Showering and change of clothes

snowmile

New member
Feb 3, 2024
6
0
Hello everyone

First time post here.

My mother has Alzheimer’s disease and about 8 weeks ago her behaviour changed with regard to personal hygiene.
She always took pride in her appearance, showering first thing in a morning and changing her clothes.
This has now stopped and despite numerous requests from family members, she is adamant that she showers everyday and we don't know what we are talking about etc etc.

Due to her appearance and also body odour, it has come to the point where the only way my sister and I can persuade her to shower and change her clothes is by being very persistent and strong with her. This happens every Sunday morning and usually ends up with shouting and arguing, eventually she gives in and has a shower, washes her hair and changes her clothes.

We know that literally 15 minutes later she has forgotten about the episode and whilst it's difficult for us to go through it every Sunday, at least we know she is clean and fresh.

We've tried the gentle approach and tried to explain how she is forgetting she has not showered etc, but she is very stubborn and repetitive in her answers (part of the disease of course)

My question is, has anyone else resorted to this strongarm method? It's not something we'd do without knowing she forgets about it all very quickly.

Any other suggestions are welcome, she is not at the stage where she needs help showering by the way, she is perfectly capable of showering and blow drying her hair

Thank you.
I don't have any advice but I want to thank you for posting. Many of us are dealing with the same and similar (bathroom hygiene) issues.
I have come to find there is no magic answer. Follow ur gut n do the best u can while still keeping ur sanity :)
 

backin

Registered User
Feb 6, 2024
128
0
Have you tried spilling something over her? Then oh dear, what a mess, I'm so sorry, let's change your clothes etc..
 

Coastalmumscat

Registered User
Sep 20, 2023
10
0
Hi everyone it’s been a while since iv checked in so much is happening!!
O yes the personal hygiene is crazy I care for my mum who has just officially been diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia!! Which I felt for a long time something wasn’t right and was put down to the aging process but I new it was something more than this when refusing to shower and take care of her self I kept pushing for answers. 18 months later we have a diagnosis.
Yes I have personal caregivers coming in to help with showering etc but there’s a limit on how much they do !! Applying creams or powders is sometimes a push, but I feel after a shower and if you need these things it should be done all part of the service that so called provided.
Then if the worker is not experienced enough to be able to get mum in the shower , because she has said she has just had a shower , they then walk away fill in the paper work and leave!!! Little do they realise if she had of had the shower I would have cancelled them coming. I know you can’t force something on someone but if you are in the roll of caregiving you should have ways and means of talking them into having the shower etc etc. I get so annoyed with the level of so called care when clearly the service provider knows my mum has just been diagnosed with dementia. I get so frustrated with the whole thing!! I am very happy that there is one thing that makes mum happy and puts a smile on her face and that’s 2 days of respite a week they pick her up drop her off even tho I’m at work on these days it’s good to know she is out and in company she enjoys. That makes me happy. 🥰
Wishing you all a happy day hope the sun is shinning no matter where you are in this crazy world. 🤯
 

Vickied

New member
Feb 29, 2024
3
0
Hello everyone

First time post here.

My mother has Alzheimer’s disease and about 8 weeks ago her behaviour changed with regard to personal hygiene.
She always took pride in her appearance, showering first thing in a morning and changing her clothes.
This has now stopped and despite numerous requests from family members, she is adamant that she showers everyday and we don't know what we are talking about etc etc.

Due to her appearance and also body odour, it has come to the point where the only way my sister and I can persuade her to shower and change her clothes is by being very persistent and strong with her. This happens every Sunday morning and usually ends up with shouting and arguing, eventually she gives in and has a shower, washes her hair and changes her clothes.

We know that literally 15 minutes later she has forgotten about the episode and whilst it's difficult for us to go through it every Sunday, at least we know she is clean and fresh.

We've tried the gentle approach and tried to explain how she is forgetting she has not showered etc, but she is very stubborn and repetitive in her answers (part of the disease of course)

My question is, has anyone else resorted to this strongarm method? It's not something we'd do without knowing she forgets about it all very quickly.

Any other suggestions are welcome, she is not at the stage where she needs help showering by the way, she is perfectly capable of showering and blow drying her hair

Thank you.
@EamoomS
We have the same situation with mom. We put “ shower” on her calendar for every other day and told her it was to remind her caregivers.
When she saw it the next day
She got very angry and crossed it off of her calendar
She said “ I don’t need anyone to remind me to shower” 🤷‍♀️ Sorry not much help here. But your not alone
 

maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
318
0
I have just had to bring this up with my husband's Nursing Home as I realised he wasn't being helped with a shower. He's telling them that he's already washed. I explained that his cellulitis will infect if he's not showered regularly. He currently has a UTI which also is more likely without proper hygiene.
Trouble is my husband is quite high functioning with his mixed dementia so he's oh so convincing.
The battles never end
 

phill

Registered User
Aug 8, 2007
37
0
I have just had to bring this up with my husband's Nursing Home as I realised he wasn't being helped with a shower. He's telling them that he's already washed. I explained that his cellulitis will infect if he's not showered regularly. He currently has a UTI which also is more likely without proper hygiene.
Trouble is my husband is quite high functioning with his mixed dementia so he's oh so convincing.
The battles never end
In residential and nursing homes, once they have been alerted that the individual may claim to have washed/showered when he hasn’t, they will usually check whether the towel/face flannel feels damp or dry. If they conclude that he hasn’t, and if he still objects to having one, they may try again later the same day.
 

MikeFB

Registered User
Sep 26, 2022
30
0
I am 91 years old and care for my wife of similar age. I have no other support and can identify entirely with what you say regarding showering etc - or lack of to be more precise.
Having explained my despair and concern to others in authority, not to mention the aggro and stress caused by a more assertive approach, it has been suggested I should consider calling in outside help. The thinking behind this is that my wife might be more responsive to a stranger than to me. I am not entirely convinced of this and would find it extremely difficult to introduce some unbeknown person out of the blue - albeit I recognise the skills that many carers have in such matters. Any thoughts based on your experience ?
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
6,273
0
Salford
We just used to shower together, obviously not a solution for many on here but as partners it worked for me, you wash my back and I ll wash yours as the expression goes. K
 

maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
318
0
In residential and nursing homes, once they have been alerted that the individual may claim to have washed/showered when he hasn’t, they will usually check whether the towel/face flannel feels damp or dry. If they conclude that he hasn’t, and if he still objects to having one, they may try again later the same day.
I went with the fact that the basin has no plug, he has no flannel or towel. Busted I told him.
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
6,273
0
Salford
I went with the fact that the basin has no plug, he has no flannel or towel. Busted I told him.
I don't and never have owned a flannel, currently there is no plug either because I'm putting a new plughole in and bought the wrong size fitting (tomorrows job).
There are towels though so one out of three isn't bad hopefully I'm not busted too. K
 

Fugs

Registered User
Feb 16, 2023
101
0
@MikeFB it is tricky to know how best to start isn't it. With my wife she was spending ages phaffing, when she had said that she was going for a shower. I just asked her straight out if she needed help. She felt awkward the first few times I assisted her, but now doesn't bat an eye lid and it has become the new normal. In your case that "in" is getting outside help to start the process. I don't know your relationship with your wife. Perhaps you just have to bite the bullet and get someone to come in, and see how it goes?
 

maisiecat

Registered User
Oct 12, 2023
318
0
I don't and never have owned a flannel, currently there is no plug either because I'm putting a new plughole in and bought the wrong size fitting (tomorrows job).
There are towels though so one out of three isn't bad hopefully I'm not busted too. K
Ha,ha, I find my boy always reacts better if I make a joke about issues
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
6,273
0
Salford
As partners, husband or wife whatever getting naked when the other person is clothed is OK, but it isn't always a comfortable experience, especially when its someone of the someone is of the opposite sex is a stranger not a partner. K
 

Chizz

Registered User
Jan 10, 2023
3,494
0
Kent
I am 91 years old and care for my wife of similar age. I have no other support and can identify entirely with what you say regarding showering etc - or lack of to be more precise.
Having explained my despair and concern to others in authority, not to mention the aggro and stress caused by a more assertive approach, it has been suggested I should consider calling in outside help. The thinking behind this is that my wife might be more responsive to a stranger than to me. I am not entirely convinced of this and would find it extremely difficult to introduce some unbeknown person out of the blue - albeit I recognise the skills that many carers have in such matters. Any thoughts based on your experience ?
Hi @MikeFB I agree with @Kevinl - whilst we used to shower separately, as my wife's mobility got worse, I put up grab handles, and I bought a shower stool, and then would help her, if necessary. Then after a fall or two, my OH's confidence was severely knocked. Result, and in case of falls etc I would shower with my Oh to make sure I was on hand to help her wash and to help her dry. Maybe you could persuade your OH that it would be safer for her if you were there to help, etc.. You never know, it might just work.
Best wishes