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    Mom's Alzheimer's
    ifeelveryalone posted:
    I just got my mom to take a shower! Yahoo! It's a small step and may not happen again but it helps my outlook for the time being. Any little thing helps!
    balmayne1 responded:
    Hi, I hope this finds you feeling better. Has your Mom gotten any better?

    If it would make it easier, they sell shower chairs at WalMart. Maybe she is afraid of falling. Sitting in a shower chair might make her feel safer.

    cjh1203 responded:
    That's great -- I know small victories count!

    Ruth's suggestion of a shower chair is really good, if you're not using one already.

    Another thing that I have posted about a couple of times is something that I stumbled across a year or so ago. Alzheimer's patients can sometimes be afraid of mirrors, because they don't recognize themselves in them. People with Alzheimer's often think of themselves as being younger than they are, so when they see an older face looking back at them, they don't know who that person is. They can get very upset about having to undress and be naked in front of that stranger.

    Another thing that my aunt found while caring for my uncle was that he was more cooperative when she made a statement like, "It's time to take a shower and then you can have a piece of candy (or go out to lunch, or whatever)" than when she asked him if he was ready to take a shower -- questions like that always got a no.

    I'm so glad that something positive has happened, and hope it's a trend that will continue.

    ifeelveryalone replied to balmayne1's response:
    I don't know if my mom is afraid of falling or not. She walks over to our post office several times a day, even if the roads are slippery. So I don't think that is the problem. We just got our hair cut and I suggested she take a shower. She went into the bathroom, turned on the faucet but never got undressed. When she came out I asked her if she showered and she said she did. But I knew better, I didn't know what to do from there.
    cjh1203 replied to ifeelveryalone's response:
    Balance problems are very common in Alzheimer's patients, so a shower chair might be worth trying -- I don't think they're very expensive at all. You may even be able to get her doctor to write a prescription for it so it will be covered by insurance/Medicare.

    As far as telling you she showered when she really didn't, maybe you'll have to start helping her undress and make sure she gets in the shower, if you aren't doing that already. It could be that she didn't even remember that she hadn't showered. Does she have trouble with zippers or buttons, or is she still able to fasten and unfasten her clothes on her own?

    I probably sound like a broken record -- sorry! -- but these are areas where the people in an Alzheimer's Association support group could be a big help to you. The support group members probably have a lot of tips and strategies to make all kinds of things a little bit easier for both of you.

    Someone else here might have some good ideas, too. I think one of the most difficult things about caring for someone with Alzheimer's is that they aren't able to tell you why they don't want to do something. It's hard to know if it's stubbornness, or fear, embarrassment, physical difficulty, or what.

    Hang in there, and please keep posting. We can give you moral support, if nothing else.

    An_242523 replied to cjh1203's response:
    Hi Karen,

    I hope today is a better day.

    Carol has some great suggestions. Try one of them and see if it works. Take small steps in helping your Mom. She will not be able to handle remembering a lot of things. She can probably remember one small thing to do.

    She might remember a fact that most falls happen in the bathroom, especially the shower. A shower chair only costs $25.

    Also, do you have a glass shower door? If you do, take it out and put in a shower curtain and liner. It works just as well and is safer. Hire someone for that small task. The older a person gets, the more they are off balance.

    Ask your Mom if she wants;your help. She might be to embarrassed for her daughter to see her naked.

    It might be a good idea to have a heart to heart talk with your Mom about why is she shying away from taking a shower..

    balmayne1 replied to An_242523's response:
    I hope everything is better today. Let us know how things are going.

    Do you have grab bars in the shower? When she gets up from the shower chair, that will give her something to hold onto.

    You said that you do not think that the shower is no problem because she goes for long walks.

    Walks are good for her.

    I have epilepsy and I am off balance, yet I feel safe going for long walks.

    Have you had a heart to heart talk with your Mom, yet? Communicating is so very important whatever it is about.

    Do you have an Advance Directive for you and your Mom? When something happens, your wishes will be carried out by a health care agent that you choose. Get that taken care of while your Mom can tell you her wishes. Everyone needs to have one. Even people in good health.

    Here is the link:

    Also, get a Medic Alert for your Mom. That way the doctors will know what is wrong with her if they need to help her.

    aneresb responded:
    I understand your feeling .My mom has been living with alzheimer
    disease for 8 years and bathing continues to be a big challenge.Try getting as much information, tips and aids that would assist you in bathing her.
    Do not be afraid to ask for help and make sure you take time for yourself.
    We also found this blog very interesting when dealing with this
    Alzheimers Talk .. When mummy no longer wants to bathe.

    balmayne1 responded:
    I am so glad that you had some success. Just remain calm and be gentle with your mom. I know that you love her and it is showing.

    I am sorry that I have not been back sooner.

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