I can't get my mom to bath or wash

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by blackb15, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. blackb15

    blackb15 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2015
    #1 blackb15, Jan 17, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2015
    I'm new to the site and this is my first post however I've been Sole career for my mum for nine years who has vascular dementia ,social workers and other carers are now involved. I cannot get my mum to bath or wash I read the help information but I'm spoke to others but I am unable to get her to bathe or wash having followed the advice, is any other advice anyone can give?
  2. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    Hello Paul and welcome to TP.

    Although my husband has lived with Alzheimers for coming up to 10 years fortunately this particular behaviour I have not dealt with. My only suggestion would be have you tried running the bath and offering your Mum a treat you know she will enjoy once she has had her bath. By not making it a question that she has to think about, make it a plain straightforward statement. My husband would have walked on hot coals for a slice of carrot cake and a cup of tea.

    Sorry I can't offer much but I am sure others will be along soon to give you some ideas.

    Look forward to you joining us.

  3. blackb15

    blackb15 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2015
    Thanks very much for advice yes I have tried that and nothing seems to work she just says she will do it tomorrow and to stop upsetting her.
    Thank again
  4. sistermillicent

    sistermillicent Registered User

    Jan 30, 2009
    I don't think there is one strategy that works for all, our way of dealing with this was to hustle and bustle mum one evening when she was in quite an ok mood, we referred to it as bath night, we were all going to have one and she could go first! We also discovered that she had a mental block against getting undressed for some reason and was wearing 6 pairs of knickers when we helped her. We were being all girls together...
    This was after a LOT of trying and it was probably just pure luck that we managed it that day.
    Keep going, it will work one day.
  5. lexy

    lexy Registered User

    Nov 24, 2013
    #6 lexy, Jan 17, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  6. Maymab

    Maymab Registered User

    Oct 8, 2013
    Sounds as though it is time to get carers in to help with personal hygiene. Talk to Social services about it.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Talking Point mobile app
  7. bluejag69

    bluejag69 Registered User

    Oct 3, 2014
    Hi, it was a problem with dad , refusing help and refusing a wash. I ended up telling him we were goin up to wash his hair, then when we got in the bathroom I asked if he wanted it washed in the sink or under the shower. He said he didn't mind so I just told him what I was doin as we were goin along. He let me shower him. I don't think the carers tried very hard , I think they just asked him and of course he'd say no. But he looked like a homeless person.

    Now I shower my mum once a week, she always kicks up a fuss, 'what am I getting in the shower for?' But I tell her she's not coming out with me if she doesn't . Its like talking to a toddler!

    Unfortunately you can't force them to wash. Its so common.

    Sorry I can't help any more, good luck xxx
  8. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    I could never get my mother to have a shower, but then I couldn't face the inevitable tears and arguments. My sister, who lived much further away and couldn't visit nearly so often, was able to be much tougher. She simply wouldn't take no for an answer - it was, 'Come on - you NEED a shower - you smell!' (She did). And of course she very quickly forgot all the aggro afterwards.

    I know this wouldn't work for everybody, though - at least my mother never started kicking or lashing out.

    DEBSIWEBS Registered User

    Jan 18, 2015
    I care 24hrs a day for my mum who has vascular dementia, and I have the same problem with her and water. She screams and lashes out, tells me I'm hurting her and that she hates me, the showering process is a total nightmare! Thankfully, I now have the input of social services and have a care package whereby someone comes in for an hour a day to attend to mum's personal needs. This is such a weight off my mind and now I feel I can carry on as carer for mum, whereas before I felt I was coming to the end of the road.
  10. blackb15

    blackb15 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2015
    Thanks for help I tried some of the ideas today with no success,I have as I said involved social worker and careers but they have much less success then I have with my mom they cannot get here to eat let alone bathe .Its more worrying as her skin is getting worse.I don't think it's because she's scared of water I think it's more she just doesn't want to cooperate.Being forcible didn't seem to work
  11. witchpig

    witchpig Registered User

    Dec 31, 2011
    Maidstone Kent
    As a short term solution have you tried washing her with wet wipes? perhaps she has a fear of water. You can get different scented ones.
  12. lexy

    lexy Registered User

    Nov 24, 2013
    #13 lexy, Jan 19, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  13. Lyndylou

    Lyndylou Registered User

    Dec 19, 2014
    Hi blackb15, I am fairly new to this too! Have the same problem;it's reassuring to know that others have to deal with the same issues. My mum does not so much refuse but says she has done it... She truly thinks she has,and she thinks she has changed her undies too. I have thrown away so many knickers and worry about urine infections as we had that to contend with last year. I can sometimes persuade her if I get there early enough when she gets up but she refuses to let the carers help her. She always used to be so fussy about her appearance,she would gladly sit in her dressing gown all day now. I do wonder if some of the problem is mood?
  14. blackb15

    blackb15 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2015
    Thanks very much for your help I have tried most of the suggested ideas with still no success.I have now got a chiropodists appointment tomorrow which I think will be unsuccessful but I will try my best.
    Thanks again
  15. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    North East
    Try a carer coming in would be my advice. They often won't be difficult for a "professional".
    My mum can't get my dad in the shower, he protests and says he has already had one. However I approach things differently, I say right I'm going to shower you now, he just does as he is told. I take no prisoners and only ask closed questions.
    It works for us, it won't work for everyone.
  16. blackb15

    blackb15 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2015
    Thanks but I have got professional careers coming in and they have much less success than myself .When I try to be forcible with my mom she always reacts very badly .
  17. Bod

    Bod Registered User

    Aug 30, 2013
    Have you tried different times of day?
    My fathers care home found him to be more compliant in the mornings, evenings, no chance!
    Good luck, its a case of trying all sorts of things, till one works, from bribery to orders, morning ,noon, or night.

    Ps What works today, may fail next week, but what failed, may now work!
  18. blackb15

    blackb15 Registered User

    Jan 17, 2015
    Thanks appreciated I will keep trying different things and try different professional careers /doctors.
  19. bunnies

    bunnies Registered User

    May 16, 2010
    My relative, when faced with someone telling she was smelly and needed a wash, would reply rather sharply, 'well put something up your nose then!'. This from a person who before the illness was meticulous about cleanliness. It's hard to understand.
    I think there was a lot of fear though. I found the very softly softly approach worked best - trying to get her used to having a flannel wash, just the hands and arms the first day, and then the next day a bit more of the body, just being very reassuring and matter of fact about it. You don't get them really well washed, but it's better than nothing!

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