Let’s say in a few months, you are getting ready to move in with an elderly loved one who refuses to bathe, and you are dreading it because every time you visit, you have to endure the gut-wrenching stench that makes you want to vomit immediately upon stepping inside the house. It’s always drama when you initiate a discussion with your loved one about bathing, since he thinks he doesn’t need it.
Not only that, your siblings aren’t helping the situation either. They make excuses for his behavior or blame it on the dog for the smell. To add insult to injury, they label you as the “the bad guy” for being too pushy! Of course, you don’t have to move into a situation that makes you uncomfortable, but we know that you are most likely moving in because of your heartfelt concern for your elderly loved one.
Here are some suggestions to diffuse the situation:
- Have a sit-down conversation with your elderly loved one. Understand that seniors with Alzheimer’s are out of touch with their sense of smell and the days blend into a blur. They may not bathe because they think they already took a shower that day, and they allow weeks to go by without cleaning themselves. Try talking to your loved one to see if he can be empathetic with you.
- If that doesn’t work, try initiating a conversation between your elderly loved one and his physician. Oftentimes the elderly will be more receptive to advice from a professional than from a family member. Talk to the physician about getting a 24-hour companion caregiver to assist with bathing.
- Try “no-rinse” bathing products. Maybe your parent is too afraid to slip and fall in the shower and has become afraid of water.
- Find out other possible sources of the smell. You may find signs of incontinence, such as dried puddles of urine, around the house. If your elderly loved one has not received treatment for incontinence, this may be a good warning sign.
What’s the worst that can happen?
The pervasive smell can permeate your clothing and distract your coworkers from concentrating on their work. Your employer reserves the right to terminate you if you don’t resolve the issue within a reasonable amount of time. In fact, if your boss made you sign an “at-will termination agreement” upon employment, they can let you go with no explanation. It has happened in the past and it can happen to you.
If you are moving in with your elderly loved one, you are the one who has to deal with the smell day in and day out. Regardless of what your siblings are saying about you, their words carry no weight because they don’t have to live with it.
A-1 Home Care has the perfect solution for situations like this. Our highly skilled, seasoned caregivers have years of experience helping seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. They know all the tricks to coaxing seniors into bathing, and they will help your elderly loved one every step of the way. From stand-by assistance to full hands-on assistance, our live-in caregivers will take a load off your shoulders and help eliminate the stench from your home.
For high quality 24 hour Alzheimer’s Care, call A-1 Home Care today (562) 929-8400 or visit our website www.a-1homecare.com for more information. Veteran Care is available in all of Los Angeles County, from Malibu, Burbank and Pasadena to Whittier and Cerritos.
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