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Trying to keep Mom kempt

hairrollersMom is now sleeping in her clothes. When I’ve gotten her into the shower, I realize how hard it is for her to dress and undress. I understand that she wants to manage, but in this area, she won’t allow me (or anyone else ) to help most days.

I wonder if the days that she won’t allow me to help are days she doesn’t really recognize me anymore.

I scheduled a hair appointment but when they tried to get her to her appointment she refused to go. Maybe it would have been more successful if I was there. I can’t always be there when she needs to dress, shower and get her hair done. I hoped it would be easier for her community to help, but now it just feels like another reminder that Assisted Living isn’t the right place for someone with memory issues.

I return the next day and walk with my Mom to the beauty parlor. It’s just the next building over through one connected hallway,  and it takes us almost fifteen minutes to walk there. The lady who has been doing my Mom’s hair every other Tuesday for several years greets us and she says she can get her in this afternoon. She will come get my Mom if she doesn’t show up. I’m hoping that my Mom will go now that we have her scheduled with her regular hair dresser. I’m thankful that she is willing to go pick my Mom up from her apartment and already knows where she lives (having had to do this before). I write-up an appointment card and try to get my Mom to stick it in her pocket. She wants to hold it to help her remember.

When we get back to her apartment, she asks me what she’s doing today. I run through the activities. When we get to the hair appointment, she asks if we can walk there so she knows how to get to her appointment. When I tell her we just did that, she responds, “I hate this, I should know that we just did that.”

“I know Mom. It’s okay, you have lots of friends around you who will make sure you get to your appointment today.”

I have been working harder to coordinate with the floor staff. But I know my Mom will just sometimes refuse to shower, change clothes, get her hair done … it takes a village to age them, as well as raise them. Reminded.

6 comments on “Trying to keep Mom kempt

  1. My mother-in-law is still living at home with full-time care. We had a similar experience when she refused to get out of the car at her usual hairdresser. Now the family has set up a woman from the shop to come to the house to give her a haircut when needed. Not many places will set up home visits, but for people with Alzheimer’s it sure makes it easier. I’m surprised your mom’s Assisted Living complex doesn’t have a more accessible hair salon right in her building just down or around the hall from her.

  2. It’s technically “down the hall” but as my mom continues to decline, we continue to find more issues in having her in Assisted Living versus Memory Care. The community does have a Memory Care unit, but she’s not ready for their unit. We are moving her into a new facility devoted to Memory Care (she’s on the wait list) that will be able to better help her move through this process with dignity — we hope and pray.

  3. I’ll be following to see how your mom does, Kay. I know these transitions are difficult and draining on you. You’ve been so there for your folks.

  4. I can’t get my mother to change her clothes lately either. It’s exhausting! Good luck with all of it tomorrow!

  5. […] the trip, my Mom noticed she had a broken nail. As I just shared, I’m having trouble keeping Mom kempt, and her nails are very long and in need a trim. I ask her if she’d like to go get a […]

  6. […] been visiting my Mom and working to use all the resources available to keep Mom “kempt.”  I had been doing Mom’s laundry — she would not allow anyone else to take it. She […]

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