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Why they won't shower

Pusskins

Registered User
Jun 6, 2020
215
0
New Zealand
This is possibly only one reason, but the penny dropped for me when I put 2 facts together. The first one was that MH hasn't recognised himself in photos for over a year. I had a nice photo of him on the dining room table and one day he turned it face down. I realise now that he thought it was a stranger. Second fact, the large bathroom mirror which would make him think there was a stranger in the room watching him. So perhaps covering or removing mirrors might make a difference. MH has ripped the mirror off the wall in his room at the rest home, so again when looking in the mirror he sees a stranger looking back. So sad.
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,974
0
N Ireland
Yes, these things are very sad @Pusskins. The failure to recognise reflections can lead to all sorts of issues, including sundowning.

I understand the sudden rush of water and the coldness of an early morning can also cause issues with taking a shower.

Bathing is a common problem so this is a good thread to start so that we can see other peoples solutions. With me I just use a bit of trickery at this stage as my wife likes a very hot shower so I say I'm going to have a shower but would she like to go first as the water won't be hot enough after me and that works so far.
 

lemonbalm

Registered User
May 21, 2018
1,395
0
My mum can become extremely distressed when showered in her care home but seems quite happy for a "strip wash" at the sink in her room. I think this makes her feel more in control and, as she believes she is very much younger than she is, is probably what she was used to in her younger days. It is also probably warmer in her bedroom than it is in the bathrooms. The staff do occasionally ask if she would like a nice warm bath if she is in the mood, which can work well.

I imagine being taken into a care-home bathroom and showered can be quite a disturbing experience for people with dementia who are easily "spooked". Even in the best care homes, they can look very institutional with the equipment needed in there.
 

Sarasa

Volunteer Host
Apr 13, 2018
2,814
0
When she was still at home my mum who'd had a shower every morning for as long as I can remember started to be less keen on the idea as she didn't like the water on her face. Certainly in her care home it is a cause for celebration when they get her to shower. She used to love a bath, but stopped having them because it hurt her shoulders pulling herself up. I was hoping she might have liked to have one in the care home where they have adapted baths, but I think as @lemonbalm says they look too institutional for her.
As for reflections. Mum has very poor eyesight so I'm not sure if she recognises herself in mirrors or not. Certainly she stopped doing her make-up about the time she went into the care home and this is the person that once bumped into me in a local shop and said 'don't look at me I haven't got my make-up on.' I do wonder if some of her delusions about neighbours being in her flat were catching sight of herself in the full-length mirror on her wardrobe.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
14,939
0
South coast
My OH became reluctant to take showers, but I discovered that it was because he was having difficulty working out the sequence for what he had to do. I discovered that he was just wiping a handful of shower gel in a stipe down his tummy and then rinsing it off and that was his shower! On another occasion he took the towel into the shower with him.

Once I started helping him - prompting, reminding and doing the bits he couldnt do himself there was far less of a problem. Gradually he needed more and more help so now OH has carers in and fortunately he is happy to accept their help
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,361
0
High Peak
I will be like that. I've never liked water on my face, hate overhead showers where you can't stand outside the flow. I'm even getting reluctant to get out of my warm comfy clothes to take a bath if it's cold, even though my central heating is good and the bathroom gets cosy. There's also an element of 'couldn't be bothered', not helped by lockdown...

:(
 

June spoon

New member
Feb 11, 2021
3
0
Hi my husband won't have a shower but not worked out why. He is newly diagnosed but he has had memory issue's for a few years. I am finding the bathing rather hard to cope with. To get him to change his clothes is not to bad he will do that but not take a shower.
Anyone have the same issue
 

imthedaughter

Registered User
Apr 3, 2019
601
0
My dad showered every morning, walking naked from the bedroom to the shower room to do so, much to everyone else's annoyance, and shaved twice a day. When he moved into assisted living and was clearly not showering it was a bit of a surprise, but he said he was afraid he would fall. He was doing a strip wash when he remembered with a filthy flannel. Social services said his skin was ok so they weren't bothered but gave him a chair to use when in the shower, which was never used. He put newspaper all over the bathroom floor and I did wonder if he couldn't see the difference between the floor and the walls - a lot of bathrooms are completely white.
Now dad has a bath, it started as once a week but is much more often than that now, and the carers have done a great job in getting him into that routine. I managed to offload the shower chair to the home across the road which could make use of it!
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,974
0
N Ireland
Hi my husband won't have a shower but not worked out why. He is newly diagnosed but he has had memory issue's for a few years. I am finding the bathing rather hard to cope with. To get him to change his clothes is not to bad he will do that but not take a shower.
Anyone have the same issue
Hello and welcome to the forum @June spoon

In the hope that it may contain some useful tips for you I've put a link to the Society Factsheet about this issue below. Just click the 2nd line of the link if you would like to read and/or print it
 

Louise7

Volunteer Host
Mar 25, 2016
2,989
0
Hello @June spoon welcome, you'll find this is a friendly and supportive group. As you can see from the posts here, problems with washing/showering are quite common. My mum was ok with a bath but didn't like having her hair washed and it seemed that having water over her head and her face was a problem. There could be a number of reasons why your husband won't have a shower, such as being confused about how to turn the shower on or feeling unsteady on his feet. Perhaps going into the bathroom with him might help, if you are not already doing so, as you may get a better idea of what the problem is. I'm sure others will be along with more advice/tips but you may find this factsheet helpful too: https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-s...sues-around-washing-and-bathing#content-start

Edit: posted at exactly the same time as @karaokePete!