How Can I Get My Mom to Take a Shower?

4 answers | Last updated: Sep 13, 2016
Joanbrooks asked...

i have tried telling her if she wont take care of herself i will be forced to have someone come in and do it for her. dont faze her. i have to wash her hair every couple weeks. She has bowel problems and most times does not make it to bathroom without a accident and leaves a mess. she can still cook and eat (even tho i take her food every day). i need suggestions.. my siblings live 1,000 miles away and all they offer is sympathy to me and that doesnt help

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

After my husband fell in shower, I have told him hewill not get in shower until he agrees to use the shower chair. He then insists he won't wash at the sink. The more I insist he get washed at sink the more he insists he is going to take a shower. This is after two years of fighting to get him in the shower!!

Bpgagirl22 answered...

Talk to her about any fears she may have about falling in the shower. When my mother was living with us, we installed the grab rails and that made her feel a lot safer. It could be something that simple.

A fellow caregiver answered...

My dearest Auntie has not been in a tub or shower for over 30 years. The last four years she has been on Aricept but her Alzheimer's is still very early. Thank GOD for good meds. The adult wipes that they make these days are wonderful. The family favorite Adult wipes come from Sam's outlets. A daily groin and bottom cleanse with wipes, followed by fresh undies daily should do the trick. Have a kit ready with everything that you need to assist them and follow them into the toilet. Have fresh clothing ready to go. Make sure they won't get chilled. Twice a week, while they are sitting on the toilet, shave him. Then remove top clothing and use hands full of some of that new foaming bath soap. I like Johnson and Johnson no more tears hair and body. Auntie's favorite is Ivory liquid. The foam goes on easy and diluted. Then alternate two clean warm freshwater washcloths in rinsing. Encourage them to reach all that they can for themselves. Help them after that and praise them for trying and for letting you help. Inspect for moles, sores, pressure wounds and critters as you go. A weekly foot soak is a wonderful thing. If you can afford an occasional manicure/pedicure do it. It's an outing! And treat yourself too. Wash every part that you can get too. Don't demeen, be encouraging and rewarding. Twice a year I take Auntie to the barber shop where they fuss over her big time. And yes I am a big tipper! It's worth it to see her blush under the doting attention of the young barbers. Neutrogena makes a light sesame seed body oil that chases away winter dry skin itches. Tea tree oil for the feet controls athletes' foot fungus and odor. Try to keep it light. Nobody wants to hear "you stink!" Everyone wants to hear "I'm glad to have you in my life" and That "God has blessed us with each other at this time in our lives and I'm grateful" Remember, people need to be touched. Rubbing oil into skin is good for circulation and flexibility. Well-oiled skin smells better and is less itchy in dry winter weather. The good news is that all of this does not have to be perfect! If water, oil or sloughed skin cells get on the floor ... so what? Its o.k., not a bother, just another thing to be made safe and handled. Decide that not perfect is o.k. and you will have a better day. It really is mostly ... a decision! p.s. For me, everything is better with a theme song. It helps to set us up emotionally for what is happening or about to happen. The movies and television have trained us to let mood music take us to another place. We can use this soundtrack to our advantage. And it's only natural to sing in the shower anyway - great acoustics! Some of my favorite bath time songs are: Oh Happy Day (When Jesus washed he washed my sins away) Washed in the Blood (of Jesus) Ain't Misbehavin (don't get around much anymore) Tonight Tonight (from West Side Story) Amazing Grace (sing it fast and full of gratitude and it's upbeat) Ease on Down The Road (from The Wiz) Be a Lion (from The Wiz) Onward Christian Soldiers I won't Complain

Tell me what is your favorite bath time song?

p.p.s. It's o.k. to make up words or use kids songs. Remember it ain't about getting it perfect it's about getting it DONE! And finally make it FUN and loving.

A fellow caregiver answered...

Thank you for your answers. They are helpful to me. I'm 67, with a broken kneecap that didn't progress well and my hubby has had cancer. All of a sudden I can hardly bring myself to wash my hair, as my arms get tired. I do a shower with a neat chair although I get cold and miss a good bath but am afraid to sit in the tub for fear I will fall getting up or won't be able to get up at all. I sit on towels on my bed with water & washcloths to shave my legs. My problem I think has been stress and depression. I also fear driving. But "anonymous" your suggestions cheered me up and if I have a day when I just do an all over wash with washcloths and the sink, I will quit beating up on myself. I do get my clothes and underwear laundered. I think I would do better with my hair if I save up and get it cut. I love music and when I do dishes or clean my toilet when my knee doesn't hurt, the music is on. I just need to turn it on more often. I think I'll do better. Thank you for the up beat answer. I'm still young & I think the frustration of not being able to run or get out driving (it scares me because I may not me able to move my leg fast enough) is what is going on with me. I'll just get it done and somehow get a hair cut!! Thank you so much!!!

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