From washing feet to washing hair...

Inflatable Hair Washing Basin

Unfortunately, the nursing home staff did not prepare me very well to bring mother into our home. They were not particularly supportive of our decision and provided only minimal help in arranging for our needs. Even though I was a trained professional nurse, I learned many things about caring for the disabled by trial and error, and one of those was how to wash mother's hair.

For a brief period after she moved in with us, home health nurses helped me with mother's bed bath 3 days a week, and once a week they used a dry shampoo on mother's hair. But in the hot and humid climate in which we live, dry shampooing was not adequate for giving mother the clean scalp and shiny hair I knew she desired.

Once again, I searched the internet for a solution and discovered this inflatable basin. It wasn't perfect. I still managed to get the bed wet in the process, but it enabled me to get mother's hair and scalp thoroughly wet for a good shampoo every week - and because I would shortly be getting mother out of bed and changing her sheets, the wetness was only temporary.

Though you cannot see it in the above picture, the basin had a 40-inch drain tube with a plug that enabled me to thoroughly rinse the shampoo out of her hair by draining the water into a bucket on the floor by the bed.

Every month or so, I arranged for a beautician to come to our home and give mother a good haircut on a morning after I had shampooed her hair. In fact, because I was unable to leave mother very often, we would often turn the kitchen into a beauty parlor and the beautician would cut my hair and Emily's hair, too.

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Pretty in Pink...

During the time mother entered rehab and we moved her into our Pollywog Creek home, I became a bit annoyed with the nursing home staff when I noticed that mother's shirts were always on backwards. I never said anything, but I thought...how difficult can it be to put some one's shirt on right?

The first morning mother was in our home and I dressed her after her bath I discovered exactly how difficult it can be to dress someone in mother's helpless condition. It's one thing to dress a tiny newborn - though that can be difficult enough - but dressing mother was like dressing a 140-pound newborn.

After what seemed like a hour, with one of mother's arms in one sleeve and the rest of her shirt crumpled up behind her back, I gave up in laughter. Mother laughed, too, as I proceeded to re-dress her with her shirt on backwards.

Determined to find a solution, I discovered several online resources with clothing for patients with a variety of challenges such as mother's. It was obvious that she needed shirts and dresses with closures in the back and I had fun choosing a variety of dresses in colors she had never worn before - like pink.

A natural redhead, many of her long time friends had called mother "Red" as long as I could remember, and redheads do not wear pink, but mother had not been a redhead for many years and I decided to go for it.

I thought she looked pretty in pink - don't you?

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