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How to bath them when they don't want to


Registered User
Jan 6, 2015
Hemel Hempstead
Has anyone any suggestions on how to bath someone who gets angry and doesn't want to get wet?
How can I keep him clean?
Each bath time now has got worse and worse, this Saturday I was in tears.
Anyone gpt any ideas?


Registered User
Mar 26, 2014
Hi ginny. I sometimes have problems getting my mum to shower but I now just get everything ready and let her smell all the lovely toiletries I'm going to use on her . And the next thing she's usually quite amenable when I say if she's all nice and clean we will go out for a run in the car ( it's a bit of bribery and probably unethical but needs must) . It might be more difficult with a male though . There are cloths that when you put water on them lather up . I know you said he doesn't like to get wet but it might be a compromise . Best wishes , Lou


Registered User
Apr 25, 2016
Hi Ginny,
Is there any way to involve someone else in bathing the person you care for? Family? Neighbour? Agency?

I only ask because my dear Mum went for 3 months through the heat of a hot and humid Australian summer without a bath.

I could not get her to bathe at all. She would wash her face and hands and I had a big struggle to get her private area washed at least once a week. It was a battle of wills and I never really won.

In my case, I was seriously depressed living with a woman who was uncooperative in a lot of areas. I sat and cried once in the doctor's office telling him about Mum's no bath policy and other things that were difficult. He had no answers other than to put her on Temazepam. I also told the OT (who acts as a liaison between Mum and her healthcare provider). Nothing happened. Finally, a chance remark by a receptionist at the dental surgery I attend, led me to do some research on the appropriate website.

I tore strips off the OT and Mum's family doctor, when I saw them next. I downloaded the relevant forms and stood over the doctor while he signed and forced the OT to acknowledge that this was poorly done. And, worst of all, both of them told me that they knew about those forms and Mum could have been helped weeks earlier.

I am a fairly peaceful person, and I never swore or raised my voice, but both knew I would keep my word about the steps I would take if they neglected my mother again.

The forms produced a local agency which came in to help. I was given 1.5 hours and three times a week, Mum had a shower. A seat, hook for the shower head were organised and placed at a lower height and grab rails were fitted in the shower stall. Mum was happy to be showered by the ladies who attended her.

For much of the time, they turned the water on, warmed the seat with water, helped her undress, and told her what to do to wash herself. (She needed supervision). Then they helped her dry and dress herself. She giggled a lot of the time and chatted to the ladies which always surprised me, because she was once a most private (introverted) person.

In the end I didn't have to carry through on my threats to the doctor and the OT because Mum went in to hospital again as a result of another UTI. The hospital social worker straightened a lot of things out, and organised for Mum to be assessed. The result of this is that I can call on a greater range of services to help look after Mum.

She was diagnosed as being at a much further distance through her AD journey than her own doctor believed, and now is seen at intervals by a wonderful geriatric doctor.

The bath in bed wipes are very good and can be microwaved to make them warmer. Any hint of cold, and my mother stops cooperating.

Ginny, I am telling you this because surely there are agencies or care providers who offer limited support for tasks such as this without eating too much into the other services the person you care for is eligible to receive.

The geriatric doctor told me not to worry too much about baths. Mum does so little to make herself dirty that a bath once a month would be fine and, luckily, she was at that time continent.

I really feel for you and anyone else in this position and I wish you well in getting a little assistance.



Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
we had a carer in because mum wasn't washing but thought she had. She couldn't cope with a shower and didn't want to risk a bath so the carer helped her with a strip wash twice a week(or once if cooperation ceased lol) and that's how we managed. I never could see the point in getting her distressed so we did 'just enough' lol probably only 'just' but she was happier for it and that is all that mattered to me. She would never have let me help her and I didn't want to anyway!!