Problems with personal care

How on earth can I persuade my mother that she needs to wash herself? She insists that she has had a wash of a morning but she so clearly hasn’t and I think she’s starting to smell a bit. She’s not keen on changing her clothes either but I’ve got a bit devious, sneaking soiled clothes away when I’ve managed to get her undressed and in PJ’s for bed. I just can’t get her to wash.

Hi Nikki.

My Mum has dementia and is now in a care home. During the two years prior to moving there we noticed a steady decline. Mum had always been extremely fastidious about her personal hygiene, but over that time - apart from a few little flashes - that declined. It started with not changing her clothes very often. At least that was when we noticed. The washing took a little longer, but I noticed when we doing her shopping during the first lockdown, she wasn’t buying soap. At all. Yet she didn’t have a spare supply hiding anywhere, only in the bathroom. And then the smell started. And the incontinence. The problem here was that - being male and her son - there was no way she would accept any help from me in that department. Unfortunately the dementia advanced quite quickly during that time so she had to move into a care home. Her personal hygiene is much better now because she accepts help from the female staff.

This might help: