• Expert Q&A: Rare dementias - Tues 3 March, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of rare dementias. It will be hosted by Nikki and Seb from Rare Dementia Support. If you have any questions about rare dementias, they will be here to answer them on Tuesday 3 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Personal Hygeine.


Registered User
Aug 23, 2007
Speaking of dental hygiene, what do you do? My mum won't let anyone near her with a toothbrush - if I'm lucky I get to give the front ones a bit of a clean using a mild kid's toothpaste before she objects.


Registered User
Oct 15, 2005
Baby wipes...wonderful invention!:D We started using these when Mum started to become incontinent, figuring if they're OK for babies they're fine for adults too.. Even though Mum is now in a nursing home, we still use them to wipe hands, feet , legs etc to freshen her as she is confined to bed.


Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
They're her own
that must be harder , as my mother are false , she take them out when she in the mood and I put them in glass with water , those tablet you can get to clean them

but like what every one say about the hygiene not worry about it if they smell , try do that with the teeth . could offer her some fresh mints sweets also dentist can give you tablets that you can suck, chew that get ride of any infection of the gums if that happen after long time not bushing them and teeth start hurting her , hopefully that won't happen
Last edited:


Registered User
Jan 27, 2006
Dad as started to refuse having a shave, his nails cut, his showers are becoming a big problem.
He's in a nursing home, and i understand that they can't force him, because it can be seen as abuse.
Well i managed to do his feet last week by giving him some of his favorite biscuits with his tea while i managed to cut his nails, but i did used to do them when he was at home anyway.
Now i am going to figure out a way of washing his hair this week, but i don't think the eating of biscuits will work on this one. :confused:


Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
janjan said:
Dad as started to refuse having a shave, his nails cut:
Mum doesn't like having her nails cut either. If I get her early enough in the day she is not so bad but as the day goes on she keeps struggling to get her hands away and says it hurts when I know fine it doesn't hurt at all. Now I try to give her a manicure instead, just filing her nails down to keep them neat and take away any raggy bits. She is ok with that most times. Dad sometimes says he has cut her nails and has the scars to prove it!

Dad takes her to chiropodist to have her toenails cut. I once asked my own chiropodist how they cope with patients like mum as it is tickly enough on my own feet. He said they have a different way of holding the foot in case the patient kicks out. He also said taking her to the chiropodist is better at this stage than getting someone in as it is a "trip with a purpose". She also goes to hairdresser once a week (which she never did before AD) to have her hair washed and blow dried. She doesn't seem to mind the washing but she doesn't like the drying. Hairdresser is a lovely lady who works as fast as she can to get it finished quick. She sometimes creates a scene in the hairdresser saying it's horrible and a mess (even when other customers are telling her it's lovely) but when I say her hair looks lovely she says oh yes, I like it the way that girl does it!:confused: Mum always put rollers in her hair at night and slept with them in but now she doesn't know what to do with them and when my sister in law puts them in for her mid week (to try to get her looking less like Don King :D ) she removes them again straight away.

Still waiting for Social Services to come and assess mum to see how much help she needs washing and dressing as dad is at the end of his tether! They have phoned to ask when would be best time but not made firm appointment yet. By the time dad got up on Friday, she had dressed herself Superman style - pants on top of trousers, two vests and a bra round her neck strangling her! What a picture that must have been:eek:

I have noticed the breath also but it is not too bad. She does brush her teeth when dad hands her the brush with the toothpaste on it, but she sometimes forgets to take her plate out and clean that separately. Sometimes she understands when dad tells her to take it out and sometimes she just nods so I don't stress if she forgets. Dad noticed her teeth are very discoloured now but she has dental checkups twice a year and they are not worried about it. As you say, may be the medicine.

You've got to laugh at these things or we'd all be crying all day!


Registered User
Aug 3, 2006
Oral Hygeine

Every morning, I get Jean up with the hoist and place her on the commode, then wheel her into the wet room. There already naked, I move her up to the sink, lower one side of the commode, place my left leg behind her back, hold her head in my left arm, place a clear pint tumbler of water to her lips. She drink almost a pint! I then proceed to brush her teeth, have her rinse, then still holdinding her head back in my arm, I put the toothpaste (mint) on the brush. Holding her chin as I brush, sometimes she eats the paste and bites the brush, but not as often as she use to. She now also likes having her tongue brushed. Mostly she'll spit out, then have a rinse, followed by a final brush and rinse.

In the begining it was a very great efford to clear up her oral thrush, which was due to lack of care at the NH. Her breath was so bad I bought packets of thin wafer like items which melt when you place on the tongue. They give off a strong odour of mint. Again when I started brushing her teeth and she kept swallowing the contents, I would find later in the morning there would be a mess for me to clear up when her breakfast was spewed all over the place.
My patience has paid off for the past few years, her teeth are nice and white and her tongue a rich pink. You can also get packets of tablets for fresh breath only Jean ate them like sweets, they look like small coloured sweets.
Hope this is of help. Padraig


Registered User
Jul 10, 2007
Mum has now lost her third dental plate! She has one tooth on it, right at the front in the middle and she has taken it out to brush her teeth and then when my dad is not there, it disappears! I have turned the house upside down looking for it but no luck. I think she has had it in her hand and not recognised it so she has thrown it down the loo and flushed it away! It's a costly business this teeth brushing!

verdant lady

Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
personal hygeine

Took a long while to figure out how to wash and change mum, for an 82 year old she can pack a punch and has what I call a 'death grip' when she is trying to stop you touching her. My way of dealing with washing is to sit her on the loo and gently take trouser off, we have sewn her knickers into her trousers at waistband height as she would often not pull them up leaving her uncomfortable, and not knowing why. All she has to manage now is the pull up and pull down of the trousers, the knickers stay with them. I wash her lower half as soon as she is off the loo with a warm soapy sponge, before she gets into her escape mode I dry her with a towel and then let her trot off into the bedroom to sit on the bed, I put clean trousers back on and she is happy to stand up and pull them up. We have 5 or 6 trousers all with knickers sewn in and elasticated waistbands, as they wear we pick the stitching and sew in new ones. I wash hair, feet, all on different days, I sponge wash her hair with Johnsons baby shampoo when she is sitting down and sponge off the excess with clear water, trying not to let it run down her face as she hates this. I use roll on deodorant as the spray frightens her also, when cleaning after no 2's we dip kitchen roll in aqueous cream {on prescription}as a cleanser, this I find stops any soreness and cleans her quicker than dry loo roll which falls apart in your hands.
Hope this post is of use to someone.


Registered User
Jan 30, 2009
Co. Derry
Voice from the past!

How strange to see this thread come floating to the top again - to see how things were for some of the great characters of this forum 2.5 years ago. Some of what is written here all that time ago would make you smile or cry with thoughts of - oh I wish....I could be back then...... I especially like the thought of Sylvia being "Miss Marple" - so I know I'm doing OK because I'm a bit like that at present!!! ;)