"In the beginning Hygiene became a war between us–me trying to convince Mom to change clothes or shower by sheer force. If asked about it, Mom would shrug and walk away. She was totally unconcerned about my frantic attempts to keep her clean. Totally confused, I thought to myself– I was struggling to teach the very person who had taught me all I knew about living and learning and cleanliness.
Eventually, in the middle stages of Alzheimers📷, Mom refused to shower at all. Our daily battles over the shower and hygiene became so stressful it still hurts to remember the angry words we spat at each other."
"Working on “fear of the water temperature” theory, I found a solution that worked for Mom and I. I turned on the water in the shower, adjusted the temperature, and let it run as I left the room and sat quietly in the living room. It was never long before Mom was searching for me. “You left water running in the bathroom,” she would tell me, “it will flood the floor.”
“Don’t you remember, Mom,” I would say. “You told me to adjust the water because you wanted to take a shower. That’s what I did.”
Mom would only hesitate for a moment, search for a reply and then say, “Oh…I forgot… Okay, I’ll take my shower now.” And she was off to the bathroom and a shower as though it had been her idea all along.
The person with Alzheimer’s becomes expert at denying and covering for their memory lapses in the earliest stages of this disease."