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Refusing to shower and change clothes

melli

Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
32
0
Hi, I posted earlier in the week saying I cant believe how changeable my Mom has become, that she can go from seeming almost her old self to becoming a bit aggressive and defending strange statements.
Its moved on again, the nursing home called today to advise she wont shower and has been resistant to changing clothes. I have seen a change in her , hiding clothing and wanting me to take it away. However now its got to an aggressive refusal and a statement of I will die first before you shower me. they have asked if I can go while they try and make her shower, they want to make sure I'm happy with how they deal with this. they tell me its not unusual and they don't seem too phased by it. I just wondered if anyone could offer advise, for how I can help or what I can do to persuade he to go along with it?
As always any advise so gratefully received - Thanks x
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,802
0
Hello @melli

It’s a common problem, showering. My mum would scream and scratch anyone trying to shower her. I’m not sure any of us would like it to be honest. Mum seemed ok having a good strip wash at the sink most mornings and would let a carer or visiting hairdresser wash her hair. Very occasionally an experienced carer would manage to give her a bath, if she caught mum at the right time.

The carers may try to persuade your mum to shower but perhaps a strip wash or a bath might be worth trying if your mum is getting distressed. She may even gain confidence from that and perhaps be persuaded to shower later on.

Is your mum incontinent? She may be embarrassed, hence hiding clothes and resisting personal care. It’s really tricky but the carers will be trying to find ways around it.
 

melli

Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
32
0
Hi, Mom is in a nursing home and has been absolutely fine with showers for last 7 months, even enjoying the hairdresser , she is slightly incontinent but much better since she has moved into the nursing home and she is tested regularly for UTI etc. due to nature if her illness. Its more about not wanting them to touch her clothes - she doesn't think she is getter her own clothes back. which she is, but would rather I did them - which is fine. however the not wanting to change clothes and shower is a new and quickly progressing thing. I am wondering if just by me being there she may let me do it, however not a long term solution as I work full time. her volatility is new as she has previously been very passive, actually more passive than normal !
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,802
0
I think I would be asking about a review of medication or a visit from the community psychiatric nurse in that case. Regular reviews were useful for mum, who’s behaviour was very changeable, to put it mildly, during the time she was in the care home.
 

melli

Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
32
0
I think I would be asking about a review of medication or a visit from the community psychiatric nurse in that case. Regular reviews were useful for mum, who’s behaviour was very changeable, to put it mildly, during the time she was in the care home.
Thank you thats a good idea as she is due one , I will ask them to arrange
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
2,241
0
Newcastle
One question that occurs is whether your Mom has been accustomed to showering @melli My wife never was even before dementia as she always preferred a bath. In her last 18 months at home I could rarely get her to take a bath, although her once a week carer sometimes could. She preferred a wash at the bathroom washbasin but eventually was not doing that properly.

This continued in her care home, although having staff to help meant that she had a proper wash. After a while and some persuasion she became more amenable to having a bath, prompted by the staff armed with various potions and lotions. But a shower was out of the question and I don't think was even tried.

Bathing rather than showering would take more staff time initially but if a routine could be established might be more successful. The same is true with resistance to changing clothes or trying to put back on the clothes just taken off.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,802
0
At mum’s care home, which was a small one, Sunday was bath and hair wash day, although some residents would choose not to partake. I think that, as many people with dementia often go back in time, a strip wash and a weekly bath is more familiar to them. Being showered by somebody else seems rather intrusive to me (I certainly wouldn’t like it) and it’s not surprising that a lot of people with dementia are distressed by it.
 
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melli

Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
32
0
One question that occurs is whether your Mom has been accustomed to showering @melli My wife never was even before dementia as she always preferred a bath. In her last 18 months at home I could rarely get her to take a bath, although her once a week carer sometimes could. She preferred a wash at the bathroom washbasin but eventually was not doing that properly.

This continued in her care home, although having staff to help meant that she had a proper wash. After a while and some persuasion she became more amenable to having a bath, prompted by the staff armed with various potions and lotions. But a shower was out of the question and I don't think was even tried.

Bathing rather than showering would take more staff time initially but if a routine could be established might be more successful. The same is true with resistance to changing clothes or trying to put back on the clothes just taken off.
 

melli

Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
32
0
Hi, your are right she always has enjoyed a bath more than a shower, i am going to ask to try that and if needs be I will do it for her. thank you
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
776
0
Dad's care home don't even try to shower him but he has a bath most days. It's more relaxing and you can check all the skin. A shower is actually quote stressful to the body, noisy and affecting blood pressure etc. Go for the bath
 

melli

Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
32
0
Dad's care home don't even try to shower him but he has a bath most days. It's more relaxing and you can check all the skin. A shower is actually quote stressful to the body, noisy and affecting blood pressure etc. Go for the bath
thank you, i will see how it goes tomorrow !
 

melli

Registered User
Dec 9, 2021
32
0
Hi and a big thanks to all. I arrived today to find Mom in a state , worked up that she was to be showered. I spoke to the nurse and we gave her a bath! She wanted to put it off , however with a little cajoling as I was there and promised to do her hair, she did it and actually said after how lovely she felt.
They have promised it will be baths only from now on and not to mention showers - thank you so much for the suggestion, you have helped so much xxxx
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
776
0
Hi and a big thanks to all. I arrived today to find Mom in a state , worked up that she was to be showered. I spoke to the nurse and we gave her a bath! She wanted to put it off , however with a little cajoling as I was there and promised to do her hair, she did it and actually said after how lovely she felt.
They have promised it will be baths only from now on and not to mention showers - thank you so much for the suggestion, you have helped so much xxxx
Wow well done! A successful day.
 

madrarua

New member
Jan 8, 2022
5
0
I'm experiencing a similar issue with my mum. We're still waiting on formal diagnosis and support but meanwhile she's rapidly declining. I live at home with her and just upset her any time I even mention a shower. She's bathed twice since 1 January. I'm getting more assertive with her, making all sorts of negotiations but also can't force her into the tub. I'm at my wits end, don't know what to do.
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
2,483
0
cornwall
I'm experiencing a similar issue with my mum. We're still waiting on formal diagnosis and support but meanwhile she's rapidly declining. I live at home with her and just upset her any time I even mention a shower. She's bathed twice since 1 January. I'm getting more assertive with her, making all sorts of negotiations but also can't force her into the tub. I'm at my wits end, don't know what to do.
Hi. I know it’s not easy. My dad has not had a bath or shower in over 3 years. He has very bad mobility and so the carers give him a strip wash all over. Even when his mobility was good it still was a problem. All I can say is persevere but sometimes you will win and other times it is easier to let it slide. It all depends on the mood. My dad can be an awkward soul at the best of times.
 

madrarua

New member
Jan 8, 2022
5
0
Hi. I know it’s not easy. My dad has not had a bath or shower in over 3 years. He has very bad mobility and so the carers give him a strip wash all over. Even when his mobility was good it still was a problem. All I can say is persevere but sometimes you will win and other times it is easier to let it slide. It all depends on the mood. My dad can be an awkward soul at the best of times.

Hi there. Thanks for the reply and sorry to hear about your own struggles with your dad. That's very true, when I have convinced her to have a bath I think I've gotten lucky with her mood in that moment. I just wish that receptive mood came around more often hah!
 

steph122

New member
Dec 29, 2021
8
0
I believe the issue here is the care homes, imagine being confused, in a strange place you don't want to be in, confronted by people who you do not recognise and in some instances do not understand, would you want to be showered or bathed. Our loved ones need to be supported by people who understand Dementia, who have the time to build trust with them and at the end of the day, respect their choices.
 

TNJJ

Registered User
May 7, 2019
2,483
0
cornwall
I believe the issue here is the care homes, imagine being confused, in a strange place you don't want to be in, confronted by people who you do not recognise and in some instances do not understand, would you want to be showered or bathed. Our loved ones need to be supported by people who understand Dementia, who have the time to build trust with them and at the end of the day, respect their choices.
Quite possibly it could be the care homes. My dad lives at home with carers 4X a day. A lot of it with him is his dementia and personality 😀
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,700
0
I believe the issue here is the care homes, imagine being confused, in a strange place you don't want to be in, confronted by people who you do not recognise and in some instances do not understand, would you want to be showered or bathed. Our loved ones need to be supported by people who understand Dementia, who have the time to build trust with them and at the end of the day, respect their choices.
My mother in law had carers in her own home for 3 years . She refused personal care , she could wash herself of sorts but her hair wasn't washed for the whole 3 years. Part of the problem was that the carers were time constrained, rushing to the next call. She finally went into care and within 24 hours the home had her bathed and hair washed. The home had a whole team, experienced and empathetic, looking after her and they had the time to cajole and come back later to persuade her .
 

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