Personal Hygeine.

janjan

Registered User
Jan 27, 2006
229
59
Birmingham
Baths.

Have you asked sw to come and see you because of your own trouble with your hip to come and see if they could look at your bathroom to see if any hand rails or possible changes could be made to help you out, that way you could tell hubby its for your benefit, and maybe he would cooperate more if he thought it was for you and not himself. A walk in shower would be ideal if you are struggling with your hip, as well as easier to get hubby in and out the shower than a bath, if not hand rails i found was a help for mom with her bath.
My mom had a knee replacement and i wished with hindsight i talked her into having a walk in shower at the beginning of dad with AZ. But we managed with aids and a bath seat is handy to sit on under the shower in the bath for dad.
Mom just didn't want all the upheaval of it all, having the bathroom all changed round. Best wishes, Janet.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,393
Kent
Hi Janet.

We don`t have a shower, as I don`t like water coming down on me, [can`t swim either, a bit of water phobia] and when we did have one years ago, Dhiren slipped and bruised his ribs, so there`s no way he`d have one now.

I think his reluctance to have a bath has something to do with his fear of slipping. We do have a bath seat, and he`s OK once he`s in, but getting in and out are difficult, and I forgot about hand rails. I`ll have to get one fixed.

Thank you.

Love xx
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Good thing about walk in shower now days , is that they are made slip proof (the tray that is walk on when one walks on to it to have shower ) also the fooling when person walk in out of shower is slip proof . Just saying that in case someone else is worry about slipping.
 
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Splat88

Registered User
Jul 13, 2005
176
Essex
This is difficult enough if you are in a mother and daughter relationship, but how about a mother in law who just will not undress in front of doctors and nurses, let alone her DIL!!!

I'm afraid I have just copped out, when I have tried suggesting a bath there's always an excuse. We redid our downstairs bathroom ( not used to house, always had a bungalow, doesn't like going to upstairs bathroom ) with a walk in shower as she said she always used to shower, now she won't use it because she says she prefers a bath!!!

Like Margarita, no one in the family wants to sit near her, and there's a race at mealtimes because who wants to eat sitting next to that pong!!

I've tried pleading, getting stroppy ( are you saying I smell? YES!!!!! ) telling her I'll have to get care workers to do it, all to no avail. Last time she went to the doctors, he noticed she had an umbilical infection, but she won't let me go near her with the cream!!!

If I suggest I help, I get told she's an adult not a baby.

How do you cope, apart from letting her get in with it! Incidentally, she is fine with dressing herself, though I have to get the clothes out and tell her when to change.
 

cris

Registered User
Aug 23, 2006
326
70
Chelmsford
I was about to add something and I noticed Margarita picked up on it. Washing hands, cleaning teeth. I think that they loose the skill to do it. Susan knows to wash her hands and clean her teeth, but I have to be there to load the toothbrush, run the sink water. It is then that I clean my teeth so that Susan can see what is expected. EVERY TIME. I even have started to put the brush in her mouth, close her hand around the handle and she seems to pick it up from there. The same with hand wash I have to show how to roll the hands together, rinse and then I towel dry. Susan cannot dry. I suppose I will have to clean her teeth sometime in the future. It's the skill that maybe lost not necessarily the desire to do it. I feel also that as clean as we have been we have to sit back and reassess what is important, and what we are being obsessive about. I having given up trying to keep the house spotless. As long as it is hygienically clean, a little dust on the tv screen or window ledge or Susan walking in with wet garden shoes on is not life threatening. When Susan does not want to bath, which is not often, I will leave it a short while, (so she forgets) and then say "ok I'm going to have a bath" and 99% Susan will say "can I". Again there was a period when she was afraid of the water, so do not make the water too deep or leave them alone "to soak" or get the change of clothes. It's a case of knowing the feelings or thoughts of the one being cared for.
cris
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Splat88

How do you cope, apart from letting her get in with it! Incidentally, she is fine with dressing herself, though I have to get the clothes out and tell her when to change.
Sounds like from your post that your at the beginning ,
now she won't use it because she says she prefers a bath!!!
Sounds like something my mother would of said , don't believe it really she just scared .

Just a thought ! could you get her a swimming costume , she can put it on before getting in the shower , so having a shower with it on

May that would over come the " Not like being naked in front of you " and if your up to it get in your swimming costume, Guide her into shower
 

jc141265

Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
836
45
Australia
Just a thought - where this problem with bathing involves a spouse...can u make it sexy for them...by having a shower/bath together...try asking them to come help you sometime, use the excuse that you can't reach your back...ask them to help wash u down?

Otherwise, yes i am afraid it is the way of wet wipes for u. I know it is really hard to come to terms with...but this disease isn't the long kiss goodbye...its a long stretch of many goodbyes...as your loved one becomes a person with a different personality many times...there will be things u don't like about each new person...but there are still many aspects of the old person there that allows u to fall in love with the new person..and sometimes they develop new habits that they never had before and u grow to love those new ones while hating some of them as well.

Its really important that you do try to let go of the old person they were, because the pain, sadness and anger that builds up when you don't does nobody any good, u or them.

Its also a sad fact that often yes their attitude may simply be that they don't care...that can be a sign of depression as well and may be helped with anti-depressants.

They may also avoid the activity because unbeknownst to you a simply thing like turning on the taps or coordinating their hands to use a washer on their body is no longer a simple task and it makes them feel stupid and hate themselves to try...or to ask for help...how would you feel if you went to go for a bath and could not work out how to do things properly...not only would u feel stupid but it would fill you with terror as it is the ultimate confirmation that you are dying, that all those horrible things you have heard about are definitely going to happen to you. Also if it I was dying frankly I think i would probably be a real pain in the butt to all the people around me because I would probably say stuff u world I will do what i damn well please - whats the point of keeping everyone happy when u r dying...especially if parts of your brain that control empathy and caring are shutting down??

Lastly on the cleanliness that occurs in other things that makes this whole washing thing a msytery - why are they wanting to be so clean, sweeping or vacuuming when they don't want to wash themselves...I think a certain amount of this behaviour is that if they can still do it, they seize upon it and do it obsessively because it makes them feel good. My Dad used to sweep and wash up incessantly and drove my mum mad with it. I think he also used to do it, because it gave him an excuse to do something and got him away from all the things he couldn't do anymore, like talking and interacting. Also I think it can sometimes take the form of an obsessive compulsive disorder...again caused by changes in the brain...and like many obsessive compulsives the repetitive behaviour of sweeping is far more calming for them than a not so repetitive activity like bathing (that involves all sorts of different movements rather than just the one back and forth movement).

Well thats my take on the situation anyways :eek: Hope my experiences help someone...
 
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Splat88

Registered User
Jul 13, 2005
176
Essex
Mm, not exactly the beginning, she was diagnosed 6 years ago, but obviously had it before that. I guess I am lucky that she doesn't have many physical restrictions. I did mention to the socail worker the other day that I was well aware this would get worse, but he said it may not, it may never go further than her having nothing but problems with her memory. Having read TP for 2 years, I'm aware that there is a vast range of different stages and symptoms.
That's a good idea about the swimsuit, though, I will try that.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,393
Kent
My husband`s insistence on vaccing every day is because, in his own words `I don`t want to forget how to do it. I`ve forgotten how to do everything else.`

His poor co-ordination makes it a nightmare for me to watch, as he lifts the cleaner instead of wheeling it, and gets the flex tangled round his feet..............
 

Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Splat88

Mm, not exactly the beginning, she was diagnosed 6 years ago
No I meant the beginning of one of the symptoms of AZ .

When a person get diagnosed with AZ the issue one have with washing does not follow straight away after being diagnosed , can happen slowly till it get to the stage that they just don't wash at all

So from reading what you was saying with the issue you have with your MIL , I was assuming it was happening just Now even thought your MIL was diagnosed 6 years ago

so your going into one of the stages symptoms , that why I said the beginning . meaning the beginning of a another symptom if you get my point .

I did mention to the socail worker the other day that I was well aware this would get worse, but he said it may not, it may never go further than her having nothing but problems with her memory.
What is that SW on!
it may never go further than her having nothing but problems with her memory
Wried thing to say , what was your MIL diagnosed with ?

Just read from your profile , your mother has recall . Sorry never heard of that , but then read from other post that she taking medication for AZ:confused:
 
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Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
3,725
North Derbyshire
Hygiene

Dear all

Well, what a nice conversation but an essential one.

I just wonder if we are all a bit too neurotic about hygiene/cleanliness these days. Although I'm only 55, my home for the first 5 years of my life had no running water, no toilet, no bath. The outside loo was shared with 8 other families and someone's cat was always having kittens in it. We used a Po under the bed at night, and there was nowhere to wash your hands. We obviously didn't have a bathroom and the only washing place was at the kitchen sink or the tin bath on Sunday night (we all used the same water!).

When mum and dad moved into a two-up, two-down, with a bathroom, they still continued to wash at the kitchen sink and only have a bath once a fortnight. I dread to say it on an internet site (but we are being honest!), but I don't always bother washing my hands when I have been to the loo (depends what I am doing!), my husband eats out of date food (much to my disgust), and we have three cats. I can honestly say neither my husband or I, or our two kids, have ever had a bout of diarrheoa (spelt wrongly I am sure), or sickness or even stomach ache as a result of our lack of hygiene. My next door neighbour is meticulously clean and her daughter is allergic to all sorts, and they always have stomach upsets.

I suppose you need to look at a person's previous habits, and if they were previously very clean and hygienic and aren't any more, then probably some encouragement is needed. Instead of soap, how about a dispenser of handwash, especially if it says "anti-bacterial" on it.

Obviously, you don't want your relative smelling unpleasantly, but much depends on their physical condition. My mum is totally continent and I am surprised to learn she only changes her knickers every three days, but I have never noticed a smell, so why worry? She has also never used underarm deodorant in her life, but clearly isn't a sweaty person (unlike me, couldn't be without it!), cos she has no body odour. She does have "a good wash" every day, meaning the top half only.

My mother in law, who died 3 years ago, did have a problem in that she sat in the same chair for 18 hours a day, and wore no knickers cos it was easier to go to the loo at short notice if she didn't have any on. I also learnt that having been to the loo (for a wee), she didn't even bother drying herself off, so the result was that the chair started to smell. BUT, she lived in her own home almost to the end (aged 90), and had tons of visitors and friends, and they just put up with the smell. So what would have been worse? Making an issue of it, or just forgetting it? We did the latter (with a quick spring clean whenever she went into hospital).

Everyone is different. As I have said, I am a sweaty person, so all my underwear is changed daily (and tights/socks twice a day), but some people are not. I've also noticed that the staff in the hospital where my mum is currently put anything into the washing bag that is remotely slightly stained, so I take it home, give it a quick sponge down, and take it back. My mum has a favourite pair of trousers with bleach stains on the bottom (my Mum is big on bleach), she doesn't care about the bleach stains (never has, even pre-Alzheimers), but the staff do. I am going to get a grey felt-tip pen and colour them in! Well, they ARE clean!

Hey, the wipes are a great idea. I broke my wrist last year and couldn't do the usual movements to wash my hands, so the baby wipes were perfect.

Anyway, hope you all find solutions, but don't get too hung up on perfection.

Much love

Margaret
 

aaronsaunty

Registered User
Jul 4, 2007
4
daily bathing

hello
we found that with my dad that having a chair in the bath made it easier and now he baths more regularly with help
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Kylie sheets

John is having problems again with producing too much urine at night. The pills seem to have stopped working, and he's producing gallons. I'm having to change him three times a night.

I bought double bed sized kylies, but I'm finding that my washing machine won't cope. They absorb so much water that the weight is too much during the spin cycle. I've spent the morning cutting them in half and attaching strips of sheet to tuck in.

If anyone is thinking about buying them, I'd recommend buying the single bed size and attaching extra tuck-ins -- assuming you don't need the full width, of course!
 

Skye

Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
17,000
SW Scotland
Hi Maggie

Yes, those are the ones. The mattress protectors just have a plastic surface, and they go under the sheet, so you still have to wash the sheet every time.

The kylies go over the sheet, and have a soft absorbent surface, so you only have to wash the kylie.

It's up to you, whichever you prefer, but the problem with the protectors is, they're not absorbent, so they're uncomfortable to lie on when wet. Also, they make you sweat!

I didn't get mine from that site, there are other places that sell them.
 

Splat88

Registered User
Jul 13, 2005
176
Essex
Hello Margarita

I did the profile when I first joined in 2005, and then we were only told "recall memory loss", no one has actually used the word "alzheimers" though the consultant has used dementia. I am assuming its alzheimers for a generic term, especially as she has been on Aricept for 6 years.

My problem is that I really never knew just how she was with her personal hygiene, because none of my husbands side of the family are very close, she certainly did not seem to smell in the early years of our 35 year marriage!!!

It was only when it became apparent that there was a problem, she lived on her own ( her husband had died 11 years before ), and both the house and her appearance suffered. She was always wearing the same clothes, the house was filthy etc, and she did smell. That and some other things gave us a clue, because she maintained it was all old age.

Now, though she has lived with us for 4 years, she will not help, I've tried to get her involved, and she always says if i ask if she's had a wash that she's quite old enough to sort that out for herself! I can't treat her like a child and take her for a wash, she just will not allow it. She regards herself as a guest too, and doesn't want to do the other things that people say we should try, like housework etc. If I suggest helping with the dusting etc, I get told " no thanks, I'm retired!"

Also, you have the other side of it, I'm supposed to help her to keep her dignity, and if I can't insist that she takes the medication she needs, how can I insist on something as simple as a bath!!!!

Though wipes are a good idea, I don't think they would help in her case.
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,393
Kent
Splat88

I sympathize with you. There is little you can do to influence someone who has maintained her privacy all her life.

If you can bear to live with it, I can only suggest you `grin and bear it`. Not much help I know, but with someone who has such independent ideas, what else can you do.

I can only suggest that you wash her clothes as often as you can and hope that will help a little.

When I was a teen, I left home to live with my grandmother. We got on well, but she always complained I took too many baths and used up all the hot water. She had no washing machine and even washed bedding by hand. [No launderettes in those days.]

When my grandmother late lived with us, she used to tell me off all the time, saying no wonder my electicity bills were so big, because I was always washing and ironing, and the clothes would wear out quicker because of all the laundering. So I know how difficult it is to live with someone who`s stubborn, and still living in past times.