No shower in a long time


Registered User
May 1, 2010
How do I get him to take a shower but I'm lost I don't know what to do
I have the same problem. My OH functions well with most things but his personnel care is terrible. Its now 2 months since he had a shower 😔. He does wash his hair occasionally, only when I get angry about it and he doesn't do it very well. I have to sneak his clothes away in the night or he'd never change them. It's a problem that I can't see an answer to. Sorry this is no help to you but just wanted you to know you're not on your own.


Registered User
Nov 23, 2012
My OH respects authority - thus "the doctor says you must shower / wash your hair / brush your teeth" etc works for us.


Volunteer Moderator
Oct 28, 2019
Hello @mommaT and welcome to the forum. This is an issue that is raised on a regular basis on the forum and there is not an easy answer. I have attached a link which you might find useful and hopefully more people will come along with their own ideas.

If he will not take a shower would he consider using adult cleaning wet wipes such as these from Amazon. My husband used these when he had a foot injury and was finding it difficult to shower.



Registered User
Sep 17, 2022
I had similar problems with my partner, who had Vascular Dementia. We only had an over bath shower, and it simply became too dangerous to try and get in to climb in and out the bath, and uncomfortable and frightening, (I think for him). He would let me wash his hair ( you can get no rinse shampoos which seem to work quite well, although hair does seem to 'self clean' after a while - I only wash my mum's about every few months and her hair always seems clean - Dad's, though is another matter). He would let me shave him, he would let chiropodists cut his toenails, teeth cleaning was a problem (constant nagging from me) but he would use mouthwash without prompting, and every so often I would sit him on a chair in front of washbasin ("Right - just a quick wash today love" - "Can we do it tomorrow?" - "No, let's just get it over and done"), give him a soapy flannel (just wash your bits, pet), and I would do arms, legs, chest, back, etc., with flannel or wet wipes, etc. You can get no rinse foam, which can also be useful.

I am well aware that not everyone is as lovely as my man was, and just will not allow any of this sort of thing. It wasn't always easy, and sometimes you have to pick your moments or just let it go for a few days. Some PWD will respond better to a carer doing this, and certainly "the doctor says . . ." is always worth a try. I used to tell him we needed to make sure he didn't get any skin problems, because then we would have to see the doctor.

He would put on the clean clothes I put out for him, and never smelt (that I was aware of, anyway!), and I probably only managed the wash about every 3-4 weeks (I long ago gave up worrying about the OTs going on about bathing/showering every day - they clearly had no idea what dementia can be like!).

All I can say is keep trying various ways, try not to stress about it too much, and things do change so maybe what seems impossible today may become possible in the future.


Registered User
Dec 29, 2021
I have never had an issue washing my wife who I care for. She has Alzheimer's and as the disease has progressed, I have taken on all her needs.
We had a wet room installed partially funded by the council, which is a huge help. At the end of the day my main responsibility is to keep my wife anxiety free, therefore not having a shower everyday is not an issue. At the beginning of this journey, she was able to make choices, to maintain a level of independence, but as her cognitive ability and processing information has deteriorated, I make choices for her which reduces her anxiety.
The advice I would offer is to step back and consider all the issues you are facing and ask yourself are they really an issue, what are your priorities, is washing your partner everyday really important. At the end of the day who knows what our loved ones are thinking, we just need to help them feel safe and by reducing anxiety on both sides is so important.


Registered User
Dec 9, 2023
I have the same problem and for the last 6 months have only managed to get my wife in the shower once per week and some weeks not even that. Hygiene has gone out the window and she doesn't seem to care any more about personal hygiene. I have resorted to getting (and paying for) social workers/nurses who come in twice a week early in the morning to get her into the shower. Even they find it difficult but they are female and also have the patience/ expertise that I don't possess. I'm afraid that will continue for the forseeable future because the result of not washing is UTI's which we have already experienced, and that carries a whole set of different problems.
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