She Took A Bath!! =)

taupe79July 25, 2005

Well, I'm back, and I just thought I'd thank you all for your help and let you know how it went.

On Saturday, I asked Grandma if she wanted to 'take a bath now.' She said she was very tired and to ask her again in a half hour, and 'don't run the bath water until you ask me if I want to.'

So, I gave her the half hour (during which she forgot the conversation), but I went ahead and ran the shower to get some warm humidity in the bathroom, laid out fresh towels, laid out a fresh change of clothes (she's been re-wearing), and used some yummy-smelling soap in the tub water (just hand soap, so the tub wasn't slippery).

I ran the water, went back to her and said, "your bath is ready." She said, "Do I have to?" I said, "well, no, but you're the one who wanted a bath." (That's not totally true, but in retrospect, she DID enjoy her bath, so it's a little true. I don't want to be too manipulative, but at the same time, this was important.)

She agreed and to my surprise, she promptly went to the bathroom and got in the tub. She didn't need any help derobing or getting in the tub (though I kept a close eye while she got in so that she didn't slip.)

I left and gave her privacy, and although I expected her to be in there about 5 minutes, she was in there for closer to twenty. She finally called for me to help her out, which I did. She was exhausted but kept commenting on how nice it felt to take a bath and to be clean all over. She expressed that she just doesn't like the shower very much and prefers the bath, but is afraid of falling. She also doesn't want any help from my uncle, her caregiver, which is understandable, since he is male.

Maybe now, I will be able to convince my mom and uncle to arrange for a female nurse or home healthcare worker to come in once a week and help Grandma with her bath.

I kept the humor going and had her giggling while I helped her. She needed more assistance, since bathing had tired her out. We got her all dressed in clean clothes, and she was good to go.

My entire family was SO impressed with me, and Grandma, too. I wish I was closer, I'd go once a week myself, but that's not possible right now.

Anyhow, we both had a good experience, and I just want to thank all of you for your concern and suggestions.

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PeaBee4

That was great!! Fixing the bath then telling her it was ready was a stroke of genius. Maybe that's the secret....just don't give her a chance to say "no." Help her think the whole thing was her idea even if you have to fudge the truth a little.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 2:21PM
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tnlady

Good going!! That is sooo great! DH's Mom died of AZ three years ago. We were lucky in that she had the "fast" type...just under four years overall.

Funny you should mention the clothes. We couldn't get "Nanny" to "agree" to go into but one outfit! - So, Allen's 3 sisters went out and bought MULTIPLE pairs of pants, blouse, etc. in the same colors. So, even when she got stubborn and refused a shower/bath - at least she would still change her clothes if fresh ones were laid on her bed. Helped a lot!

Funny how our minds work!

TNLady/Jean

P.S. "Fudging the truth" eventually becomes the rule of the day. Don't EVER feel bad about that if your heart is in the right place :)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 6:09PM
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abreeze

How wonderful, Taupe! :) Sure hope your mother and uncle take action and are able to find a wonderful gal to come help her bathe. You must have a special relationship with your grandma... Thanks for sharing. ~breezy

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 8:05AM
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DianePA

thats great news! what a wonderful DGD you are! sorry you don't live closer to her too, I'm sure she enjoyed your visit as well as the bath!!! DianePA

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 1:11PM
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mimi427

Just think of "fudging the truth" as therapeutic lies..something we all need to do to keep our sanity...job well done!! Mimi

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 2:23PM
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nora8

Good to read your post and what a great way to handle her bath. I will also add...you are a special grandaughter. Hope that you all can find someone to come in and help with the bath. God Bless, Nora

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 7:24AM
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chelone

Bathing and hygiene is a HUGE thing when dealing with the elderly... in varying states of "failure".

Bathing is such a private thing. Our "alone" time... all of sudden we can no longer do it SAFELY alone. Privacy is GONE. I have NO idea how that must be; but I know how tough it was for Mum. Knowing that, I hired our "bath lady". She is familiar to Mum, but it's NOT the same as having her daughter bathe her. It's still "private" for Mum, but it's controlled and safe. I occasionally help her bathe, but not very often. It's better that way; gives Mum more privacy and gives me more "freedom".

I had some trouble with the "bath lady" early on. But simply laid out what I wanted, and the practical reasons why. Everything is OK now, and whenever there is a holiday/long weekend I offer the day off to her. AND pay her for it. She's earned it, and she deserves it.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 9:01PM
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