1. kazlou

    kazlou Registered User

    Feb 3, 2006
    Hi I am new to the site and having problems with my 85 year old mother, she is refusing to wash and turns really nasty if we try to help or mention to her that she hasn't washed or bathed. She is also now not bothering to eat and drink properly. She has seen her doctor who has done a mini mental assessment and asked my mother if she would like to see a counsultant my mother refuses as she believes there isn't a problem and she cooks and keeps herself clean.
    Has anybody any advice on how to deal with this.
  2. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades
    Hi Kazlou
    welcome to talking point.
    It sounds as if the GP could be helpful in this instance.
    Ther are times when have to use devious methods for the good of the person concerned.
    Could you arrange with the GP that the consultant "dropped" in to see Mother?
    He could enlist the aid of his team, community psychiatric nurse etc.
    Come back and tell us how you are getting on,you will get all possible help on this site.
    Best Wishes
  3. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    kazlou hi,

    Join the club - I have exactly the same problems with my wife - No washing or cleanliness at all - some minor incontinence problems.

    My (French) SS arranged nurses 3 times a week to wash her - wonderful! Monique withstood the indignity for about 3 weeks and then fired the lot!

    Having achieved her stated aim of getting rid of the nurses, as she is not ill and can look after herself, she started on the SS lady who comes in to keep her company whilst I escape for 4 hours a week. At that point I got cross and issued some stark warnings about our relationship...

    We all opt 'first' for finding a devious route to get our 'loved ones?' to be reasonable. We treat them like sick children. I am certain that is the correct thing to try to do. Sometimes, just sometimes, I think they need reminding that we too have a life and they have to face up to the consequences of their actions or non actions. Very dodgy area this, but if they find it hard to make choices and Monique does - I think it is sometimes easier for them/her to say 'no' to anything that may be threatening or challenging.... Monique is not a child and is not stupid and in that woolly mess in her head, sometimes she can see that hurting me in order to make her world better is unreasonable - if not unreasonable, then dangerous for her own well being. Sometimes it can be harder to issue orders than to obey them?? If you are given no choice then there is no decision to make -

    I cannot discuss anything with Monique because really there is no problem!!! I am certain the 'no problem' bit is partly a defence as admitting the problem would be devastating.

    I have now opted for building a large shower in the bathroom beside the bedroom... We will be able to use it together ...Pulled everything out of the bathroom last weekend and moved us into a spare bedroom for the duration of the 'works'... Result?

    Monique is now totally disorientated and lost in the different bedroom - the temporary move to another bedroom has made her loose all her bearings... I am now wondering if the cure is worse than just being a bit smelly and dirty - what the hell???? By the time I have the bathroom finished and move us back into our bedroom and bathroom she will have forgotten it and be disorientated again!!!

    Its all a bit 'no win' this lark - maybe I should have settled for a dirty happy Monique - kazlou sorry I have rattled on about me - Maybe the consultant in the UK is what 'triggers' all the support that your mum is going to need in the future? If so she must go and maybe some 'theatricals' some dramatic presentation of the results of not going might encourage her to realise that to face a small demon is better than the bigger demons which will result in her inaction>>>
    difficult - if you find a solution let me know - please!
  4. Sandy

    Sandy Registered User

    Mar 23, 2005
    Hi kazlou,

    Welcome to Talking Point.

    You might want to take a look at the Alzheimer's Society's fact sheet on washing and bathing:


    As this is a common problem, it crops up on Talking Point from time to time. You might want to look at some earlier discussions:


    Does your mother live alone? Supporting someone with dementia who is living alone can be quite delicate balancing act, with many issues to consider, including health and safety and financial matters.

    Getting your mother some further medical attention, even if means ringing the GP yourself and explaining the situation, sounds like a good way to proceed.

    Take care,

  5. Stimpfig

    Stimpfig Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    #5 Stimpfig, Feb 4, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2006
    Hi Kazlou

    As daughters, I have presumed, we can take certain liberties. When mum gets difficult and nasty about bathing, I can get more difficult, esp. when my patience from full time caring has run out. When gentle persuasion and all the rest doesn't work, I do resort to a form of 'bullying' and boy, wasn't I relieved to find that
    lou lou (another TP member) does the same as reported by her elsewhere. Bullying the bully seems to work, quite surprisingly. But it all depends on how 'significant' the carer is for the cared. My form of bullying is telling mum in mock anger : Look, if you feel this way, then I am leaving and right now !! Since I am very 'signifcant' in her life, that usually does it.

    You know, if one doesn't change underwear, then one can prove that one needs to bathe and change just by holding one's underwear close to someone's nose (sorry :eek: ) - that's always triggered a positive response in my mum - she was never able to reject the evidence.

    Eating and drinking can be quite difficult. I have now resorted to giving mum smaller meals/snacks and water to drink several times a day rather than the customary 5 times. She cannot drink more than 60 ml of water/juice at a time. I can only manage upto a maximum of 1200 ml as against the 2 litres one's supposed to drink.

    But each case is different and has to be tackled as such. For me, it's all been a matter of trial and error, trial and error ...but then you hit upon an idea that works for you.

    Michael: Couldn't you get Monique to sit in a chair and just run the shower - will that be too much? I heard one carer mention this in a support group I went to here - but this means the AD person doesn't have a choice. And the person is supposed to get used to it and won't mind after a while. Apologies if this sounds like a harsh measure .

    Take care
  6. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    Sue hi,

    The problem is the concept that she needs me or anyone to help her shower! The nurses told me to buy a super plastic bench that goes across the bath and is easy to sit on and off and shower with but.... It looks to Monique as if it is for someone who is sick!!!!

    I am fairly confident the shower will work, because in the boat coming from the UK to la Rochelle, she would shower with me, in the tiny boat shower, in the heads. Monique perceives it as a loving/sexual experience. Trouble is I have gone overboard with the bathroom, having it all re tiled, a giant shower put in, and and and ... what I had not expected was she would feel so disorientated moving from our bedroom, with it's shower, into a spare bedroom with another different bathroom, although we both use that bathroom frequently

    I get the feeling there is so much covering up going on, I have really not appreciated what a muddle and fog her head is actually in..., maybe that is the big problem - we do not understand what a mess their heads really are..

    By the by, my bullying behavior, of which I am not very proud, is just the same as yours - There is a choice Monique must make and sometimes it has to be spelled out. I normally feel like the biggest **** in the world after the spelling bee...

    Thanks for coming back

  7. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    I have taken over the care of my Mom's hair which she neglects terribly. Now that she forgets moment to moment I can fool her into thinking it has been a month since we did a dye job on her and get her to let me shampoo it weekly. Baby steps....... it is just too hard on her and me to try to make all the changes that are needed so I am tackling one thing at a time.
    Smelly Mom, happens quite often, my answer? Perfume! She would balk if I even suggested she needed a bath at this point !
    Good luck,
  8. kazlou

    kazlou Registered User

    Feb 3, 2006
    Re advice

    Many thanks for your support and advice I will have a go at getting Mum to have a bath or at least try to coax her into a routine of washing.
  9. richardjb

    richardjb Registered User

    Feb 5, 2006
    washing - and some other stuff

    Hi, i look after Bill who has AD, he is 92 and i have taken care of him for 8 years. He is able bodied and resents any company in the bathroom, in the early stages it was easy enough to encourage him from the outside of the room, once he was in the bath, popping in for short periods to direct his attention and then leaving him to get it done. Always listning incase something went wrong.

    this progressed to getting out of his sight line by standing behind him, as more direction was required. washing took longer now and water temperature had to be monitered closely. Bill was also struggling to get out of the bath now and equipment to aid him was impossible, as with AD he just could not understand what it was for. Washing from the basin became more regular.

    Now this is where i strayed from the path a bit and i know some will considder it strange, i needed to work out how to make Bill comfortable with somebody in the bathroom, so we started having morning tea upstairs in the bathroom, i set a small table and we would chat and read the news papers together, eventualy Bill started to regard us being in there together as quite normal and would sometimes come to join me when i was shaving. I would ask him to help me giving him small tasks i knew he could do, such as passing the towel or holding the soap.

    Strip washing was now the standard morning routine and a plastic chair was placed in the bathroom and non slip bath mats were placed to cover the entire floor. Bill still washed him-self with direction, i use the process i had introduced some months earlier buy asking him for help. "sorry Bill would you help me, i can't seem to be able reach your leg to give it a wash" being such a sweet old gent he could not wait to assist me. And slowly he accepted me into the process.

    We have moved over the years to a complete wet room with wooden furniture as it is easier to dis-infect and clean, and is not as slippery as the plastic. it can also support weight better. Bill is a bit more frail and our strategy has changed. I feel it is still important to include Bill in the process rather than to instruct him, no matter how old i am i will always be his junior, and he will expect the respect that is due to him.

    I always hand him a flannel with a bit of soap and he washes away, we chat like when we had tea all those years ago, and i ask if he would like me to wash his back, if he objects i try an arm, when the washing is done i use the shower to rinse the soap, starting where he can see what i am doing and asking if he minds.

    Even though Bill is in the advanced stages of AD, has no language skills anymore
    I know he can understand me even if he cant tell me that he does.

    8 years 24/7 tells me so.

    so to sum up this very long story; my advice is this: work with your loved ones not against them or for them,
    let them decide how you proceed directly or indirectly. your roll is to interpret them, their personalites and past behaviour are always good indicaters,
    Bill was a man used to giving orders not taking them so why should he start now, but he was helpfull and pleasent and using this information has helped me find a way to best care for him.

    my wish is that anybody who reads this can draw from it what they need , disregard that which is in excess, adapt what they can and as crazy as it seems enjoy the time they have with those that they love. throw away the rule book;
    having breakfast in the conservatory under a full moon is a wonderful experience, especialy in a dinner suit and gum boots.

    love peace and light to all
  10. BeckyJan

    BeckyJan Registered User

    Nov 28, 2005
    Washing etc

    What a wonderful posting - thank you very much. Your sensitivity and understanding over a very practical issue gives me much food for thought - your advice is very well received. Best wishes BeckyJan
  11. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    #11 Lynne, Feb 6, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2006
    Richard, you're quite a man!

    Thank you for giving me this insight into such love, respect & initiative. Also (and I'm sure you will take this in the spirit intended) a broad grin at the images presented.

    Peace & loving awareness to you and Bill, Richard
  12. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004

    :) Dear Richard, warm welcome to TP.

    What a lovely post, so much insight into how your Bill must feel.
    Thank you, you have given me a lot of room for thought.

  13. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    A better man

    Richard hi,

    That's brilliant - admire you very much and you are right of course. Just wish I had that much loving care in me..

  14. May

    May Registered User

    Oct 15, 2005
    You gave me food for thought, brought a tear to my eye and a smile to my face with the love and respect so evident in your post.
    Best wishes to you and Bill
  15. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    Richard, you are absolutely inspirational - and your wonderful contribution is rather humbling. I have never read a better example of a carer 'living in the AD sufferer's world' - I will think of you next time I catch myself wanting something done 'my way' .......
  16. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Richard,

    Welcome to TP. Thanks for such a brilliant post.

  17. rummy

    rummy Registered User

    Jul 15, 2005
    I too will try to remember your example and use you for my inspiration to rise above my own feelings and needs. I forget how the world must seem to my Mom now. Thanks Richard,
  18. richardjb

    richardjb Registered User

    Feb 5, 2006
    thank you

    Hi, thanks for the warm welcome, i will try my best to become part of the comunity and provide knowledge from my own experience to help others as best i can, for what the future holds we cannot be certain.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.