath but did go through a stage, not that he was afraid of water thank goodness, but when he just didn`t wasn’t the hassle of bathing and washing.

When he was home I used to wring a flannel out in warm water, give it to him and ask him to freshen himself. He did this willingly.

When he was in the care home, the staff just offered him a bath each time, as if there was no problem, and one day he accepted and never looked back.

The Water infections could be the result of immobility as well as poor hygiene . The staff need to make friends with your mother not regard her as a hopeless case.
 

EdenDesjardins

Registered User
May 25, 2015
19
I find it easy to understand your situation, since it's impossible to convince her to bathe but it's a necessity. Have you tried doing this at the end of the day when she's more tired and less likely to resist?
 

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