• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can be found in our area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Mum won't wash or change clothes

Scarlet Lady

New member
Apr 6, 2021
3
0
Hello, I’m new here and having huge problems with my 92 year old aunt who is living with Alzheimer’s. She has had carers coming daily for the past three years, but she refuses to acknowledge them. She is not difficult or unpleasant, but acts as if they don’t exist. The biggest problem now is that she won’t wash or change her clothes. She will sometimes accept help from me (although not about the washing) but she refuses all help from the carers. I’ve been warned by her GP that if this situation continues, the local authority Crisis Care Team will be called in. I so desperately do not want this to happen, but cannot make her understand what the problem is. Does anyone have any tips on how to get her to accept help? I should emphasise that she has absolutely no understanding of her illness at all and is totally stone deaf, so communication is very difficult. Many thanks in advance for any advice offered.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,489
0
My mother in law was very much like this. She had carers 3 times a day but they were more like paid talking companions . She refused personal care but could wash herself of sorts . Throughout the 3 years she had the carers, she refused a hair wash, so her hair became a matted mess. As she didn't smell, I didn't fret about it . The issue was resolved when she went into care .
 

Duggies-girl

Registered User
Sep 6, 2017
2,469
0
My dad didn't have a shower for a year but he didn't smell either so I didn't worry too much. He absolutely believed that he had a shower everyday which made it difficult to tell him otherwise. I had a little success with dry shampoo whenever he needed a haircut which I did as he was too frail to take out. Dad slept naked so I was able to swap his clothes in the morning and he wouldn't realise. All his clothes were much the same so that made it easier.

He did shave 3 or 4 times a day though and was always combing his hair. I found it completely baffling.
 

Scarlet Lady

New member
Apr 6, 2021
3
0
Thank you, all, for your replies. I appreciate your input. KaraokePete, thanks for the Society factsheets. No offence, but like most of these things, they simply highlight why the person may be behaving in a certain way, which most full time carers already know. What we need are practical ways to deal with it. As for Teepa Snow... I simply cannot imagine my aunt in any of the situations which would supposedly ‘remedy’ the problems.
What Duggies-girl and Rosettastone57 have highlighted is that there doesn’t seem much that can be done unless the the smell gets to the point that residential care is inevitable. I don’t believe we’re at that point, but hope to avoid it. What I find so hard to deal with, is the fact that there is no other part of medicine or healthcare where untrained, non professional family members are hung out to dry, to deal with the care of someone who essentially has a terminal illness, yet are expected to cope on their own with no advice as to what is to come.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,353
0
High Peak
There is always the desperate solution:

'Oh dear Auntie, I'm so clumsy! I've spilled my full mug of (tepid!) tomato soup right down your back! Here, let me help you get cleaned up/changed...'

Good luck!
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,489
0
Hi @Scarlet Lady , I agree that Teepa Snow would not have worked either with my mother in law . She was a difficult person before her diagnosis so the dementia just compounded it. She went into care because she was a high falls risk, not because she smelt. But the carers there had the time and the experience to deal with the hygiene issues . Home carer visits are time constrained, always rushing to the next visit, so are not going to employ any persuasion or techniques to get the desired result . Some forum members have found carer visits worked well, in my mother in law's case, they didn't .
 

Forum statistics

Threads
118,829
Messages
1,739,747
Members
69,635
Latest member
Dom62