Get details. Also ask your mother why she won't shower. For many frail elderly folks, showers are both exhausting and/or scary. She may need a walk in tub, an aide to assist, or she may do better using baby wipes regularly and only bathing weekly. They even have dry powder shampoos you can use mid-week. If bathing has become intimidating, make sure you understand, before assuming its pathologic.
Dementia. Dementia can be a very disabling condition, both for patients and care takers. Your mother needs to be evaluated by a psychiatrist and neurologist to ensure that she is being adequately treated for her dementia. There are several medications that can help, but she needs to be evaluated first, so that a doctor can make the appropriate recommendations.
Agree with others. But one can also consult an occupational therapist to work with your mother and develop a routine that works for her at this time. Creative solutions like staring the shower with her fully dressed may work. People are usually happy to change out of wet clothes even when they didn't see a need with dry clothes.
Answered before? It is very common in pts with dementia not to care for themselves. They do not have insight of their medical problems and they lose inhibition. You may try but usually they cannot reason with people unless disease is very early and if they have moments of lucidity.
Dementia help . A great resource is the book: the 36 hour day. It has a lot of great advice and ideas. Good luck yo you.
Mom has FT dementia. Not bathing but I can get her to change clothes once a week. How important is bathing if I can keep her clothes (somewhat) clean?
Hygiene is important. She can't remember when she changed her clothes, and you don't want her coming down with a urinary tract infection, or something that she could end up in the hospital and not come home. See if you can get a caretaker (day shift) to assist you, so you don't burn out, who can assist with bathing, helping her walk, and do stretching exercises. Then you can do self care while she is being cared for. Read more...
Mom has dementia. Bath 2-3 days/wk, new clothes 1+ day/wk, but sleeps 12-14 hours and is inactive. Might have UTI - most likely culprit?
Dementia and apathy. You don't say if this is new or ongoing. If new, it could be a uti. Never go wrong with checking. Also depression could cause these symptoms. As dementia progresses, people lose the ability to keep on top of self-care. At this point, it helps to have a caregiver prompt and assist her to do these things. Your local alzheimer's chapter will most likely have a support group for info/tips. Read more...
Get it checked out. Uti's are really simple to check and rule out. Take her to your doctor to see. If you are helping with care and notice cloudy urine and maybe some additional confusion, not just memory issues, i'd say you were on the right track. A simple course of antibiotics helps clear a UTI rather quickly. Read more...