1. Bristolbelle

    Bristolbelle Registered User

    Aug 18, 2006
    I know several Ad sufferers have problems with personal hygiene and I wondered if anoyone has ant tips for dealing with this. Mum has decided she doesn't like baths or showers anymore. She does still have a regular and thorough strip wash and she isn't smelling or anything like that. However I know that this can lead to urinary infections etc. When I mentioned it to her geriatric community nurse she just said don't worry so long as Mum is washing. I think the woman is useless anyway everytime she come she projects her own grief(widow) onto Mum and goes on and on about how much Mum must be missing Dad until Mum ends in tears. Last time she was going on about pre-paid funeral plans and when I told her I know Mum has sufficient life insurance to take care of stuff like that she said it didn't matter as this way Mum could have exactly what she wanted. I told her Mum had already told me she would leave it all in my court but the darned woman still carried on.
    When we moved the planners would not let us build the extension as big a we had intended so there was no room for a shower in Mum's granny annexe. However we had the small bedroom converted into a bathroom with bath and a very large walk in shower. The idea of the large shower specifically took into account the future when Mum would need assistance. At first she blamed not beoing able to get in and out of the bath so we installed rails. Then it was that she had not had a bath in years (true) as they had always had an over bath shower. However she didn't want an over bath shower as she didn't feel safe standing in the bath. Eventually we moved onto not being able to stand long so we invested in a shower stool, and now she has confessed she has developed a fear of water. I'm not sure if she just feels awkward about using the bathroom as it is in "our" part of the house. We even put a specific shelf in thier and asked to to arrange her stuff on it so she felt it was her bathroom to but it's still empty.

    Am I worrying for nothing or should she be bathing/showering?
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    I think you are worrying for nothing.

    My grandmother had strip washes for years, in the days before central heating and immersion heaters. She only had hot water when her coal fire was lit, so sometimes in summer months, she would boil a kettle for strip washes.

    I had never known her to have an infection of any kind, and she died aged 92.
  3. Bristolbelle

    Bristolbelle Registered User

    Aug 18, 2006

    Grannie G your really are an inspiration, and i think you are probably right. Thanks.
  4. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    I wouldn't worry as long as she is thoroughly strip washing. As far as I'm aware, not showering or bathing will not lead to UTIs. What about her hair? If she is going to the hairdresser's regularly, that's fine.

    But that geriatric nurse should be spoken to and immediately. It is totally inappropriate, in my opinion, for her to be going on about her personal life and reducing your mother to tears. I would take her aside and firmly but in a businesslike fashion tell her you will report her behaviour if she persists in it. Detail it for her if she pretends not to understand. Mostly likely she requires professional help to get her over her own grief but you cannot worry about her, you have enough on her plate.

    Good luck.
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I think a lot of perople do become frightened of water for some reason. I would agree that strip washes should be adequate, but if you're concerned about the UTI issue perhaps you should look at some of the portable bidet unit that fit on top of the toilet. Obviously a regular bidet would be best, but this is a good option if that's not available. There are vaious types: some just consist of a bowl that sits in the toilet that you fill with water, others come with a bag system that when raised provides "running" water for cleaning.
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Bristolbelle, Joanne's right. That nurse shouldn't be projecting her own grief onto your mum. No wonder your mum keeps asking about her husband.

    I think you should have a word with her, and tell her that you are hoping that your mum will begin to get over the loss of her husband, and you'd prefer it if she didn't keep reminding her.

    If you don't feel you can do this, you could ring her team leader and ask her to have a word.

    Don't worry about the bathing/showering, as long as your mum is clean, that's all that matters. UTIs often happen after inadequate wiping after using the toilet, and particularly with incontinence. If your mum is coping with this, then you shouldn't have to worry.

  7. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Bristolbelle,Even though i work in a home i shared my concerns over dads personal hygiene with TP.A post i will always remember said "nobody ever died from not hacing a bath".I tell this to mum all the time and to my staff at work.A strip wash is as good as a bath when done right.We call them FBW (full body wash).How often did people have a bath 50 years ago?not often.Don't worry about this at all.as long as there is some hygiene then there is no problem.love elainex
  8. Bristolbelle

    Bristolbelle Registered User

    Aug 18, 2006
    Thank you all

    That's that worry well and truly washed away! As for hair she washes it over her sink, and does a very good job, and takes more care of her general dress etc than she has in years. She lists what she has worn to her day centre so they don't think she only has a few clothes, and takes great care in getting ready. I think she has a secret boyfriend lol.

    Once again thanks for the reassurance.
  9. germain

    germain Registered User

    Jul 7, 2007
    Hi Bristolbelle,

    I've posted several times re this subject - my Mum was smelling to high heaven !

    She is in hospital at the moment and has had one bath but they also use products called Tena Mousse and Conti Wipes every day to keep her clean. Not sure if this is on sale to the general public but there is probably something similar.

    She appears not to have underarm sweating any more so we don't need deoderant.

    Hope this helps
    If all else fails Baby Bath is quite good in a bowl.
  10. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    :) She sounds just like my grandmother, who also wanted to wear something different each day, so people wouldn`t think she had few clothes. She wouldn`t use a walking stick, but used a rolled up umbrella instead.
    She had lots of boyfriends, they flocked round her.................

    ...............and she washed herself with carbolic soap. :)
  11. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Bristolbelle,there is definetley no need to worry from your last post.We call it "expressing sexuality" in care plans,when residents are taking pride in their appearance.i do hope your mum continues with this.As for a boyfriend?why not?lol,whatever tickles her pickle!love and the best to you all elainex
  12. Bristolbelle

    Bristolbelle Registered User

    Aug 18, 2006
    It's nver too late....

    Elaine, I couldn't agree more. I know for a fact that there is one very sprightly 83 year old who has repeatedly asked her our for coffee in our village. She and Dad were completely devoted, but I know he would not begrudge her happiness in any form now. I do tease her a bit on her good days, there are times she can still be full of humour and devilment, and gives as good as she gets. Prospective boyfriends are one area she always responds to well. I'm sure she doesn't realise this gent is actually quite sincere which makes it all the more amusing.
  13. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #13 Margarita, Oct 1, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2007
    My mother won't go upstairs any more to get in bath , we have bath lift , So gave up trying to force her. she scared of siting on bath lift now .

    So for last mouth or so has been having a strip washes in the down stairs toilet . the carer that come around to wash mum told me me get some Dettol Antiseptic - disinfectant Liquid she add a tiny drop in the Sink water , she also told me to get 3 flannels , One for Face , One for body , One for privet part

    We use to have a walk in shower at are other place we lived in , she was fine with that . I have a yearly review assessment coming up soon so am going to ask for OT to come out about putting walk in shower downstairs .

    I have read that people with AZ do develop a fear of water can think they drowning if the water is poured over the head . also if they Spatial awareness in they brain is effect with the disease , they can't find the right balance / coronation to get in out of bath , that what happen to my mother in the past and we could not get her out of the bath my son had to help me lift her out .

    Now as its getting worse with Spatial awareness she can't balance , coronation of her balance is gone to sit down on the bath lift or go up stairs so she get scared , scream thinking she going to fall , likely hood is she fall on me with her panic . but can walk around with a Zimmer frame
  14. Nebiroth

    Nebiroth Registered User

    Aug 20, 2006
    I wouldn't worry, AFAIK not washing doesn't lead to UTI's or anything like that (although poor toilet hygiene techniques can).

    Really, regular washing is pretty much a modern invention, people have been going through life for centuries being a lot less clean that we are!

    I think the results of not washing tend to be more unpleasant (in that you tend to get smelly) rather than dangerous.
  15. Cate

    Cate Registered User

    Jul 2, 2006
    Newport, Gwent
    Hi Bristolbelle

    I would not worry that mum is not bathing/showering.

    My mum has developed a real fear of water, and she used to be so fastidious about personal hygiene. She hadn’t been in a bath in years, she thought it much cleaner to have showers. The last time I persuaded her to let me shower her at the NH, she was terrified, I had her sat on a chair, and didnt let any water near her face, but it was no good, she hated it, and personally I dont want to put her through that again.

    So she just has strip washes, and the nurses keep a watchful eye that this is happening. She will allow them to wash her feet for her, but she is still a modest soul, and that’s as far as she will allow them to go. The hairdresser comes in every week, and provided they use the back wash, she is fine with this.

    So in the wider scheme of things, I wouldn’t let this worry you.



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