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Showering and hair washing

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    Showering and hair washing

    Hi, just after some advice.

    My wonderful Mam is 76 and has bulbar. She is getting weaker by the day and is really struggling showering and told me today she dreads the shower each morning and can’t wash her hair properly. She has a shower over the bath. My brother is currently living with her as I work in a hospital. So we are thinking a shower seat or ? This is where I am stuck, she said today she doesn’t want a carer going in but then changed her mind and she does. any advice would be welcome, I feel so helpless. If it wasn’t for covid I could do it and I’m really distressed about it. Thanks, Lesley

    1. hello Lesley. this is the first time using my eye gaze so if my spacing is chaos please forgive me.I started my journey as blubar onset and become scared to have running water on my face and to have the bathroom well vented. ive had a social worker and OT who organised a package of care.I have PA that have got to know me very well to enable me to showered. speak to your locoal adult social care team.


      Hello Lesley. I care for my wife and went through the same issue. Our OT sorted a bath lift which worked wonders allowing Ann to keep bathing herself for about a year. In terms of hair washing you can get shower caps which you put in the microwave then place on your mums head and leave for a while to work their magic. Have a look on line at the complete care shop or talk to your OT.
      Eventually we converted the bathroom into a full wet room allowing me to shower Ann using a reclining shower chair.
      I would say discuss with your OT as they are best placed to advise.


        Please don't freak out but I have noticed that one benefit of my nerves shutting down is that my sweat, what there is of it, just don't smell. So long as I sponge my private bits and check for obvious marks no one notices if I don't shower for a month! 😉😀x
        Bulbar started Jan 2020. Mute and 100% tube fed but mobile and undefeated. Stay Strong 🤗😘🤗😁xx


          Hi Lesley,

          I am so sorry your Mum is dreading a shower and I'm not surprised this is distressing for you. Covid makes a hard situation even worse !

          I wonder if your OT could assess whether how your Mum takes her shower could be made safer and easier. Does she actually need to step into the bath ?If there are adaptations required it can take time so it's best to get the ball rolling.

          I use a shower wheelchair and am able to enjoy my shower because I feel secure ( famous last words!) I didn't use the seat for long because it was hard to get off. You do need a carer, however to take you into the shower and maybe help dry you.

          So sorry you have difficult decisions to make.
          Love Debbie x


            Thanks everyone, I have contacted her MND team at my hospital and they are getting someone to call me. Hayls your message was spot on and clear. Matthew you do make me laugh!


              If I can make just one person smile each day I feel content. 😇x
              Bulbar started Jan 2020. Mute and 100% tube fed but mobile and undefeated. Stay Strong 🤗😘🤗😁xx


                You should feel content then Matthew. You make me smile too x


                  Good afternoon,

                  I've just been sorting out carers for my mum who broke a hip about 10 weeks ago and had it plated and pinned.

                  But we have been through the rigmarole of the means test for free care which she failed as she had a couple of thousand pounds too much in savings.

                  My brother then went on to the CQC website and looked at the ratings of all of the companies that provide carers and also talk to the neighbours to find out if anybody used any of them and had any feedback. Having gone through this my mum decided that she wanted use the person that does her shopping for her and so far this is working out really well.

                  She has been helped to shower every day by sitting on the seat across the bath and using a shower above the bath to provide the water

                  So what your mum needs should not be too difficult to provide

                  One trick is to put up some sort of the screen on the bath side so that the carer does not get too wet - Such screens are also due to be found in places where MND folk are showered


                  ​Diagnosed 03/2015. One sided limb onset (arm) sporadic PMA/MND - now 90% left arm and 90% right arm, plus other bits including both shoulders and also some breathing issues – Campaign contact Winchester and Southampton branch, and trustee of the Association

                  "Things turn out the best for people who make the best of the way things turn out"


                    matthew you really do make me laugh.
                    just thinking about the shower problem made me think that if there is a problem with water on the face causing panic then having something other than a overhead shower would help then the water can be directed away. a walk in shower perhaps with a chair would be a lot easier. climbing in and out of a bath to take a shower can be quite scary at the best of times. my husband worries about falling over in the shower so i am trying to get him to at least let me put a plastic chair in the shower area.
                    when i can think of something profound i will update this.


                      Have you considered a wet room. It's where you can sit in a wheelchair and be under a shower, the Italians love them. 😀x
                      Bulbar started Jan 2020. Mute and 100% tube fed but mobile and undefeated. Stay Strong 🤗😘🤗😁xx


                        Originally posted by Hayls View Post
                        this is the first time using my eye gaze
                        Woohoo, Hayls!! 🏆

                        Love Ellie.

                        ​Diagnosed 03/2007. Sporadic Definite ALS/MND Spinal (hand) Onset.
                        Eye gaze user - No functional limbs - No speech - Feeding tube - Overnight NIV.