1. Johnny.S

    Johnny.S Registered User

    Jul 1, 2013
    Hello. My name is john and my mum has recently been diagnosed with dementia although dr says its not Alzheimer's. she's 87 and lives in a private warden assisted flat. She's on loperamide and its certainly helped her mood but although she has carers she's reluctant to let them do anything. Her short term memory seems to have completely gone. She's never been able to read or right ( dyslexic I think as she's not stupid ) she is fiercely independent and has started to get stroppy with me when I offer to do her cleaning / washing. Her eyesight is bad and she can't see sometime how dirty her clothes are getting and tonight it became a real battle between us for her to allow me to help! I know to ignore a lot of things she says but surely I have make sure she stays clean even if it causes friction? Need some advice.
  2. janma221

    janma221 Registered User

    Apr 23, 2013
    Hi John and welcome to TP. It is difficult to argue with someone who is determined e to be independent, my mum gets aggressive with carers when they ask her if she wants help with washing herself or her clothes, she gets on her high horse and give them a very haughty "no thank you". I live a couple of hours away from her and when I go there I offer to do things but apart from cooking food she doesn't want any help. I am not sure how to help you with the washing problem but sure someone will be along soon with some ideas.
    Jan x
  3. geordie

    geordie Registered User

    May 11, 2010
    My advice would be offer as and when you think help is required - but pick which battles you wish to have!
  4. Johnny.S

    Johnny.S Registered User

    Jul 1, 2013
    Thank you for your advice. It's very comforting to know there's people out there in the same situation. My mum was fine in January and to be in this situation has come as quite a shock. My mum has always been - shall we say - difficult but I love her very much. My dad died 5 years ago and I persuaded mum to move down to be near me as my brother wasn't looking after her. I think I'm going to find this site a godsend!
  5. gillou

    gillou Registered User

    Jun 9, 2013
    Dear John,
    The changes in someone with dementia can be very slow at first and then they can accelerate and become more obvious all of a sudden. Your Mum has almost certainly become aware of her failing capabilities and is probably very frightened, and may well be in denial. Sometimes it is easier to think that it is other people who are behaving oddly rather then except that something is wrong, hence the fighting over washing and the not really noticing that things need washing, the conection between the eyes and the brain can become less finely tuned(new glasses won't help), so your mum really doesn't see the dirt like she used too. Very distressing for everyone as there is not a lot you can do except to be there and love her for who she is or was and turn a blind eye sometimes to dirt which isn't normally fatal!
  6. Lindy-Lou

    Lindy-Lou Registered User

    #6 Lindy-Lou, Jul 1, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2013
    Hello John

    Hello John
    I am new too, I have only just introduced myself to the forum and whilst finding my way around the site I read your thread.
    This is just so much like my mother! She does have alzheimer's but she too is very independent and refuses to bath or have things washed so I know how you must be feeling. unfortunately cant help with advice as its something i would like to know how to handle myself,in fact its the same issues that made me register. but thanks for posting, you have helped me feel less alone.
    Hoping you get the advice you are looking for soon.
  7. FifiMo

    FifiMo Registered User

    Feb 10, 2010
    Sometimes you find that the person with dementia is much more compliant if it is a stranger dealing with the personal hygiene eg a carer. Might be worthwhile asking SS if you could have help in that area. As to changing clothes, you could ask your mum to try the clean item on to see if it still fits. Tell her you're sorting out the wardrobe for her. Once she has it on and it fits, tell her just to keep it on!

    My mother told us her clothes were only put on that morning. We found this was true. She didn't remember however that she had taken them off the night before.

    If it causes the person distress then I would just let them be. There are battles bigger than dirty clothing that will need you to be stricter in your tone.

    One thing you could try is to go back to their youth when there were no showers and the was a dedicated bath night. Run the bath then declare it is bath night and it is their turn now. Whilst in the bath, remove the dirty clothes and put clean ones out. Don't force things like hair washing. One step at a time. If you can get a bath or even a strip wash then I would call that a win.

    Hope this helps,

  8. Johnny.S

    Johnny.S Registered User

    Jul 1, 2013
    Thanks again for advice and hello to Linda. Like you said. It's really good to know people are in the same boat. I have asked the carers to try and get her to accept their help but she's resisting. The good thing is she's now excepted them coming and seems to enjoy their company. She also refuses to go out but then moans she's stuck inside! Hopefully if weathers nice I can coax her out on Thursday. ( if she can find her socks!! ) that's the excuse she has been using.
  9. rajahh

    rajahh Registered User

    Aug 29, 2008
    Not much to add really. I am lucky as my husband is mostly compliant, but sometimes he will not let me change his pad and I just leave it.

    I have waterproof covers on the chairs he sits on, and of course in the bed too.

    He asks me in the end as he has become uncomfortable and wet, and then I wash him and change him into clean dry clothes.

    It sounds as though your mother is not this far along and is not incontinent, and if it is just clothes that do not look fresh then I would just leave it.

    Trust me there are worse things to fight over.

  10. JonathanG

    JonathanG Registered User

    Jun 28, 2013
    Firstly, welcome to the forum. And secondly I'm so sorry to hear about the recent diagnosis. That moment when the word dementia is first used can be a real emotional blow. However, you're in the right place, surrounded by people who are or have been in similar circumstances.

    It is a very steep learning curve, and it will take to learn the tips and techniques for dealing with your mother on a day to day basis. Unfortunately no two sufferers are the same and what works for one may be useless for another.

    You will quickly learn which battles to fight and which to let go. You're right, you can't let everything slide, and a basic level of hygiene and care needs to be maintained, no matter what the effort on your part. Just try not to take comments to heart and know that her actions aren't always her own.

    There are a lot of assistive devices available that can be employed around the home, even simple things like waterproof mattress and seat covers can be a godsend.
    If she can keep herself relatively clean and safe during the day, why not change clothes and tidy the house when she's gone to bed?

    Oh and just a word on the medication. You say its helping her mood, but if she's still getting stroppy is it working as best it could? I found it was important to keep in touch with both the GP and the MHNT to keep reviewing medication as time went on.

    I wish I could offer a perfect solution - its what I craved when my grandmother first became ill, but with time you'll find a pattern and a way of doing things that may not be easy, but works for you both.

    Sorry to have rambled! The best of luck to you and your mother, and keep in touch with others here. They're a great crowd!

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.