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Mum needing a scrub

(12 Posts)
Moondancer73 Sun 24-Feb-19 13:07:33

Please bare with me and apologies if I sound harsh - it's really not meant that way.
A bit of background to start. Mum is 70 and was diagnosed approx 18 months ago with psychosis after a long battle to get her to admit something was wrong. She's never been houseproud - as a teen/early 20 something I'd be embarrassed to have friends home as she'd let animals poo everywhere and never do housework, and when I moved out it just got worse. My folks divorced when I was 16 and she was - and still is - very bitter but it was definitely a two was thing.
Over the years she's simply deteriorated and we have had more and more childlike behaviour. I was working with dementia patients two years ago and finally took her to the GP for an asthma check and while I was there voiced concerns - this was not well received but it did get a referral and our current diagnosis.
She now has a CPN and physio and OT input and I've just taken on her cleaning - quite a task I can tell you - but she is, bluntly, dirty and in need of a damn good scrub. Obviously as her child it's very difficult for me to tell her that she looks gross and smells - I've tried gently saying her clothes need a washing but there's always an excuse - 'it's where the cat sits on me' 'I can't wash this cardi, it's my security blanket'.
It sounds awful but she looks for all the world like a mental health patient and I don't know what to do. Any suggestions please?

Moondancer73 Sun 24-Feb-19 13:09:00

I should add that she finds it difficult to shower/bath due to mobility issues hence physio involvement but I do feel that this is something of an excuse sadly

Toddlerteaplease Sun 24-Feb-19 13:13:52

I have a friend like this. He's not got dementia issues. He stinks. He is mobile but slightly restricted due to a mild stroke a few years ago. Which he would have fully recovers from but refused to do the physio. He's so stubborn, he won't speak to the council about having a walk in shower installed. He had one in his old flat before it was demolished. So could easily get one. I won't even go in his flat anymore due to the state of it. Being blunt just doesn't work. He just doesn't care. I really want to walk away from him. Any love to get there was from me is long gone. (Large age gap) it's so frustrating!

Toddlerteaplease Sun 24-Feb-19 13:17:02

I totally get the excuses things it drives me insane. His son lives two hours away. But never visits. After having to clear out his flat so he could be safely discharged from hospital after the stroke. I point blank will not help him anymore. If he was genuinely struggling through no fault of his own, that's different. But it's his stubbornness that's the issue. I'm beginning to hate him for it. Which makes me sad, as were once good friends. No idea what to suggest OP.

DonPablo Sun 24-Feb-19 13:18:58

Can she physically get into a bath or shower, aides or unaided? Because it may be that you need to look at installing hand rails and shower chairs in the first instance?

Moondancer73 Sun 24-Feb-19 15:13:34

She does struggle now to get into the bath - the physio is actually going in to look at bath seats, handrails etc on Tuesday - but she was able to shower until recently and is quite capable of having a strip wash and washing her hair, washing her clothes. Wearing clothes crusted with food just seems to not bother her confused

DonPablo Sun 24-Feb-19 15:58:29

In that case there's a deeper issue-her self esteem, depression?

What about suggesting a pampering day? At home, you could do a foot spa, nails, but she has to be freshly bathed/showered and a nice new set of clothes to wear afterwards maybe?

unweavedrainbow Sun 24-Feb-19 16:26:31

Is she taking anti psychotics? Anti psychotics can make people feel a bit numb and blank and also very very tired so it could be the drugs sapping her motivation. Have you spoken to her CPN about self care? CPNs are usually happy to speak to next to kin-and she must have noticed that your mum is having issues. Help with basic self care is one of the key remits of a CPN.

AcrossthePond55 Sun 24-Feb-19 17:21:20

I'm in the US so this may not apply. We hired a home health aide whose job it was to 'shower' mum and wash her clothes. For some reason Mum didn't argue with her the way she'd argue with me about showering.

The aide would just 'no nonsense yet politely bustle' Mum into the bathroom and help her off with her clothes and into the shower where Mum would shower herself. The aide would then towel her off with a nice fluffy towel and put her into clean clothes. Then they'd sit and have a cup of coffee or tea and something 'nice' like cake or some biscuits and 'visit' whilst the laundry was running. I think Mum put up with the shower as part of getting her 'nice visit'.

Is it time to consider moving Mum into some type of supported living arrangement?

Moondancer73 Sun 24-Feb-19 18:46:17

I have met the cpn in person and spoken to her in the phone a couple of times as well and I have discussed mums hygiene and personal care with her on both occasions.
I do think it might be time to call her again though and ask her to have a word with mum about it. I'm currently in the process of getting her new clothes because hers are so old they're only fit to bin. She's only four foot ten and is over 13 stone partly due to taking anti psychotics and partly due to her very sedentary lifestyle - she literally only leaves the house when my brother takes her shopping once a week and the rest of the time she just sits on the sofa.
While a pamper day sounds good she has a dog who is getting on in years - who she allows to pee on the floor and is therefore contributing to the state of the house, smell etc but she can't/won't leave the dog so it's hugely complicated not to mention stressful

Needmoresleep Wed 27-Feb-19 07:10:11

1. A chair on the shower. If there is someone selling second hand disability aids nearby you should be able to pick one up cheaply.

2. A timetabled slot. At one point I was driving a 200 mile round trip each week. I would offer to take my mum out for tea, but 'only if she had a shower first'. Lots of moaning and accusations I was a bully, but we got there. (It was essential as otherwise I think she may have been asked to leave her sheltered housing.)

3. Are there reasons why she is not showering. Partly for my mum it was that she struggled with getting the water temperature right.

4. Eventually a local care agency found me someone who had the pursuasive knack. (Previously carers would simply write in the book 'refused a shower'.) It was life changing. In an hours call on a Monday the carer would get my mum seated in the shower, quickly get her bed stripped and dirty clothes in the laundry and clean clothes laid out.

The same carer now comes in daily so a shower routine is engrained, but once a week at least kept smells under control.

Good luck.

smurfy2015 Thu 07-Mar-19 15:51:46

As a temporary introduction to getting clean every day, how about cleansing foam and shampoo caps. This will start the process

I add some links but I do not work for this company but I use these products when needed

Help her wash one part at a time so say top half, the cardigan etc has to come off for this, one arm at a time, don't wash arm and let her put back in, have clean clothes out of sight and cardigan etc will go straight into the washing machine and on before she can anything about it.

The cat will still recognise her to come to sit on her

With the foam which can be easier to introduce than water and clean clothes, if doing this in the bedroom make sure it's warm, curtains closed, and if needed, strip the bed so no chance to get back in under the safety of sheets.

It's hard for you and to be totally honest I still struggle a lot with self-care due to many years of heavy doses of antipsychotics and not caring about myself at all, I've started trying to care due to a thread on here.

If the food is encrusted, I going to guess it's coming down her front, these may help as coordination can be affected when heavily under the influence of antipsychotics, most of my food used to end up on my clothes and I couldn't have cared less. I dropped a pea yesterday which rolled off my plate, that upset me slightly but looking back dinners were all over my clothes and it didn't bother me.

When my co-ordination is poor due to a neurological condition I have, I use these

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