1. Roland Crooke

    Roland Crooke Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    North Yorkshire
    My Ma is in what seems to be a well run, friendly care home, and is in I guess early midddle stages of the disease. I live a long way away and can only get down to see her about once a month. My sister is closer and visits about once a fortnight. Recently Ma has been telling my sister that she isn't getting a shower or a bath daily. The home's owner says that Ma is often very cross in the morning and refuses said bath or shower, but that if she does refuse they "almost always" get her to have one in the evenings. My sister is convinced that this isn't happening, and I just don't know.... People with AD, whose memories are faulty, must be easy targets for those who choose to deny the truth of what they say, but at the same time, I know my Ma gets angry.... I'm trying to mediate between a number of people and look after her interests. We have asked the home to ensure that they write in Ma's diary when incidents of this sort happen, and maybe that's a;ll that can be done.
  2. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Well it happens that there are problems bathing people with dementia, and there is not much can be done, besides being patient.

    Staff at care homes can't force a resident to bathe - that would be considered abuse.

    It may well be that your Mum is being bathed regularly, though not necessarily at set times.

    Ultimately, if she is not being washed, then your sister's nose will tell.

    The home should be keeping records of when Mum is bathed so ask to see them. If they are not doing so, then ask nicely if they could do so because you are concerned. [which you seem to have done already]
  3. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005
    It is certainly the case that many people with dementia begin to reject being washed / bathed etc and can become aggressive when carers try to persuade them. So it may be that you are worrying uneccessarily. Many care homes do not offer daily baths/ showers to those who need help - weekly is not unusual. If everything else about the home seems good form yours and your sister's observations (you could also check the most recent inspection report online), then it's probably just a case of keeping a eye on how things develop. It is certainly good practice for both of you to look at your mum's care records regularly. I know what you mean, however, about worrying that it is easy us all to disbelieve the person with dementia so it is good that you are making the home aware of your concerns. Would it be possible for your sister to visit one day to coincide with the bath / shower time, so she could see for herself how your mother responds to the carers?
    Blue sea
  4. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Only an opinion, Roland, but by the time most dementia sufferers are in a care home, their short-term memories can be VERY unreliable.
    This makes the staff also "easy targets" for comments or accusations which might be unjustified. Tread carefully.
  5. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    I think Bruce's comment is spot on: the nose will know. Let's not forget as well that it wasn't so long ago that a once a week bath was quite common, and we all seemed to survive. Having said that though, there's obviously an issue here of belief, over and above the actual cleanliness. I mean I wouldn't worry about how frequently she bathed unless it was apparent (through smell or increased UTI's for ecxample) that it wasn't happening, but I can understand your concern that the family might not be being told the truth. I have to say that my mother was very unreliable about day to day things (particularly day to day things in fact: they blurred together). There were several times when she told me that so and so hadn't happened, and I had actually been there when it had (e.g. "I didn't have lunch today" when I had been there when she ate it).

    On balance, I would suspect that what the home says is happening IS happening. If they were inclined to lie about it, much more likely that you'd be told that she had a shower every morning, rather than what you have been told. The other possibility of course is that the owner is themselves being lied to by the actual carers: they aren't on duty all the time, one assumes.

    I suppose the crux of the matter is WHY does your sister believe that what she is being told isn't true?
  6. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Something else I thought of: I assume the carers who are trying to handle her in the morning aren't the carers who are trying to deal with her in the evening. If their recording system isn't up to scratch is it possible that the evening carers are assuming she's had a shower when she hasn't?
  7. Mameeskye

    Mameeskye Registered User

    Aug 9, 2007
    I know that my Mum decidedly takes turns of refusing to bathe. It can take some cajolling on the part of the carers and for a few weeks when she was ill they blanket bathed her every morning. Normally though they try and ensure that the residents shower at least twice a week, although not daily.

    If your Mum is agressively against showering the staff's hands are tied to a certain extent by the mental health act. I always think that it is odd that we can force a toddler to bathe, take medicine etc. as a parent but we have no such automatic rights for someone with dementia. It is a very difficult situation to be in when trying to act in someone's best interests.

    I would though, certainly be asking to see the care records.

    Good luck

  8. Christinec

    Christinec Registered User

    Aug 8, 2007
    This sounds so similair to my Mum. She cannot remember routine events and it has taken me ages to deal with this. Mum also says she never has a shower or hair washed but she is clean and her hair is obviously been washed and combed regularly. I would however agree that relatives should try to keep an eye open.

    A close relative works in a good care home and she tells me the norm is once or twice weekly showers or baths with washes between. She has said that it can be difficult as the people she works with can tell relatives they are not fed or washed although they are. It is a dreadful illness.

    Mum had daily baths with a carer when at home and it would be lovely if this was the case in the home but I guess overall care has to be considered.

    Can I say also this is my first post but reading has really helped me over the last few months which have been very dificult . Thanks to you all.

    I have never been a full time carer and I have great respect for those of you who are dealing with these problems 24/7.
  9. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Hi,The replies you have had are very good on this subject.There are lots of posts on personal hygiene.At the home i work we encounter this all the time,declining baths/showers is very common.However,if residents decline twice then we inform their family of the situation.Families sometimes offer to come in and bath their relatives themselves or give them a stern talking to.Which is all well and good but the relative won't always remember the conversation,and so continue to decline.It should be documented in the care plan when baths have been offered wether they have had one or not.Being a team leader I ask staff to let me know if anyone declines a bath whereby i will ask them myself.Sometimes it can be the way they are approached and the way they are spoken to that makes the difference.I offer incentives to try and coax them,sometimes it works sometimes not.I do hope you get to the bottom of this.love elainex
  10. dave b

    dave b Registered User

    Nov 21, 2006
    i know what your'e talking about
    mom is still at home & showers can be a problem
    it's to,hot.to cold. etc, never the right mix!
    i presume care homes dont worry that mutch &
    do the basics or am on the paranoid side?
    iv'e still make the jump & start talking to care homes
    i have a list & word of mouth is still leaning one way!
    when i go there i hope it looks ok
    dave xx
  11. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Hi Dave,I don't know about other homes but i assure you the one i work in don't do basics.In our eyes the time when a resident is being bathed/showered is a time for carers to further their knowledge of the resident.Chatting to them about their past,their families,it develops the bond and is a very personal time for both carers and residents.When the time comes bite the bullet and ask as many probing questions of the home that you can think of.Ask to see inspection reports,Relatives/residents feedback surveys,staff training levels,home activities.The list is endless but these are the most important in my opinion.Please let me know how you get on when you feel the time has come.love elainex
  12. Margaret W

    Margaret W Registered User

    Apr 28, 2007
    North Derbyshire

    Interesting to read all your posts. My mum says she isn't getting baths, yet the Baths Rota shows that she is. she Also says she isn't getting her hair done once a fortnight, but her hair shows that she is.

    I AM concerned, but short of proving the care home staff wrong, there isn't much you can do. Just use the nose test. What else can we do?


  13. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Hi margaret,is it possible for you to make a suprise appearance on bath day,stand in the wings when mum is asked if she would like a bath?When you go to the home ask if mum has had her bath yet,if not ask them to ask her whilst you ar in earshot.I tell you something the shock on the staffs face will tell you wether mums compliant or not.I should'nt say it really but some staff i have worked with (no longer in our employ)would say "come on its time for a bath" met with resistance they would walk away.My approach is "hello ******.how are you today? a bit of general chat goes on and then its the approach,"would you like a bath and we can chat a bit more?"usually get a yes.Its worth a try if you are bothered by it.let me know love elainex
  14. Jilly88

    Jilly88 Registered User

    Aug 11, 2006
    Margate, Kent.
    When my aunt was in a nursing home for a few months, the staff told me that it was just impossible to bath or shower her as she scratched them, bit them, kicked them and gave one carers a black eye. On one hand, they need to keep them clean, but on the other it's abuse if they are forced! Damned if they do and damned if they don't! Please don't blame the carers too much, as in my case, I know they at least tried to keep my aunt clean.
    I had the same problem when she came home, but now I'm at the stage where I just take a bowl in and give her a strip wash. I pretend it's Friday bath night - which she can relate to from when she was younger. She seems to be giving in a little now. I can tell you it's a relief to smell talcum powder instead of body odour!!
    I was always writing on here things like 'How can I get my aunt to be clean?' - but as time goes on, they just seem to accept that it's going to be done... plus she says she feels a whole lot better when she's clean! I never thought I'd hear that!
    It's taken me three years of pleading with her, cajoling her and being stern with her. None of it worked until now.
    Chin up
    With love
  15. elaineo2

    elaineo2 Registered User

    Jul 6, 2007
    leigh lancashire
    Dear Jilly,an FBW (full boby wash) is as good as a bath if done properly.good on you for the persuasion bit.I just have a thing about the private areas having a soak!infection thrives on the warm areas as i am sure you know.A little tip for anyone who has a loved one with sore groins or under breasts,ask the G.P for miconazole powder(athletes foot powder) it works a treat.love elainex
  16. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    I also have a problem with the personal care side of things, when I first enquired into this home mum is in I was assured that mum would be assisted with the showering, as this was a problem at home. Mum believes that she has showered each morning, but, it is clearly not the case. Mum seems to go under the radar as she is up and dressed before the 6.30am staff come on duty. I have pointed this out numerous times and I am making little headway. Regards. Taffy.
  17. SHANDY

    SHANDY Registered User

    Jan 24, 2007

    my mum has a lot of water infections and on saturday i asked how many times my mother was showered as her hair was stuck to her head in grease and she was a bit smelly, the carers was not very pleased when i asked the question and they told me every 4 days, no wonder my mom gets water infections, but what can you do? when you try to take an interest in your loved ones care the carers take offence. then i start to worry that perhaps they mights take it out on my mum, but i had to ask the question, as she has always been so clean and tidy.

  18. Taffy

    Taffy Registered User

    Apr 15, 2007
    Hi SHANDY, I also worry about this and the likelihood is quite possible, especially knowing that, as in my case, mum wouldn't be able to remember the incident and the emotions attached could be passed off as anything. The staff get so defensive and I think it's because you are showing them up. Regards Taffy.

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