I’m wondering if perhaps the water was too warm for her at one point
if this is the case, let her help choose the temp with her hand or foot
Our seniors skin is getting thinner as they age and therefore super sensitive
I just bought a little bathroom heater for my dad since his issue is being cold
Good luck
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Trishbennie

I am going to be 90 in June and I have had a stroke. I have 2 grab bars, as big as will fit in the space, one across the back and one along the wall where I get in, a shower chair with arms, and a hand held shower head with a with a long hose. I use a sponge. I have the room warm. I also have a rubber mat on the shower floor. After I wash, I have two towels ready to use, I use one to cover myself while I dry. Oh, I also have two more grab bars in the bathroom. One just outside the shower the other is next to the toilet. My soap and shampoo is near me within reach. I hope that helps.
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Reply to MaryKathleen

If you have full durable power of attorney for your very young mum, I expect that she has some sort of cognitive decline.
My mum had a major stroke at 63 years of age, which left her frail and old before her time, so I sympathise.

If your mum panics at using the bathroom, then don't get her to wash in there. Use a bowl of warm water and a flannel in the bedroom. Use one flannel, lathered up with soap for washing - top downwards - and a clean flannel with water to rinse off the soap.

Hair can be washed at the kitchen sink or, if your mum is physically impaired, you can buy an inflatable hair washing bowl that allows the person to have their hair washed lying down.

It isn't necessary to have a bath or shower to get clean. Although, it is nice for the skin. So, use a cream, lotion or body oil to keep the skin soft and supple.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to MiaMoor

Consider what her fears are -
water pouring down on her (from the shower)?
then, tub bathes from now on and wash hair in sink
water too "deep" ( from a spa type tub)?
then, bathe is a standard tub or opt for sponge baths
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Taarna

Sonyajoy75: As per your profile, your mother, Sheila is a young 66, speak to her physician about the abnormal bathing issue and why she is panic stricken.
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Reply to Llamalover47

She afraid of drowning??
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Reply to AdVinn

When my brother was in hospice care and unable to stand, the hospice aide used bathing wipes that are rinse free. They clean, deodorize, and dry on their own so no towels are necessary. They can be warmed up in a microwave. I suspect they used a shampoo cap for his hair. Later I ended up purchasing them for myself when I had a severe leg wound on my shin and bathing was not doable. I used Nurture Valley Bathing Wipes. They certainly made life simpler.
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Reply to katepaints

I recently heard about this product. I have not tried them yet but it is on my list to try if the need arises.

I really like the shampoo cap idea.
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Reply to KPWCSC

My mil panicked at the idea of a shower. Her response was that the water would sting her. And she didn't feel confident to get in and out of the bathtub. So we did sink baths and that worked for her. And once hospice came on the scene, she was bed-bathed twice a week as well. She really liked those baths by the aide.
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Reply to graygrammie

Try doing sponge baths while she’s standing/sitting or laying. Theres no need for her to fear this. Be gentle, talk sweetly to her while doing this. Close the door, give her privacy and let her keep as much dignity as possible.

In fact, don’t even call it a bath…say it’s time to freshen up and put on clean clothes. And when you are done, compliment her, fix her hair…maybe a dab of her favorite perfume or a bit of blush…you know how most of us women enjoy that. If she’s not that makeup type, just fix her hair then. Get her in comfy, but clean outfits.
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Reply to Donttestme
Igloocar Apr 22, 2024
As others have said, the OP does not mention dementia. A 66-year-old woman without dementia would, I think, feel very insulted by this course of action. As others have said, the problem may be determining why the OP's mother is afraid of bathing. However, quite possibly this is not simply a question of asking her why!
If mom panics every time she bathes, why would she want to bathe??? It's your job to figure out why she panics and make her bathing experience more pleasurable and less panic inducing first.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to lealonnie1
Anxietynacy Apr 21, 2024
If her mom is only 66 , no dementia, isn't this a mental health issue?
See 3 more replies
Bathing issues and disagreements related to that are prevalent almost in all cases of dementia, Here is what I had to say about bathing in my book "Dementia Care Companion":

Barriers to Bathing
Patients’ experience of bathing changes with dementia. What was once a refreshing and relaxing activity devolves over time into a stressful and overwhelming sensory and cognitive burden. The noise of the running shower and the exhaust fan, the beads of water pelleting their skin, the impossibility of getting the water temperature right, not knowing where to begin or what to do next, and a myriad of other problems conspire to make for a truly unpleasant bath-time experience.

Physical Barriers to Bathing
·        Is the bathroom cold?
·        Does the noise of the fixed showerhead annoy the patient?
·        Is the running shower making the patient anxious?
·        Is the floor slippery and the patient is afraid they may fall?
·        Do they have difficulty adjusting the water temperature?
·        Is the patient suffering from some pain or discomfort?

Psychological Barriers to Bathing
·        Does the patient believe that they already took a bath or don’t need one?
·        Are they worried that they will not remember how to bathe?
·        Are they afraid of being alone in the shower? 
·        Do they feel vulnerable when they take their clothes off?
·        Does your presence in the bathroom embarrass the patient?
·        Is the patient suffering from depression or apathy? Do they lack motivation to do anything?

Bathing Alone
Gradually, I had taken over the household responsibilities from Mom, but she still managed to bathe on her own. I used to feel so happy when I’d see her cheeks rosy after a shower. One day I checked up on her in the shower. She was scrubbing her face so hard that I had to intervene. “Okay, now wash your body,” I said. She started scrubbing her face again. “Mom, wash your body.” But again she went back to scrubbing her face. That’s when I realized she had been only washing her face all this time.
It may be a while before you have to be physically present during bath times. Keep in mind that even while the patient is able to manage on their own, dementia makes it increasingly difficult for them to do so safely. It is important to take precautions early on to prevent accidents before there is one.
·        Adjust the water heater temperature to a setting that reduces the risk of scalds.
·        If you have the option, install a faucet with separate hot and cold controls, rather than a single-lever combination faucet. Patients usually find it easier to manage separate controls.
·        Install a handheld showerhead. They are more comfortable to use and less noisy.
·        Install a bath seat or shower chair with backrest and armrests, so the patient can sit while bathing.
·        Remove unnecessary and unsafe items like razors from the bathroom.
·        Make sure that the patient cannot lock themselves in the bathroom.
·        Keep a watchful eye on the bathing process to make sure that the patient does it safely, correctly, and thoroughly.

Bathing Together
Today is our bath day. I have prepared the bathroom and all the necessary items. The water heater is on. I have turned on the heater in the bathroom. Towels, clothes, and soap are all set. The only missing parts are you and me. We have to bathe to smell good. Today we are having lunch at your favorite restaurant.
Preparing for a Bath
·        Choose the best time for bathing, when the patient is not tired and is more cooperative. If they are anxious or resist strongly, postpone bathing to another time.
·        Prepare the bathroom in advance so it is warm and inviting.
·        Make sure the water heater temperature is at a setting that reduces the risk of scalds.
·        Prepare all the needed items beforehand so you won’t have to leave the patient alone during the bath. Your attention must be fully dedicated to the patient during
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Samad1
lealonnie1 Apr 21, 2024
OP says nothing about her 66 yo mother having dementia
See 1 more reply
I figured out a few things that helped with my dad. First I took a little space heater in and got the bathroom very warm before hand. He was extremely frail toward the end and hated being cold. Since it was a tub shower we had to use, I got a shower chair on a rail that he could sit on outside the tub and gently slide over into it while sitting. We had a hand held shower so I could help him do part of the washing where it’s hard to reach. Afterward we could get him mostly dry and partially dressed while still sitting on the chair. Balance was an issue so being able to sit during the whole process was helpful. Maybe some things like this could help
your mom be less resistant to it and start enjoying it again.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Dizzerth

Please find out what is causing your mother anxiety at only age 66. Her doctor can evaluate that. You can help her bathe and have her use body lotions until she is comfortable doing bathing or showering alone.

I helped my late mom once a week to wash herself. I physically helped her into the bath so she would not fall or hit herself. She used a bath bench to sit on, and the water was filled only to ankle deep. No shower was turned on, just the bath. Mom covered her chest with a towel, so when that part came, I handed her the washcloth with soap and later, rinse, to clean the area. She used the soaped and rinsed washcloth on her arms, hands, legs and feet, plus the bottom and groin areas. I cleaned her back. Also, some lotion was used between baths. Her face was cleansed with Clinique every night by herself. This worked out for about two years before she had to go into a nursing home.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Patathome01

We had to physically get in the shower with our mother and grandmother, They didn't have dementia, but were afraid they would fall. So with a shower chair we washed their hair and back , legs, arms etc. And held on to them while they washed their private parts. Both were very private and modest so we kept that area covered with a hand towel while we were washing them. They wrapped.put on them with a terry cloth robe when finished a we dried their hair, legs , feet etc. and then got out. It was not fun for either of us but we knew it was what we needed to do and she had done the same for us when we were children.
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Reply to Ederlyareabused
BurntCaregiver Apr 21, 2024
If the shower is safely set up with a bath bench, hand-held shower, and grab bars there is never a need to get into the shower with a person to help them get it done.

I did homecare for 25 years and never got in the shower with a client.
Sonyajoy75, some people as they age will develop claustrophobia when using a shower, and even a tub. It's a very real panic which can start if one is in the shower/tub and feel light-headed and feel they would pass out.

Plus, if your Mom isn't doing any hard labor, and doesn't have incontinence, once a week is enough. I remember back in my day, Saturday was bath night. Baby wipes or after-using-toilet wipes inbetween are helpful, just find one where the container or packet is easy to use.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to freqflyer

Your profile says that your mom is only 66 years old, and doesn't have any dementia or major health issues, so why does she tell you that she feels panic about bathing? Is she afraid she's going to fall?
I would understand if your mom had dementia, as folks with that are often afraid getting in the shower or bath, but your mom doesn't fit that bill.
So at 66 it is not normal to not want to bathe or shower. Does she do better if she gets in the shower over getting in the bath tub?
Have you tried helping her? I'm just not understanding why she would panic, unless she has an undiagnosed mental disorder.
You can hire aids to come assist her if needed, but really again at only 66 years of age, she shouldn't need aids to help her.
And for the in-between showers/baths you can have her use the extra large body wipes and waterless shampoo and conditioner caps to help her stay clean.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to funkygrandma59

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