How do you get them to wash?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Evoque, Aug 24, 2017.

  1. Evoque

    Evoque Registered User

    Mar 14, 2017
    38
    My Mum lives on her own in a retirement flat near me. We moved her there over 6 months ago, to make sure there was someone nearby (me) to keep an eye on her.

    She thinks she's fine. However, she clearly isn't - and one of the problems is that she won't wash her hair. She hasn't wasshed it since moving into the flat.

    I get regular hair appointments for her, so it does get washed/cut/blown-dry every 4-5 weeks, but in between, she doesn't wash it, and when reminded that she needs to, she says "I'll do it tomorrow" (her stock reponse for most tasks these days).

    I have a carer from an agency go in once a week to make sure Mum takes a shower - otherwise she wouldn't bother with this, either! ... but Mum does not like washing her hair in the shower, preferring the sink-and-jug method.

    However, I cannot persuade her to wash her hair!!!! Any advice?

    Thanks

    E
     
  2. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    3,447
    south-east London
    It may be that your mum has reached the point where water around her face, eyes, head causes distress.

    My husband still takes a shower but panics if water gets into his face and hair. I tend to keep it clean and fresh with a rub in shampoo which you just towel dry off, no rinsing. You can get them from most websites that cater for various care needs.
     
  3. Evoque

    Evoque Registered User

    Mar 14, 2017
    38
    Hi

    Thanks for that. Useful to know!!! That's something I could do for Mum myself.

    Is there a brand name I can Google for?

    E.
     
  4. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    3,447
    south-east London
    #4 LynneMcV, Aug 24, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2017
    The one I use on hubby is Nilaqua and I purchased it from the Alzheimer's Society shop on their website. It's quite a basic one, used cold, but it suits hubby.

    For that extra touch of pampering you can get shower caps that can be warmed before use. I haven't tried those myself but have heard good things about them.

    Here 's a link I found to one website that does them, but most websites dealing with care needs will have something similar :)

    https://www.completecareshop.co.uk/...air-washing/no-rinse-shampoo-caps-triple-pack
     
  5. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    4,585
    Scotland
    My mum only gets her hair washed every 4 weeks when I take her to the hairdressers, occasionally I get her to use dry shampoo spray but I have given up trying to get her to wash it as it only causes verbal aggression.
     
  6. Sammie234

    Sammie234 Registered User

    Oct 7, 2016
    211
    Shropshire
    Shower/washing

    My husband used to shower every day but now I have to tell him /remind him to have one. To which he will say "why do I smell" well what can you say to that I have also at the same time removed his old clothes otherwise he will put them back on just in case he needs to take the dog out. So I put out some more clean ones ready .
     
  7. Rosettastone57

    Rosettastone57 Registered User

    Oct 27, 2016
    908
    Hi my mother-in-law hasn't washed her hair since at least 2013 and quite frankly I don't fret about it. She also hasn't bathed or showered since at least 2014 and again I don't fret about it. She won't allow the carers to help her in any way with personal care preferring to be independent and wash herself with flannels although of course this is never really truly done properly. It only causes aggression to try and alter this routine. I did try once encouraging her to use a dry shampoo but this never came off and again with the carers there was always the same retort oh I'll have it done later. At the moment she doesn't smell of course that won't last.
     
  8. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    709
    Male
    Newcastle
    My wife is the same. She is at the hairdresser's now so at least her hair will be washed but that will be it until the next hair appointment. She has never liked showers and now will not take a bath (just once this year). As far as I can tell she does wash but I'm not sure how thoroughly. However, she is a demon for deodorant, always complaining that the new one bought a few days ago has run out. Well it does if you put it on before bed, if you got to the toilet during the night, in the early morning and several times during the day! The only thing I'm allowed to do is wash her back as she can't reach it, otherwise she is prone to spots. For many good reasons it is best not to try to insist on bathing or hair washing.
     
  9. Pear trees

    Pear trees Registered User

    Jan 25, 2015
    442
    #9 Pear trees, Aug 25, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2017
    I bought shampoo caps on Amazon. They are warmed in the microwave, then popped over all hair which is gently massaged, then towel dried and finished with hair dryer. Mum's hair only gets washed every 2-3 weeks. We also use wash wipes for when she refuses a wash. She has not had a shower in nearly 2 years
     
  10. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    16,057
    Toronto, Canada
    My mother became very stroppy about personal care but was quite happy to go to the hairdresser's once a week to get her hair washed and set. This was when she was in the nursing home. They had an actual hair salon in the place, which worked out very well. Mum wasn't thinking of it as getting her hair washed, more of a treat thing. Going to the hairdresser was something she did every week in the 60s so I think it brought back memories for her.
     
  11. crochetMum

    crochetMum Registered User

    Aug 7, 2017
    2
    I have just joined this forum, this is my first post. It seems so relevant as today I gave up on trying to gently persuade Mum to wash. I thought I had a breakthrough but then she suddenly changed her mind. I use dry shampoo as a hair wash is out of the question. I find it so hard to understand as my Mum was always so smart and would do her hair and makeup every morning. I worry poor hygiene may lead to more problems. Do I just start everyday trying to persuade her? I feel like giving up....
     
  12. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    460
    Chard, Somerset
    You are right that not washing may cause some problems, e.g. UTIs or dermatitis but personally I wouldn't go into persuasion mode when attempting to wash them - as you say, you get a firm no. Nobody likes being coerced and she has spent her life telling you what to do and maybe resents the tables being turned. Can you at least try clean clothes every morning and suggest some baby wipes and see if that leads on to a proper wash? I have always found that if someone else says 'time for a wash/shower' she complies without argument. Mum was hospitalised with a UTI 18 months ago (caused by lack of hygiene) and when she was discharged we had people in for two weeks for rehab. She meekly went into the bathroom with them and had two showers a week and an all over wash the other days. Never mind about giving up, I felt I could cheerfully have throttled her!

    Unfortunately it doesn't matter how proud they were of their appearance in the past, they lose the will to wash or keep themselves clean and tidy. Please don't beat yourself up about it.
     
  13. Amethyst59

    Amethyst59 Registered User

    Jul 3, 2017
    5,738
    Female
    Kent
    It's not quite on the same subject, but my OH was getting confused by the bottles in the shower...and so I found a shower gel,that you can use as shampoo and body wash. Now he needs just the one bottle he is not so resistant to showering. It's working for us....for now!
     
  14. Fullticket

    Fullticket Registered User

    Apr 19, 2016
    460
    Chard, Somerset
    Hi Amethyst 59
    It was not until I watched mum trying to put on deodorant that I realised she does not have the oomph to press the nozzle. Roll on now supplied but it reminded me to keep checking on what she can and cannot do. Stupid things you don't think about become a problem don't they?
     
  15. crochetMum

    crochetMum Registered User

    Aug 7, 2017
    2
    Hi Fullticket, thanks for your help. Today I am about to go and help with a wash which is promised as we have a hospital visit tomorrow. Time will tell....
     
  16. Nanawendy6

    Nanawendy6 Registered User

    Sep 17, 2014
    62
     
  17. john1939

    john1939 Registered User

    Sep 21, 2017
    148
    Male
    Newtownabbey
    My wife steadfastly refused to do any personal care.Washing was totally out. Here's how I solved it.
    My eldest daughter made a weekly appt with the hairdressing salon for a wash and trim. We made my wife go, despite all her protests that she could do it herself, nonsense of course.
    I asked my wife to take a shower, and the reply was "I will take one when I feel like it" meaning never. I spoke to the health care lady who comes in the mornings to supervise the first medication of the day. I told her the problem. "No problem," she said . "I can help your wife to take a shower in the mornings. Just speak to social worker and she will ok it"
    I told my wife that if she did not shower when I told her to then the health care folk will come in and do it for her. To reinforce this threat I asked the health care lady to tell her what would happen.
    Problem solved, as the health care folk represent an authority figure of which my wife is quite wary.of.
    Regards.
     
  18. john1939

    john1939 Registered User

    Sep 21, 2017
    148
    Male
    Newtownabbey
    Hi there. Came across this book recently. Worth a read.
     

    Attached Files:

  19. john1939

    john1939 Registered User

    Sep 21, 2017
    148
    Male
    Newtownabbey
    Success today. I suggested that it was a while since a shower was taken and if a shower was taken I would go with her to the pound shop. I mentioned that the care lady will be checking to see if help is needed.
    Bathroom door closed and the sound of running water for about 20 minutes. Door opens amid a cloud of steam, wonderful what veiled threats can achieve


    shampooing-hair-full-suds.jpg
     
  20. Wife B

    Wife B Registered User

    Oct 13, 2017
    12
     

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