C.D. asks from Cedar Rapids, IA on July 27, 2007
Grandma Needs Help.
Me and my kids are moving in with my grandma. Last week she took a real bad fall. She can be so stuborn. It will really help me finacially and her physically and mentally. She gets scared at night by her self. My question is how do you tell your grandma to take a bath. She just won't do it I don't know if she is scared to fall or what the deal is but she smells like urine all the time and so does the whole house. I don't want to make her feel like I'm coming in and trying to run the show. I also don't want to hurt her feelings. If she don't start taking better care of herself my aunts and uncles will put her in a nursing home. That is the last thing I want for her. She would be miserable. I just don't know how to politely but firmly tell her these kind of things. Any advice would be wonderful. Thanx in advance.
T.M. answers from Rapid City on July 27, 2007
So proud of you for helping your grandma. You sound like a wonderful woman.
You know, that is a subject that is tough. I know my grandmom has that problem of smelling like urine. The bladder just doesn't work like it's supposed to.
Maybe a way to approach that is to tell her that "We're all going to get cleaned up so we can go to town." or something like that.
Maybe make a 'to do' list. These are the activities that are going to take place today. Make it kind of fun. We'll get cleaned up and then go for ice cream...or something like that. Funny thing about the way God made us....we start out as babies and when we get old we tend to revert back to that.
Wow, just so excited that you're doing this. It will be good for you and the children.
I hope this helps if only remotely!!!
God bless you my friend!!!
1 mom found this helpful
L.S. answers from Missoula on July 28, 2007
I want to first tell you that I think you are wonderful for doing this for your grandma. It is tough to care for a family member at home but I just love it when someone jumps in there and takes that on. What I would suggest is telling her that you are going to make a schedule for the kids to take baths but you don't want to interfere with her bath times so you will put her on there too. Put her first on the first night so she can get clean and while she is in there get some furniture febreeze and do all the furniture. That helps at the group home I used to work at. also line the furniture with plastic and cover it with blankets or throws. Also get a plastic zipper cover for her bed. All this will help with the oder.
Also because you will be living there find out if she is eligible for some in home care and take advantage of that when they are there you go do something with your children or get a sitter and do something for yourself. This is so you don't burn out on caring for her.
I wish you Luck
1 mom found this helpful
K.H. answers from Grand Forks on July 28, 2007
I know that putting your Grandma in a Nursing Home can be a scary thought but for the sake of her health she needs to get cleaned up. Not only is this a nuisance but it can make her very ill do to the ammonia in the urine. Since you are moving in with her maybe you should have a talk with her and simply explain that you really need your children to be in a healthy environment and if she is not willing to change then you simply can not live with her. If Social Services gets wind of the conditions she is living in then the decision to put her in a nursing home will no longer be a decision of yours or your aunts and uncles but in the hands of the state. Just the same when children are living in unstable conditions and they are taken away from their parents, the elderly are protected by neglect laws as well. Not saying that your grandmother is being neglected I know that you and your family are doing their best but I was not sure how else to word it. There is also the risk of skin breakdown, pressure ulcers, infections, etc, if in fact she smells of urine because it is on her skin and not being rinsed off.
I am not trying to scare you I just wanted to make sure you had the facts so that you can better persuade her to take better care of herself.
I wish you all the luck in this difficult situation that you are faced with.
K.B. answers from Lincoln on July 27, 2007
You are really taking on a lot. My grandmother was in the same situation after just being diagnosed with Parkinson's. Later we have found that her brain stem is shrinking. So needless to say she is slowly losing her motor functions. She has the mind of a 65 year old but the body of an 85 year old. So I understand how hard it is to talk to your grandma like she is younger than you. But if you plan to assume that role that is exactly what you have to do. Her not bathing is dangerous for her. You just have to tell her like it is. Good luck!
A.S. answers from Boise on July 28, 2007
if she has an intrest in reading discreatly lay articals around the house about hygene and it's importance. Does she have a good elderly friend who can hint to her? I have a schitozephrinc brother and I had to tell him flat out that he stank and he actually thanked me for being blunt and honest with him.
It is important to respect your elders but your children's health and well being is a must! a PERSON WHO DOES NOT CARE ABOUT HYGENE OFTEN MAY HAVE ANOTHER UNDERLINE REASON, DEPRESSION, MENTAL ILLNESS, OR THEY MAY JUST FLAT OUT NOT CARE ANYMORE. You need to find a reason for her to care.
J.J. answers from Lincoln on July 29, 2007
I would flat out tell her that you are there to help her so she doesn't have to go to the nursing home. Just talk with her and ask her if she is scared about taking a bath and see how you can help her that would make her comfortable. Just try and communicate with her and be honest. In my experience most elderly people don't want to go into a nursing home, so if someone is there to help they will usually let them help.
A.B. answers from Lincoln on July 30, 2007
I think that you should be honest with her and the nursing home. Also if you make out a calendar with what is going to happen throught out the week that might help. That way she knows what is going on without having to constantly ask. I think as far as the bath goes you need to make it a point to tell her that you are here to help and that she needs to take a bath atleast every other day. She might not be washing her clothes and sheets that may be part of the reason that the entire house smells. If I was you I would say that the entire house will need a deep cleaning. Go and get one of those plastic matress covers for he bed and slip it on after the sheets are washed. This will help with the smell. If she continues to be really stubborn, just remember that being honest will be the best in the long run
K.S. answers from Bismarck on July 27, 2007
The first thing you need to do is determine why she is reluctant to bath herself. If she's afraid of falling then you could install shower bars and buy her a bath chair. You could contact your local senior center, easter seals, or amvets to see if they have these things. They may loan them out for little or no charge. If it's simply poor decision making on her part you could gently offer to assist her without making an issue of her body odor. "Grandma, I know it's getting harder for you to bath yourself. Would it be easier for you if I help?" I hope this is helpful. Feel free to contact me if you would like to talk.