Caregiver.com

For About and By Caregivers
 


 
Subscribe to our bi-monthly publication Today's Caregiver magazine


  + Larger Font | - Smaller Font
 



CARENOTES | Past Carenotes | Let's Talk

Carenotes

Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 07/30/13

 

I'm taking care of my 81-year-old mom who is living with dementia. Mom has arthritis in her knee, making it very difficult to walk without aid. What I need help with is bathing her. I've crossed the threshold of "Eegads, I've gotta give Mom a bath." (You could say we've worked out who washes what.) But lately, because of her knee, getting into and out of the tub is becoming more of a problem. Is there a place I can take her to bathe her? I live in Rancho San Diego.

Any advice or info you can give would be a great help.

Thanks, Jerry

 

Reply to Letter  |  View Comments  |  Past Carenotes | 

Name
Location
   
Add Your Comments  

 
YOU  MUST ENTER THE NUMBERS 4567 IN THIS BOX BEFORE YOU SUBMIT THE FORM.  IF YOU DO NOT IT WILL PROMPT YOU TO START OVER.
  

View Comments

Name: Donnie Kirk
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Date: 08/05/2013
Time: 08:30 AM

Comments

Hi Jerry, As others have commented, we decided on the extended bath chair as well (May be called a transfer chair). Half of the chair sits in the tub, while the other sits outside the tub. This allows my mom to wheel up to the chair, sit down, and swing her legs into the tub. I have her undress while on the transfer chair, bathe (with a shower nozzle), dry and dress, while sitting on the chair. She does stand to wash her 'under-carriage' with the aid of rails in the bath/shower area. To avoid a slip/ she wears 'aqua socks' (like you might wear to the beach). The 'aqua socks' are just an added safe-guard. For the arthritis, you may ask for a cortisone shot in the affected knee from your doc. In addition (on heavy pain days), a topical pain reliever (we use Active-On) may ease the pain. Cheers and best wishes! Donnie Kirk


Name: Barb
Location: Michigan
Date: 08/05/2013
Time: 06:56 AM

Comments

Jerry, look up "tubcut" on the internet. Many home improvement companies will do this inexpensive modification to your bathtub. They cut out a section, making a low step into the tub. You can no longer fill the tub with water for a bath, but it worked for us for quite a while for showers only. The tub can be put back to normal by the same installer when needed. I paid $600 for mine about 5 years ago. Can be done to both fiberglass and cast iron tubs. You can do this! Everything gets easier once you establish a routine! Take Care, Barb


Name: Cynde
Location: Grants Pass, OR
Date: 08/05/2013
Time: 06:48 AM

Comments

The walk-in bath tub worked for my GMom, until she turned 90+; Now she does not want water on her at all. Now she gets a cleansing massage type bath on couch or bed.


Name:
Location:
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 10:01 PM

Comments

Not sure what the family financial situation is....but if you can afford one, a bathtub battery operated lift chair could be useful. You can find them via the Internet and they can ship directly to your home. I purchased one for my mother who is early to moderate dementia, 84 yrs. Mom just sits on the chair and battery operated remote control lowers her into tub and raises her when done with bath.....all with my assistance and supervision of course.Hope this helps. Good Luck & Hang in....you are not alone! ;-)


Name: Marihelen Pitts-Campbell
Location: Brookings, OR
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 04:29 PM

Comments

This is more of a general comment about a bathing issue: PLEASE look at all other options before considering one of those open the door, walk right in, sit right down, close the door and WAIT for quite a while as the water comes in to partially fill the tub, & your loved one is sitting there freezing to death (even though covered with tons of towels in a well-heated room) TUB . . . then AFTER washing & rinsing, comes the WAITING, while the wash water goes slowly down the drain AND your loved one is sitting there freezing to death (even though covered with tons of towels in a well-heated room) . My mom-in-law used it a few times (with my pleading & begging), then NEVER AGAIN, she said. I don't blame her; I tried it one day & understood . . . it will NEVER be a pleasure to use this bathtub. After spending several thousands of dollars to have this 'high class' (or similar term in the name) bath tub included in our new home just for her use (& ours when we retire & could possibly need it), we now use it to hold our cat's litter box & litter locker - - such a deal.


Name: Bill Salmansohn
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 02:44 PM

Comments

Mom's primary MD can also prescribe Medicare for awhile.....they will come and bathe her....give you a break and figure out the long term.


Name: Pat
Location: New Jersey
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 01:44 PM

Comments

Since my mom's stroke, I was able to get her a bath bench paid for by insurance, the bench extends out of the tub, so mom sits and then I help her lift her legs into the tub. This has helped alot, when mom first came home we had therapist come to the house and they helped with all the needed supplies I would need, handicap toilet seat, bath bench, hand held shower...


Name: Gaylynn
Location: San Diego
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 11:26 AM

Comments

We are in the same situation with my mom, and in San Diego as well, but downtown. I agree with the poster that suggests hiring someone to bathe her. This seems inevitable and may help preserve my identity as her daughter in her mind. The problem is finding a person who knows how to work with a bath-resistant dementia person. Also, it seems home care typically wants the person to stay a minimum number of hours. Realistically, the whole bath process may take up to 2 hours (which is partly why outside help may be inevitable), but when that's done then you are paying for them to sit around with her. I'd rather spend that money on another bath later that week. If anyone has any ideas, I'm open!


Name: Kathy Davidson
Location: Orlando, Florida
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 11:13 AM

Comments

I assist my husband with showering as he does not like baths. He has Parkinson's & Lewy Body Dementia. I had grab bars installed all around the shower stall area, put in an adjustable & removable shower chair, hand held shower head and large rubber mat (that is normally used outside the front door) that can be found at Lowe's or Home Depot . It became a safe shower that he can use on his own but with me still close by.


Name: Julie
Location: Washington State
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 09:43 AM

Comments

Because my husband is not ambulatory & cannot get in or out of the tub, we bathe him in bed. He also has short-term memory loss, which causes him to get frustrated easily. We have a caregiver who comes in a couple of times a week, which gives me a much needed break. We contacted our county senior service agency & they contract with visiting nurses who hire the caregivers. Your county may have a similar program. The senior services agency also pays a small portion of the nursing care & give me some respite. I hope you find a way that causes less frustration. Also remember that you do not have to bathe her everyday. Sending angels to both of you!


Name: Pam
Location: Palos Verdes
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 09:00 AM

Comments

I took care of my mom, who had dementia for 10 years until she passed at 95. She had arthritis and was resistive to bathing. I develoved what I call "guerilla bathing". Since she was a fall risk, but had to use the toilet/comode AND needed to get dressed for the day, I would dampen a warm wash cloth with a no-rinse body wash [used by NASA astronauts] and begin by taking off her nightgown while she was siiting on the toilet, saying we were going 'clean up a bit and get dressed'. I would start slowly wth her face and the warm cloth and work my way down, refreshing the cloth in a basin of the bath solution. I used a second cloth with clear warm water to wipe off the no-rinse solution because I didn't want to take a chance on developing skin irritation to the rsidue, even with 'no-rinse'. If I didn't get it rinsed [and a little extra cleaning, it wasn't the end of the world!] I started with cleanest area and worked to the more private parts last, or would change cloths to fresh ones as needed. I also covered the freshly washed areas with a dry soft towel to keep her warm until I put on her clothing. {I had her clothing riht ther,arranged so that I coud quiclky put the pieces on in the right order becaue I would lose her if I had to leave to get something or shuffle through the clothes to find the next itme!} The trick was to do it in small segments and the get her cloths on as quickly as possible while distracting her with questions and coversation about what our plans were for the day. I had her stand whle still at the toilet, gave her the rag to do her private areas-until she wasn't able to do them well enough-the I 'made sure she was "rinsed well". When she sat back dow, I'd move on to her legs and feet--washing, rinsing & dressing. I'd put on her panties and slacks up to her knees, then her socks and shoes BEFORE I had her stand up a second time, the I pulled everythin up, arranged everythg properly then took her to the sink to brush her teeth. I did this daily--it became a familiar routune and she never smelled unwashed. It would take about 10-15 minutes more and Bath Time was rarely a 'big deal'. They even have a 'no-rinse' hair wash that I used once a week during this process. I just draped a towel over her shoulder, squeezed on some shampoo and rised by rubbing a clear water soaked rag over her hair two or three times. Then I dried it with the fluffy towel on her shoulders. You have to try it several ways before you find the best sequence that works for you--just be patient, non-arguementaive, re-directive and distractive- it'll be done be fore she knows it. Baby steps! Sometimes I had to split it up - underarms and deoderant on the first toileting, privates at a different time--whatever worked. It doesn't have to done all at once if her anxiety level or behavior is not cooperative. Come back to it later. And eventaually you may need to have someone come in to do it. An over-the- tub bench is essential if you are doing the 'big deal' and she prefers that to piece-meal washing! Hope this helps!


Name: Lyn
Location: merritt ISland, FL
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 07:53 AM

Comments

I solved it by having a step in cut out of the tub. and using a shower chair in the shower. Of course that keeps the tub from being used as a bathtub - but it works for us. I purchsed the conversion kit online & had a handyman install it.


Name: Diane
Location: IL
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 07:42 AM

Comments

Hi Jerry. I commend you for taking care of your Mom and are willing to do this for her. My Mom has arthritis so bad she can only stand long enough to transfer with max assist from me. I have a shower bench for her. You can try to put a privacy towel over her until she sits then have her help you swing her legs into the tub. We have a handheld sprayer and can switch to an overhead one. She can clean what she can and you can help with the rest. If it doesn't work out contact your local senior services dept and they can direct you to a home service that can send a caregiver out to assist you with this and anything else you may need. Be prepared for some oopsie moments when she gets water in her ear or soap in her eyes...keep a sense of humor. There are also bedside bath cloths you can use between showers. Comfort bath is a good one. Good luck to you.


Name: Anna Marie
Location: Norwalk, CT
Date: 08/04/2013
Time: 06:19 AM

Comments

Jerry, If you were on the East Coast I would give you my slide over the tub shower chair, as my Mom passed away this year. The other option, besides in-home care visits, would be to check out the adult day care centers in your area. The two we briefly checked out had shower areas, fully equipped. Good luck & God bless. Anna Marie


Name: Amy
Location: New York
Date: 07/30/2013
Time: 11:34 AM

Comments

Instead of taking her somewhere, why not get her a shower bench? Some are designed to straddle the width of the bathtub so that the legs are OUTSIDE the tub, resting on the bathroom floor. She might be able to sit on it then swing her legs into the tub. She'll sit while being washed. However, I would also recommend that you get a handheld shower sprayer so you can get her back/backside. Good luck and also, look into having an aide come and do it.


Name:
Location:
Date: 07/30/2013
Time: 11:33 AM

Comments

Jerry, You can hire caregivers to come to your home just to bathe your Mother. Contact your local Hospice for a list of Dependable caregivers. I am a Caregiver and I hire caregivers to help me with the bathing, just so that I can have a break! It is well worth every penny sent! Good Luck, Debbie.


Name: Bette
Location: Delco, PA
Date: 07/30/2013
Time: 08:34 AM

Comments

You may want to use an extended bath bench which starts outside the tub, so that the bather can sit, then slide into position within the tub. You can also check with some of your local adult day care centers, which for a fee in addition to their regular day rate, will provide a bath in a special tub.


 







 

Join our Group or become
 a
Fan below

Caregiver on Facebook

   Follow us on Twitter

You TubeFearless Caregiver Channel