Maintaining dignity of the person that we are caring for

Last night, I gave my mom a shower.

First I gave her a pain pill, twenty minutes prior.

Then I put a shower chair in my walk in shower stall. I turned on the water to a comfortable temperature. I helped her undress and sit in the chair.

She was embarrassed. A modest woman, she was not happy about her daughter seeing her in her natural state. I told her that as a nurse, I have seen lots of naked bodies and have given up on the notion that bodies are as perfect under the clothes are they appear to be when they are clothed.

But to be very honest, it is different when it is your mom. It is very sobering to see your mother in such a state of humility. These last few days have not gone like I thought they would when I woke up each morning.

We used baby shampoo and soap because I wanted to make sure that she did not have issues with the products getting into her eyes. I also wanted to make sure that if we did not rinse it all off, that it would not chaff her skin.

I stood back and allowed her to do as much for herself as she could. I squirted the soap with farty noises on to the wash cloth that she held up to me. Then I squirted soap on to the long handled brush that she used to scrub her legs with. I used that same brush to scrub her back for a very long time, because she said that it felt good.

I helped towel off and then rubbed baby lotion onto her back, her arms and her feet. I dressed her in big loose pjs and non slip socks.

She used her walker to get back to her room and I gave her the pillow so that she could back up and sit down on the bed.

She took a breathing treatment and then an incentive spirometer excercise. She then used the pillow so that she could lay down. Out she went.

That was a lot of work.

I figured out the trick to get her to eat. She is refusing foods, so I fix her a small very nutritious meal. Then I put the pain pill bottle on the table. She is due for the pain meds, but I tell her that they are her dessert. She must eat her food first.

Tomorrow we will start weaning back 1/2 hour at a time until she is on an every 6 hour schedule. But for now, she needs her rest.



About sharinglifesabundance

I am a backyard food producer. I grow 800 square feet of organic vegetables in the desert year round.
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4 Responses to Maintaining dignity of the person that we are caring for

  1. Signwatcher says:

    My Mom had an artificial heart valve put in last November. I AM NOT A NURSE. I don’t play one on Tee Vee. It was a stretch for us, but we made it through. God bless you as you minister to your Mom.

  2. cg517 says:

    Yes it is going to be difficult, i was the caregiver for my dad last year and around this time it was worse, he was doing well but last october is when the cancer spread. He quit his meds early december and food wasn’t tasting good anymore nor did he like anything and would barely eat….BUT you can get cookies and sweets down! We fought alot as I was trying so hard and it was hard on all of us and trying to make him eat and force it really didn’t work……I am sorry for the fighting that I did guess I wanted him to stay alive and be with me but he passed on Dec 30 2015 while at the hospice facility……all I can say is try to get her to eat but if she can’t she can’t….then the same thing took place with my mom at end of April and it seemed like the same scenario for me doing it all over again….and well there again didn’t want to eat much either and with all her health issues that seemed to suddenly appear, well she passed may 31, 2016…From what i was told with cancer patients is all they want are the sweets and that usually happens before passing alot……..but sometimes there just in’t any energy to eat….did you try any ensures???

  3. I am so sorry to hear of your losses Carma. We learned in nursing school that the elderly truly love their sweets (much like a little child) and that they should be used as a bribe to eat a portion of the meal. After all, that is what they did to us when we were children because they loved us. Now it is our turn to return the favor. My mom’s appetite is returning, and she has expressed appreciation for my diligence to make sure that her meals are nutritious. We do not eat very many sweets around here but I did make some goat milk custard ice cream on Sunday, and she adored that.

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