Personally i have lost smell sensors for body odor, (along with several other things).
My weekly tub is on the schedule immediately after nap, but if i delay husband will set up bath for me and have it waiting.
For most of us living with dementia i would suggest bath or shower first thing in the morning, or perhaps immediately after nap.
i suspect not late afternoon or evening.
1. ….. To folks without dementia it may not seem like bathing requires much Energy, but for most of us it is high cost for energy. By evening we have little energy to deal with washing up (especially if we are dealing with any “sundowning” symptoms)
2. ….. For most of us living with dementia, getting dressed is a big deal, so please dont ask me to remove clothes after i went to all that problem … then get dressed again after bath.
My Mom always made it a “shower party” with Grammy, and they both went in with two-piece bathing suits, with lots of singing, “dancing” and backrubs (both to Grammy and from Grammy – because it is important that she be an active participant) along with Foot-rubs.
For ME, the feel of a shower is water ATTACKING me, so i will tub bathe as long as possible, but need assistance to and from tub (along with the grab bars at tub and both sides of toilet).
if this was My Mother, and she was having a hard time with idea of bathing,
i would suggest buying a gift of bubble bath (hopefully in a scent she has not lost receptors for yet)
and show her the rose petals i bought for a special gift
(to spread on the bubbles for wonderful visuals).
Heat the room before her arrival.
Take a photo of the special bath before your Mom gets in, so you can print the photo for future reminders of how wonderful tub time can be.
With the bubble bath (soap) she would not really NEED soap. If she does use extra soap, make double-sure your Mom gets well-rinsed because we VERY often do not remember whether we have soaped or rinsed, and that can cause skin complications.
My husband also made a “tub table” (aka “tub tray”) to hold a plastic cup with my choice of drink, and create another layer of “celebration” to the weekly event. He has also bought a rose in plastic bud Vase to sit beside the tub. At times i have had candles at tub, but in later stages these would need to be the little electrical “candles”.
PS: Sue Klima has this suggestion:
… when my mom didn’t want to shower ( I think she became afraid of the water for some unknown reason),
I would tell her we were having a “spa day”.
Dry shampoo in the hair, some lotion on her face after washing it well (a “facial”),
quick manicure, mainly to soap up her hands and scrub her nails. If I had the time, I would put a quick swipe of nail polish on her.
Then the “back massage”, which was just to get her back washed down. I would use those thicker disposable washcloths that are basically bigger, thicker baby wipes. Heat them in the microwave to warm them up.
Once the “massage” was done, I’d “wash” the rest of her body, making sure to get the stinky spots really clean.
After drying her off with a small soft towel, I would put baby powder in the nooks and crannies, to help keep things fresh, as I never knew how long it would be before I could get her to go along with it again.
This was also a good time to check for any sores, especially on her bottom, as she wasn’t very mobile and mainly sat all day. If I saw a redness starting, I would put a thick layer of zinc oxide on. Any baby diaper ointment will do.
I’d finish off by fixing her hair a little. That was a good time to do a quick swipe of her ears with q-tips.
The whole thing was an involved process, but it was the best way I found to keep her clean.
Another option, if you have a shower chair…try to get her in there to sit down and “soak her feet”.
If you have to, tell her you saw something on the bottom of her foot, do it needs to soak for just a couple minutes. She likely won’t be able to bend her leg in such a way to see what you “saw”.
Once she’s in there, you may be able to give her a quick shower.
Hope this helps
Further suggestions in “hygiene” section of these Links >> https://truthfulkindness.com/about/d-info/links-sx-strategies/ .
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