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How can I 'force' my 84 year old mum to have a bath?

(8 Posts)
sandyballs Mon 17-Oct-11 13:33:56

She has alzheimers, early stages, and has good days and bad days. She is still in her own home and has carers going in morning and evening, they prepare a meal for her and encourage her to wash but they won't bathe her.

On several occasions I've suggested I run a bath and wash her hair for her but she flatly refuses. I think it has been at least three months since her last bath and hair wash. Surprisingly she doesn't smell, prob because she does wash, and her hair looks ok but I feel like she's being neglected really. But how do I encourage her to get in the bath! She's very headstrong and if she doesn't want to do something she's hard to budge!

FroOOOOOtshoOOOOOOts Mon 17-Oct-11 13:38:18

You can't really. If she doesn't smell and does have some sort of wash then at least that's something! Just keep mentioning it. One day you may catch her having a good cooperative moment and it may work.
My dad didn't have a bath for months as he was exactly the same. He was barely even washing though. He's got advanced alzheimers now and is in a home with an ensuite shower room and has a shower most days. He smells much nicer now!

AMumInScotland Mon 17-Oct-11 13:42:41

Does she like going to the hairdresser? Lots of old ladies go for a "shampoo and set" so she could just have her hair washed and dried there if she doesn't need it cut.

I don't know about the bath - they're not totally necessary if she's washing, though her feet could need a bit of attention. Buy her some bubble bath? Offer to do her a pedicure?

FreddieMercurysBolero Mon 17-Oct-11 13:45:51

Maybe you could get mobile hairdresser to come to the house re.her hair? Maybe tryalittle at a time, e.g. A foot bath, and wash her legs,washing intimate areas after toilet etc.

CiderwithBuda Mon 17-Oct-11 13:47:42

My mum got the same way with dementia and a carer comes 3 times a week now to shower her. The carer even manages to wash her hair sometimes or takes her to the hairdressers.

readsalotgirl Mon 24-Oct-11 18:20:28

Sympathise hugely with this as my mum is very much the same. She is forgetful and a bit confused altho doesn't have Alzheimers but she has not had a bath or shower for ages. She tells me she washes every day and she doesn't smell. She will go to the hairdressers tho so that is worth a try. I do wonder if it is because she is from a generation where a bath once a week was the norm and all the showering and washing which is now regarded as usual wasn't for that age group. I think also that my mum would be mortified if I helped her shower - it's a line that she won't cross and I can understand that as it completely changes the relationship from parent/ child to dependent/carer and would really drive home how frail and helpless she is - and that wouldn't be good for her. I'm hoping I can arrange a carer to help with this as I suspect she's finding it more difficult to wash properly

DownbytheRiverside Mon 24-Oct-11 18:42:52

My gran coped with a chair to sit on and a gentle shower, with expensive gels and moisturisers.

CMOTdibbler Tue 25-Oct-11 15:47:59

My grandfather used to get a bath at the day centre he went to - he was vvv stubborn and my mum threatened him that if he didn't let them bath him she'd do it, and that worked

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