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Caring for Mum who is in denial and doesn't accept carers help

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Fletch, Apr 7, 2015.

  1. Fletch

    Fletch Registered User

    Apr 7, 2015
    Hi I'm looking for any advice on how to convince my Mum to accept help from the carer who comes in the morning. She refuses to go out for walks or to cafes and the most stressful thing for us is seeing her in the same clothes every day, they are dirty and she does not shower or wash her hair, and when you question her about it she lies and says she just had a shower!!
    I try so hard to get her to change clothes or wash but she just says I will do it later
    It's getting so frustrating
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    I think you have to be blunt and tell her she is going to have shower or you cannot visit because of the state of her. if you need a wee bribe then set up coffee and cake for after the shower and hair wash. I was way to easy with my mother over these things and she frankly smelled.
  3. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Hi Fletch, Would Mum be wise to little white lies? Could you say that the carer is in training and that Mum would be helping with that by letting her wash/shower her and take her out to places?

    I have seen some say 'nobody ever died of not washing' but there does come a time when lack of hygiene does present health problems and also that someone just isn't pleasant to be around so we do have to be sensible about how long a refusal to be clean is tolerated as much as we don't want to upset the person involved.

    If Mum is still at the stage where she would know that the 'training' angle was a ruse then, as others on here will tell you, sometimes you just have to be firm and insist that 'another' shower is taken as the last one she had clearly didn't work very well! Make it nice for her - or get the carer to, with lovely clean clothes ready to put on and nice perfumed shower gel or soap - and whip the dirty clothes away as soon as they are off so they are out of sight come dressing time. And a cup of tea and a biscuit in front of the telly afterwards will hopefully make it a routine that she will at least tolerate if not completely enjoy.
  4. Fletch

    Fletch Registered User

    Apr 7, 2015
    #4 Fletch, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015
    I have tried to be firm but it never worked as she insists she had a shower the night before, I even have taken her into the bathroom to point out the shower has never been used for weeks!! I tried saying if you don't have a shower you can't go out shopping but she just replies I had a shower!! even carers can't get her to have one

    Today I pretended she spilt something on her top and went to get new top to change into but as usual she just said I don't want to change this and will do it later!! Her reply to everything is I will do it later!! :(
  5. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Unfortunately you're trying to use logic "look, the shower's dry, you haven't used it" on someone who just isn't capable of that anymore. There maybe many different reasons why your Mum doesn't want too shower anymore - it is a common trait for dementia sufferers - she might be scared of the whole process, it might be too 'busy' for her and make her more confused or any other weird and wonderful idea that is now your Mum's version of logic.

    Do you think the 'LWL's idea of saying that Mum is helping with training the carer would work? Rather than 'you need this help' which draws attention to Mum's inabilities you could say that it's a new government scheme for everybody over 65/75/85 that they get help each day now and she's helping train people by letting them shower and dress her.
  6. piph

    piph Registered User

    Feb 4, 2013
    Fletch, I have no answers - I wish I had because my Mum is the same. She rarely showers, but always says she had one 'yesterday', and I think she really does believe that she did. Mine puts different clothes on every day, but unfortunately doesn't wash them in between, just hangs them back in her wardrobe. She's also incontinent and either forgets to put a pad on, or wees so much that it soaks the pad and her trousers which she puts on the radiator to dry!

    I don't live with her, but even when I stay with her for several weeks it's impossible to get her to shower - the smell is fairly bad sometimes, but she can't smell it, and doesn't believe me when I tell her. I've given up now - I can't keep on fighting the same battle week after week, month after month and getting nowhere - it's wearing me down!
  7. Fletch

    Fletch Registered User

    Apr 7, 2015
    Thanks I will try the carer is in training idea but it's very draining and I'm worried if this continues Social Work will get involved and take over, she also has a dog and he doesn't get out if it's rainy windy cold, etc.... And quite often I find he has wet or poo'd in the house, the other week I had to rip up her carpet as it was just stinking, she doesn't even smell bad smells, like this of of food which is worrying!
  8. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    That was same of mine, she lost the sense of smell.
    About the dog. It can be trained to wet and poo on a newspaper or on a fe terminated place ( easy to clean)

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