How do I get mum into the shower/bath?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by julesbarr, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. julesbarr

    julesbarr Registered User

    Jun 2, 2017
    2
    Mum is 88 years old, lives alone and has moderate alzheimers and has decided with her aches and pains that she should stay in bed all day. She is very wheezy and chesty which, after misdiagnosis of asthma for 2 years, has now been diagnosed with blocked arteries to the heart. She is very sleepy and has bad nights. My brother sees her for breakfast and meds every morning, I go in lunchtime and evening and care for her during the day, give meds, change linen etc. Over the past few weeks mum has insisted more on staying in bed and not wanting to wash hair, or shower. She is incontinent, bowels and doesn't like wearing pads and even when I check she takes them off. Lately I've found she won't get out of bed so I can check to see if stained bedlinen, she is very ashamed if I managed to find linen dirty. Today though I found linen dirty and also, I found that she had managed to turn the sheet over, put marked bit to the bottom of the bed so she was sleeping on a clean section. I just don't know how she manages to remake the bed as the mattress is so heavy too. She won't have a cover on the bed to help save sheets either. Can anyone tell me how I can encourage mum to shower or bath and wash her hair? She really does not want me to be doing her personal care and certainly will never let a carer in.

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks
     
  2. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,142
    "The choice is yours, Hose pipe and yard broom, or bubbles up to your chin."
    Seriously, this question is very common, but there is no real answer, what works for some doesn't for others.
    Her situation sounds as if it's beginning to get serious, time for help, whether she wants it or not.
    What does her Gp say? They can be the gateway to various services.
    It's often a case of "taking charge" and doing what needs doing, despite of "complaints".
    In coming care is normally refused, but with persistence comes to be welcomed.
    If residential care is needed, remember, the media always report the bad, never the thousands of good.

    Bod
     
  3. julesbarr

    julesbarr Registered User

    Jun 2, 2017
    2
    Hi Bod, Thanks for your reply it was very helpful. Brother is reluctant to get help in as wants to follow mum's wishes which is no outside help. He also wants to keep inheirtance and not spend any money on care services. I will keep trying with mum but she is getting weaker every day. Thanks so much.
     
  4. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    1,142
    Brother is reluctant, is he!
    Is he going to have her stay with him, to save money?
    You need help, he steps up, or out of the way.
    Mothers money is to be spent on mother, be it a new hat, or Care to make her life better.
    Staying in bed all day is not he best solution, once she gets bed sores, then the the real trouble starts, neither you or your brother would have any say in her care then, but the money would be spent. Including the house sold to pay for care.
    Brother needs to wake up, help, and some of the inheritance might be saved, doesn't help, the lot will go!
    Care coming in at home is generally much cheaper than a Care Home place.

    Bod
     
  5. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    980
    This is a very common problem that regularly crops up on this forum as other posters have said there's no actual magic answers to this. My mother-in-law used to refuse to get out of bed and it was often that we used to visit in the afternoon to find her in bed at 3 p.m.. Fotunately she doesn't have the same continence issues that you have with your mum but she does have issues with washing and washing her hair and her laundry. She also refused carers but my husband and I decided many years ago that we were never going to put ourselves in the position of having to give her personal care. So like it or not as she was self-funding we organised a care agency to come in every morning initially starting a couple of days a week. Of course there was shouting and agression from her but we just ignored it sometimes we just have to take charge of a situation. She's still refusing personal care from the care agency but it worked to the extent that she was so embarrassed of being in bed all day cause she felt that she needed to get up before the carer arrived. As a result we found that she was often up before the carer arrived and dressed and having breakfast this gave her some sort of motivation so that she could use the time to chat to the carer. At first they simply became paid talking companions but eventually we increased the visits and she now gets carer visits every morning. As she doesn't smell at the moment I don't fret about the lack of washing although I have taken over her laundry to try and stop the dirty washing simply getting put back in the cupboard.

    I often see on this forum that posters have said that they were always comply with their loved ones wishes in not getting carers. I have also seen posters saying that they wished they'd ignored their loved ones wishes and got in the care agency earlier to save themselves a lot of anxiety and exhaustion. I think a lot of that depends on the relationship you have with the person with dementia but our family knew straight away from years ago that we were never going to provide the care needs that my mother-in-law would have liked. Now she gets a care visit every day to provide a hot lunch and is come to the extent now that she gets annoyed if the carer turns up 10 minutes late. She now sees it as the normal routine
     
  6. Risa

    Risa Registered User

    Apr 13, 2015
    483
    Essex
    #6 Risa, Feb 22, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    Aside from considering your Mum's dignity, your brother needs to take on board that as your Mum is incontinent she is running the risk of skin infections if she isn't washing on a regular basis.

    As others have said, take control and book a care agency. Do you think if you put covers on the mattress, used Kylie sheets etc she might make a fuss but wouldn't actually remove them? It might be worth trying them to save yourself some work. Has your Mum seen an incontinence nurse? Just wondering if a nurse told her she had to wear pads/incontinence underwear and have mattress protector etc she would be more likely to obey?
     

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