Mom's shower 2017-03-24 07.35.43

Last week, when my daughter and granddaughters were visiting, Linda, The Bath Lady, arrived at her appointed time on Wednesday evening, and Mom refused her shower. Mom has never refused bathing since we started having bath ladies come in. She has attempted to refuse at times, but I’ve always been able to convince her of their importance and necessity. Not this time.

So, mustering my best negotiating skills, I had a mini-meltdown panic tantrum, yelling and threatening, and eventually turning off the TV and putting away the remote in an effort to compel her compliance. She wasn’t having it. Linda’s lower-key attempts were useless once I had set the stage for a show-down, and Linda ended up finishing out her hour by doing ad-hoc therapy with me as I catastrophized about how Mother might never shower again and how if she refuses to shower, maybe she’ll refuse to go to the day center, and if she refuses to go to the day center, how will I go to work? It wasn’t pretty.

After Linda left, my daughter suggested that perhaps Mom didn’t want to “be showered” with all the extra people in the house. I rejected that idea because I don’t think Mom has any real modesty left. My daughter stepped in for more ad-hoc therapy off and on all evening.

The next day, I called Christina, Mom’s Social Worker at the day center, and left a somewhat coherent message, as I was a little calmer by then. She called back and assured me that bath refusal was not an uncommon part of the dementia disease progression, and that if Mom refused more than a couple of times running, then the team would make a treatment plan for her to have her baths when she was at the day center. I was very relieved by this conversation.

When Mom got home that afternoon, I asked her if she promised to have her shower with Linda on schedule on Saturday. She assured me she would. I gave her back the remote. One more crisis averted.

9 thoughts on “Refused

  1. Good morning my Aunt Kay 🙂 When we found out Rick’s dad had been placed in a nursing home we decided, we being me, Rick, Seymour, Sandy and Connie, that he would come stay with Rick and I. This was the most practical place for him to be since I only worked three hours a day Monday thru Friday. Now Rick’s dad never liked me, NEVER, that is until I was the one who was now taking care of him. After about a week I realized how much this was going to take away from the thing I enjoyed doing, nothing 🙂 I decided that since I was making sure he made all his Dr. appointments, ate healthy, clean clothes, clean sheets and clean adult toss able underpants (yuck) I was not going to be the one to bath him. After telling Rick this he agreed to bath his dad at least 3 times a week. The first day for bath time Seymour (Ricks dad) refused to take a bath. Rick was beside him self not knowing how he was going to fight this fight every time Seymour needed a bath. I went into the bath room where Seymour was already sitting on his shower chair and explained to him that if I had to do all the things I was doing AND bath him he would not be happy because I was not happy and when I am not happy NO ONE would be happy. I think the old man wanted me to bath him (YUCK). After having said this to him with what I am sure was a very unpleasant and twisted face and at a very soft whisper he agreed to let Rick bath him that day and every day after. LOL oh the good old days 🙂

    I love you so much Aunt Kay! You are a wonderful woman, mom and daughter! BIG BIG HUGS!!!


      1. Yes, Yes they are 🙂 Some mornings when I read your posts I laugh inside at my own experiances while caring for Seymour. I how I would not have changed any of since it is VERY important to take care of our own and to often the very people who took care and loved us are tossed to the side because their now grown children are to busy, or so they think. I wanted my own children to see “We take care of our own, as long as we are able to give them the care they need” 🙂


  2. Well…we all know how I deal with the shower issues I’m in charge of. All I can say is breathe…if all else fails, there’s always a hose and we all live in the south! Lol. Love you!


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