I have a question on personal hygiene. My mom showers everyday, but I do not know if she is actually washing herself. She locks the door but once I did look in the bathroom and she was in the shower. I did not pull the curtain awa y because I know she would be angry and I do not want to confront her.
My brother and I are convinced she is not washing because there is an odor at times and also the shower is so fast, we do not feel anyone can wash that quickly. She is very private about herself and does not even let me see her naked let alone let me wash her.
How do I go about making sure she is using soap in the shower without her getting very angry about it. Also brushing her teeth and washing her hair. Most of the times I wash her hair for her.
Oh Dear…I know what you mean…no really I give two showers a night in the Alzheimer’s Ward…I go through “I just had a shower!” to “No One has ever seen me naked but my husband….only because she has forgotten the many showers I have given her.I’ve asked Why do you guys not like showers. And from the ones that still understand and know about the disease say…”It is a sensory overload…the water temperature,the water pressure is the floor getting slick…too many questions at once and we get confused. A bath is more relaxing at first but then we get to where we can not get up and down too easily and is cold on the left or on the right now wait which is left and which is right… so we make a decision in our mind I don’t need a shower or to get into a tub of water I need a washcloth and to wash certain parts of the body and wash the hair every week or so.if you want to or not.”
And that is fine unless they smell bad. Then you must tell them something like No really I know you can not smell it but I smell it. Come on lets go get it off.Then you gotta set them up, hand them the wash cloth and make sure they wash all major points.Help them wash the parts they miss.Have soaps and shampoo smells that she likes. Help her with deodorant.Pamper her.Apply lotions on legs and arms.Face and hands.Try making it as pleasant as possible to the point of being special. Get her a battery operated tooth brush just like yours and make a big deal out of All You Gotta do is Turn it On and Move it around a little bit.The brushing of the teeth is the usually lost for everyone that does not get reminded,even in the earlier stages.It is just not on their list of things to do today.Keep a sense of humor. I know it is harder than can be imagined reading these words but you can do it.You need to have a talk with your Mom letting her know that you are there to help her not to hurt her. The soap she is using is not working so let’s go get some new shampoo and body soap and pick up some lotions while we are there.Come on Mom I am trying to help you.Then go shopping for some neat bath items to make her comfortable. A shower chair is a God send for this one A no slip tub mat Handles where she needs them. A hand held shower head with a hose. Turn on the water for her and adjust the water for her. Low pressure is ideal.Let her get used to it on her feet and hands first. Give her a wash cloth.Now I am repeating myself so….Good Luck. You are in my prayers….Marcus Oh yeah for more hygiene tips go to
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