1. Jaxx

    Jaxx Registered User

    Jun 2, 2015
    Preston, Lancashire
    After a lifetime of being slightly OCD about bathing mum now needs nagging into having a shower. She hasn't had one for 12 days now and I keep trying to nudge her to have one but she keeps saying 'Yes alright!' then ignoring me. She also suffers from bipolar disorder and I know when she's depressed she finds it difficult to look after herself so I don't know if it's that or her Alzheimer's. Has anyone else had this situation?

  2. Mrsbusy

    Mrsbusy Registered User

    Aug 15, 2015
    Yep! Lots of us have had this problem, but when our mum says alright have you started to run the shower for her? Does she wash her hair? My mum can't operate the mixer tap, but never says that. She always says she intended to do so and so but decided to do it the next day. I know she has forgotten how to do these things but just let her think I believe her.

    I find if I try to coerce her, like get the water temperature right and offer to wash her hair she's happy to oblige. Maybe your mum would agree if you offered to run her a bath with some lovely smellies. My Mum went for ages without a bath and I honestly think she had forgotten what the word Bath meant. Once we convinced her she's back to have them regularly now, especially if her back hurts it's an ideal excuse to suggest one.

    Sometimes people find it hard to admit they don't know how to do the easiest of things or know the word for things so avoid it rather than embarrass themselves. My mum says she can't be bothered but I know that now means I don't know how to.

    Good luck and come back here when you need to for advice.
  3. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    With the help of carers my dad now finally has a shower every day. He loves his shower and always has however before we got the carers involved it was a massive battle. He was (and still is) convinced that he has already had a shower. He really thinks he has, so why are we nagging like this???
    If your mum is on a downer with her bipolar then washing will go out the window anyway. Is she taking her medication for it? Possibly get her to see her GP so a urine infection can be ruled out and a review of her medication would be an idea. It could simply be a downturn of the disease process of Alzheimer's. A walk many of us have walked before.
    Some people fear water, this is something that a previous bath/shower lover can develop. It's usually with water going over their head. That's yet another thing to at least be aware of and see what you think.
    All the very best, do keep posting and let us know how you get on.
  4. yasmin0212

    yasmin0212 Registered User

    Sep 9, 2015
    Bathing is a nightmare

    I've had the exact same issue with my mum, she never wants to shower and often gets quite aggressive. She smells awful and doesn't look very welcoming to my children which makes the whole visit even more upsetting.

    I have recently heard of Nilaqua, so have ordered some to see what it is like. Apparently they work really well, its like a foaming body wash or shampoo which you rub in and then towel off. Going to try it on my mum tomorrow when i visit.

    Will let you know what it is like.

    Just remember you aren't alone- everyone has going though these struggles.
  5. count2ten

    count2ten Registered User

    Dec 13, 2013
    Mum always had a strip wash every day, towards the end it would exhaust her but wouldn't accept any help from anyone. The only exception to the hands off rule was having her feet washed when the district nurse was due to call, and whenever she went into hospital she would let the nurses give her a shower . When she went into the CH she agreed to a shower on occasions, but there were only certain people who were granted this privilege and she continued having her strip wash in her room every morning. When she was still at home we got a hairdresser to come and do a wash and blow dry every couple of weeks, and I was permitted to do it for her in between visits, but had to get her in the right frame of mind - usual ritual was a cup of tea and a cake, then she would let me wash her hair, roll it up , then spend ages making sure it was dry, then we would do her nails or sort her gloves and scarves drawer out and I'd end up staying and making dinner for us both - then she could have the fun of telling the teatime carer to get lost if I didn't get to the door first .
  6. daisydi

    daisydi Registered User

    Feb 25, 2015
    I used to say I needed to wash her clothes, would run the shower and send her in. It was a constant battle though but she always said how nice she felt afterwards.
  7. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    My late Husband also had bipolar (diagnosed the same time as AD) and I had a tough job getting him into the bath. He was doubly incontinent but wouldn't shower-fear of water on his head. I quite often had to give him an all over strip wash-not ideal but better than nothing.

    You have my sympathy as Dementia is hard enough but a bad mix when another condition is present. Perhaps try carers coming to the house to help?

    Take care

    Lyn T
  8. maputo

    maputo Registered User

    Sep 10, 2015
    desperately seeking suggestions


    We have also tried the Nilaqua product with my Mum, who refuses to wash. It helps but she still point blank refuses to have a full body wash. It has been weeks. We can only coerce her into hair washing, or upper body. She will not even change her underwear. We have tried everything, including getting a professional carers in. They have also had no luck.

    She initially agrees to the idea of a nice warm shower/bath, with promises of tea and cake afterwards, but then changes her mind at the point of undressing.

    Please, does anyone else have any other suggestions? Is it a matter of being patient for the carer to gain more trust? Mum just seems to be getting more and more stubborn with anyone who tries.

  9. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013

    Off the wall suggestion.... would she get in the bath, clothed?

    More normal advice, is to treat her like a child, no fuss, no choice, it's going to happen.
    Lets get it done. Special tea and cakes, waiting in the kitchen.

  10. Slugsta

    Slugsta Registered User

    Curiously, I was going to suggest that too!
  11. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    I'm not with the "no choice, no option" way of doing things, it might (possibly) be justifiable to do this with children, but I'm not very comfortable with it, the promise of a treat has some merit to it.
    Why not suggest she needs to wash as she has a doctor's appointment or you need to go out and get new clothes (for example) something she might have to feel she needs to be clean to do? I lead by example and have a shower then say "it's your turn now" and generally my wife goes along with it, I appreciate this may be harder for you to do.
    Given the complex things going on: OCD, Bipolar and AZ inside her head must be a very complex place but as always you have to work with it not against it, I think you need to find a reason that motivates here to want to wash but not too excess, easy to say not so easy to do but nagging isn't the solution you need self motivation.
  12. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Certainly for some "no choice, no option" won't work, others, it's not necessary.
    Most folk will obey a figure of authority, when given a request. Most times when a nurse say's, it happens!
    It's a case of the carer, who ever that maybe, becoming the authority figure.
    You've clearly got a system that works for you, but would that same system work if you were looking after your mother in law?

  13. josephinewilson

    josephinewilson Registered User

    May 19, 2015
    Me too

    Just to saysorry, as I should have searched the forum before posting my recent thread about trying to get my mother to have a bath (How can I get my mother to have a wash?)- at least it's not just me, or you, but we are in this together on this forum, and I'm finding that a solace as this dementia caring thing is very new to me. In terms of washing hair, my mother actually quite happily goes to the mobile hairdresser who comes to her sheltered accommodation every Saturday, so she has lovely permed hair -but the rest of her is smelly and unwashed....
  14. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Don't worry, had you searched, you'd have been overwhelmed with the results.
    It's a very common problem, sometimes considered diagnostic of dementia!

    We've all been there, sometimes the solution is quick, other times you can't keep up with the moving goalposts!!

  15. Spamar

    Spamar Registered User

    Oct 5, 2013
    Whilst it was never a problem for OH to go for a shower, he eventually forgot how to use the mixer taps, so I had to do that part. I would always go and remind him to wash in certain places, also to help dry him. If he got out of the shower before I got there, he often forgot/didn't know how to turn the taps off. And he never dried himself properly if he was left to do it himself.

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