I crossed an uncomfortable line today

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Donkeyshere, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    153
    channel islands
    It had to be done, for the first time I had to tell the MIL she had to change her clothes tomorrow and that she needed to shower. I felt bad doing it, but she has worn the same clothes for 5 days and I am pretty sure has not showered for 2 months. But what happens if she does not shower, I cant force her and she lives in the annex to so I cant just jump on her first thing in the morning before she gets dressed. I have to take her to the docs next week for a check up and have emailed the doc to give her the heads up to impress the showering on the MIL - but as you know this might go in one ear and out the other ! Any other ideas in case plan A and B dont work? I suppose I will just have to keep being persistent but its hard reversing the roles and being the "parent in law"!

    Something did come to mind though about not changing clothes, I read that doors can be a barrier for those with dementia, she was looking in one cupboard and said she could not find her cardigan, I opened the cupboard next to it and she was surprised that there were clothes in there. She has also started saying a few strange things but I guess this is just part and parcel of it all, the dogs were in with the OH and she came in looked at them and said I think the dogs are feeling lonely - the OH said "mum I am here with them" oh so you are and walked out again!

    Anyway like I said any ideas for Plan C let me know!
     
  2. nellbelles

    nellbelles Volunteer Host

    Nov 6, 2008
    8,374
    leicester
    Hi @Donkeyshere could you move her clothes once she goes to bed and then insist she has a shower in the morning whilst you tell her you are sorting clean ones? Might or might not work..
     
  3. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    153
    channel islands
    She locks the door once she goes to bed as its an annex so I dont get a chance at the moment to do her clothes before she goes to bed- and she leaves the key in the door - I do have a secret key to her bedroom though it has outside doors which open directly next to her bed - dont think creeping in through that would be an option or she would get a bit of a fright! Then she does not open the locked door till shes dressed - but its early days we might get some plan going hopefully.
     
  4. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,152
    She may have forgotten how to shower or be confused about how to work the shower etc. Maybe try buying her some nice shower gel and coax her into giving it a try by running a shower for her?
     
  5. Tiller Girl

    Tiller Girl Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    91
    For some reason PWD can get quite resistant to having a wash especially showering. So my first suggestion would be for her to have a bath rather than a shower if that’s possible. Secondly I’d say something like ......the doctor says you must have a bath/shower. Put the blame on someone else as it makes them the bad guy and not you. Thirdly be careful how you go about it as they can become agitated or aggressive if they feel they are being forced into a situation they don’t like.

    And lastly...don’t stress too much about washing. If you can get her to have one a week then I’d say your onto a winner but here with my OH it’s usually once a fortnight with several good strip washes in between.
     
  6. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,487
    My dad has not showered since March, he has the odd wash here and there and that will have to do. I do make sure that he changes his clothes regularly and as he does not smell that is good enough for the moment.

    I sympathise because it's hard.
     
  7. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    153
    channel islands
    Thanks I have thought and aksed her 3 times if she needs a hand putting it on, she says she is fine with it - but we all know what the reality can actually be. I will see how the next few days go and keep prompting her. She has a cupboard full of shower gel its all she seems to get for birthdays/xmas!
     
  8. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    153
    channel islands
    Thanks unfortunately bath is not an option her annex only has a walk in shower and she would not manage the stairs in our house. I think once I've seen the doc with her and the doc has mentioned the shower even though the MIL will not remember what the doc says about about having a shower, it will make me feel more in control and more assertive and yes pass the blame onto the doctor! Its just getting my head around it and the ever changing goals that I need to adjust to - its harder than it looks as she has lived with us for 7 years and only been diagnosed 3 years ago so the reverse in roles when I have always been told to respect your elders is hard.
     
  9. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    701
    Adversity to bathing... its frustrating & unpleasant but doesn’t ever seem to get any easier even with carers in place!
    Mum even turns the hot water off as an excuse - not realising that the shower is electric!
     
  10. reedysue

    reedysue Registered User

    Nov 4, 2014
    4,591
    Scotland
    My mum has not had a shower for nearly 4 years and if I did not insist she would not have a (very basic) wash either, I have to keep popping in and out of her rooms and giving instructions and her grabbing her dirty clothes as soon as she takes them off otherwise she would wear them until they fell apart. Mum is not happy with my involvement in her hygiene but needs must.
     
  11. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    153
    channel islands
    So I am gobsmacked - she's had a shower she was in the same clothes but said "I'm wearing the same clothes aren't I?" so went and changed them. I don't feel so bad mentioning it all now and it gives me a bit more comfort be able to "tell" her going forward. If we can start a routine now then it will be better going forward. I think I stressed more than I needed to!
     
  12. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    701
    Years ago before my Dad had VD & Alzheimer’s we got so fed up with mum not changing that one day we burnt the sweatshirt & pants she had taken off to finally wash! It did help for a while until she got fixated on another set of clothes!
     
  13. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,911
    Nottinghamshire
    Good news @Donkeyshere. Personal hygiene was something I hated tackling my dad about too :confused:.

    What worked for him (sometimes) was to go early in the morning, switch the shower on and pretend it was his idea to have one all along. Dad lived alone so I changed his front door lock for a thumb turn one so he couldn’t leave the key on the inside.

    I also had to make sure his clothes were visible or he couldn’t find them! So no closed wardrobe doors.
     
  14. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    153
    channel islands
    Luckily switching off the water would not hap
    Good idea re the lock - we have one on our own door - hers is on the way out so thats an excellent idea to get it changed - thanks
     
  15. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,361
    Kent
    It`s amazing isn`t it? It`s as if a light switch has been turned on. I don`t know if it has anything to do with slow processing but it`s as if the message got there eventually.
     
  16. TNJJ

    TNJJ Registered User

    May 7, 2019
    344
    My dad has a strip wash with the carers every morning(cannot use the shower as he cannot walk without the gutter frame) but to be honest. he wouldn't bother if he didn't.He goes to a care home once a month for a bath and a proper hair wash at my insistance....As he has a catheter he needs to be washed thoroughly to prevent infection,but he still kicks off but get ho!
     
  17. Donkeyshere

    Donkeyshere Registered User

    May 25, 2016
    153
    channel islands
    I thought the same thing she forgets to eat yet she remembered 12 hours later she needed to shower - I could see her processing it when I said she could get a UTI if she did not shower - some things stick and some things don't - we get a day of being lucid and 2 days of not - I've said to a friend the other day the only way I can describe dementia for me as a carer at the moment is as follows:

    Its like trying to score a goal, in the fog, when someone is moving the goal posts!
     

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