Elder care


This topic contains 16 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  James Leber 1 week, 6 days ago.

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  • #20291 Reply


    My pops won’t shower. It’s been almost 6 weeks. He’s lucky we still let him in the house. He’s got a million excuses and gets angry when I try to force the conversation. I got him a shower bench, a nonslip mat in and out of the tub, installed grab bars. He refuses help from me or anyone else. Two home health aids tried and failed. What am I missing here?

  • #20344 Reply


    I believe he may have had a traumatic experience or has dreamt of a traumatic experience that has to do with showers? When I was younger I had a bad dream about the shower and I couldn’t stand being alone in the bathroom for more than 5 mins so I had to dash in and out of the shower. Maybe ask him what the matter could be and if things don’t improve, there are always cleansing cloths available at your local medical supply store or even walmart if you live near one. Hope that helps. Good luck.

  • #20347 Reply


    I worked in a nursing homes. A few approaches. Start with feet while watching TV. If you can go longer, trim nails . Paint nails if female. Or to each their own… Love helps us in many ways. Do this for a week, sponge bath rest. Set a calendar, if Thursday day or night better, then that is the day. Keep the calendar out. Everyone is is different phases. Get a heater for the bath room. Towel warmer many ways to do these cheap. . Think ahead, will you blow dry hair? Make sure the sound does not scare. A brown mat on the white tile does wonders for sight. Dark color wash cloths Jammies right out of dryer when ready to dress. It is a gradually thing. Maybe sit in closed toasty shower together, you clothed. Baby steps. Or get some help. Doctor may have good advice too. Swimmers slippers do they don’t feel like they are going to fall. Good luck and blessings

    • #20415 Reply


      Wonderful advice Sherri!

  • #20349 Reply

    Donna Chu

    I’ve discovered two things about bathing her during my time as Mom’s caregiver: 1- as children, the very often didn’t shower so it’s not something she was used to and 2- she doesn’t like getting water sprayed on her face. Knowing this, I decided that however she was most comfortable “bathing” was ok with me as long as she is clean & doesn’t smell.

  • #20355 Reply

    Pat Pope

    For some, washing up and bathing is just physically taxing. The bending, stooping and reaching that we take for granted, is difficult for many seniors. Add in diminished senses like smell and often they will dismiss it as not being necessary or not smelling hardly at all. You may have to go at it from another angle and talk to him about cleanliness from a health standpoint. Like, so that his skin doesn’t dry out and lead to other problems. Also, see if he will use some of those wipes like they use in the hospital for bathing people. You can find them in medical supply stores. That way, you eliminate the hassle of getting in and out of the tub.

  • #20361 Reply


    My mom has not taken a real shower in over four months. I gave that up. She sponge bathes in the sink. I have to gently remind her sometimes that she is getting a little ripe. I also have to get between her toes because she forgets them and her feet stink. But no matter what we do, shower bars, seat, slip mat she will not take a shower.

  • #20363 Reply


    I’m running into the same problem! Mom says she sponges but, there are no used wash clothes etc! I have to insist once a week and then it’s a chore. I never know if she just goes in and sits in the shower or truly baths. We have a Mat and a bath chair. I’ve wondered if just climbing into the tub is the issue and maybe I need to have it removed and a simple walk in shower installed. I looked into walk in tubs but they are around 10K! I’m at a loss!

  • #20367 Reply


    Does he like music? If he does playing during the shower/bath time could help or doing something he really enjoys before or after shower/bath time. You may have to switch to bath or what I would call a sink bath. Having a shower chair with towel on it next to sinkThe idea is to help make shower/ bath time as pleasant as possible for your loved one. Whether it would be warming up the bathroom ahead of time..like I mentioned playing music he enjoys …keeping him warm during the whole process do what you need to do I like to think out of the box

  • #20370 Reply


    My grandmother felt that because she wasn’t doing anything particularly strenuous she really didn’t need a shower. I found that she really doesn’t like the spray in her face at all and wanted a washcloth to cover her face. I turned the shower seat around so the water hits her back and that made a big difference. I make sure the water is the right temp and the bathroom heater has warmed the room toasty before I bring her in. Also, the clothes she’s going to get into are hanging on the back of the door – including socks, underwear. Shoes are sitting on floor. I recommend a step-in shower rather than stepping over the tub wall, he could have pain or inability to do that. I have a tub bench for the shower so that my grandmother can sit down outside the shower and slide over in and out rather than use grab bars and try to step over the 4″ lip. She had issues with foot placement. After she’s showered, she can just slide over out. Also, I made sure the toilet has handles on each side (kind of like the bedside commode without the seat portion) and a nice towel on the lid that I tuck the ends under so it’s secure. I also found that instead of using a washcloth on her skin, I soap one up really good and then use the water and “ring out” the soap onto her. Very comforting. Save the rubbing for parts that matter. We don’t use the term “shower” anymore; we call it “going to the spa”. I wish you all the luck. Your dad may need a trip to the doctor or a visit to the psychiatrist to find out where his fears lay in order to assuage them.

  • #20383 Reply

    Terri Trogdon

    My husband avoids showers also, what has worked (sometimes) I told him the doctor wants him to shampoo with the medicated shampoo to stop spots coming on his head. He picks at every little place and they become red and irritated. The shampoo is Head and Shoulders and I tell him that we will have to check back with the doctor in a week or two to see how well the shampoo is doing, After the shower I tell him how handsome he is and how nice his hair looks 🙂

  • #20388 Reply


    I’m now going through torture to wash my Mother for 3 months. She used to co-operate and was willing and happy to look nice. A chauffeur allowed her to get away one cold winter night. The trauma of the snow and cold, the cold shelter in a cold car for so many hours, heart attack, frostbite, turned her from Jekyll to Hyde over night. Very sad. We have to dance, sing and cry, pray with her, you name it, to get her washed properly. Forget a haircut.

  • #20397 Reply

    Donna Stines

    My husband is starting to avoid showering and will go 2 – 3 weeks if he can between them. His skin is so dry and flakey and his hair gets really gross, I finally explained to him that he gets crusty if he doesn’t bath or shower at least once a week. He doesn’t want to use the shower chair so I strip down and shower with him to help him with his balance. We have a hand held shower instead of a regular shower head so he stands in one place while I lather up my hands and wash him then while he is rinsing off I put a large light-weight cotton blanket on the shower chair and he steps out of the shower and sits on the chair and I wrap him in the blanket. Then I towel his hair and slowly uncover and dry each body part and dry it. I know part of his reason for not wanting to shower is that it completely wipes him out for the day.

  • #20419 Reply

    Liz Imler

    we got some responses on this over at Facebook, too 🙂

  • #20420 Reply

    Liz Imler

    we got some responses on this over at Facebook, too 🙂

  • #20448 Reply

    karolyn lambert

    He may be unwilling to have his daughter see him naked. Try letting him keep on his underwear.
    I recently removed my tub and installed a walk-in shower. That’s helped immensely getting my mother to shower. I think her vision had deteriorated to the point she didn’t feel secure even using a shower chair. I also got a teak shower seat – the color stands out against the shower and it feels nicer to sit on than a regular shower seat.

  • #67058 Reply

    James Leber

    I had the same problem. The only reasons was that my patient felt embarrassed. Talk about this.

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