Advice needed mum not changing her clothes

clsea1

Registered User
Aug 17, 2015
6
Hi need a bit of advice of how to approach this matter.
Mum has been diagnosed with alzheimers since 2013, she lives on her own and this week have noticed she has had same clothes on all week. Not sure how to mention it without upsetting her or embarrassing her.
 

Malalie

Registered User
Sep 1, 2016
306
Same problem here Cl with MIL. Have had no luck in saying things like "Oh look - theres a bit of something on your cardi, shall I get a clean one out?" which gets met with "It's only my house cleaning clothes - nobody is going to see me...."

What is happening I think is that she can't use the washing machine any more, so she is washing bits she notices off under the tap, and that then becomes clean to her.

When her daughter comes to stay, we can distract her and get a load of stuff in the machine and restock the wardrobe with clean stuff.

So...(I live about 15 mins away by car and am there about every other day)....I have to be sneaky.

If she steps outside - "It's cold out there - put this thicker jumper on"....(Stash disgusting cardi and take it home to wash)

If we take her out for lunch -"We've got a table by the fire - you'll be to hot in that - put this on....' (STASH, wash.....) I'm sure you get the gist.

MIL does all her own washing, ironing, cooking finances apparently- and when we leave her she often says -" do call in when you're passing by." This could be in the evening after OH has been called first thing in the morning by the carers saying that they can't get into the house - to find her sitting on the floor by the bed unable to get up..... She didn't fall - she was just "doing it for fun" No awareness of her impairment whatsoever - not her fault possibly, but it makes it so terribly difficult to try an look after her.

It's basically, don't ask, just do it quick without a fuss, ignoring umbrage. It sort of works for me.......I just worry about the undies......:eek: Subterfuge, white lies and a bit of light pilfering is the answer. And a very large hand bag.
 

Tin

Registered User
May 18, 2014
4,825
UK
Do you think she is also sleeping in these same clothes? and probably not taking a bath or shower? If she is taking a wash and then putting the same clothes back on, this could be because that is all she sees, any chance you could be there at wash time and then swop her dirty clothes for a whole new, clean set. If this works then it will be something you will have to do for her from now on.
 

Malalie

Registered User
Sep 1, 2016
306
It would obviously be easier to whip away the soiled clothes at night and replace them for the morning if you live with your PWD, but its very tricky if you live away.

Even changing a pair of trousers (IF you can convince her that she needs to...) takes an age, what with the arthritis and the leg ulcers - it's quite an ordeal for an elderly person even if they don't have dementia. I've had to do it a couple of times with MIL for important occasions and it causes a lot of upset and distress, so I just try and put up with the dirty clothes as best as I can. Until I can think up of another plan.....
 

Boz Rihan

Registered User
Dec 9, 2016
35
Clothes

Luckily (or sadly) Mum cannot dress herself so I can put on clean clothes usually without a problem unless she decides that her favourite jumper is the most awful thing she has ever seen ... at night time I say I am hanging up her clothes and just take them away. In the mornings tho I have to sniff everything. Some nights i fall asleep so i am not sure what she gets up to during the night except when i find puddles and then have to sniff as i don't know what she might have used to wipe herself. Toilet paper and wet wipes by the commode are unused- as is the commode very often! Hey ho.
 

reedysue

Registered User
Nov 4, 2014
4,709
Scotland
It would obviously be easier to whip away the soiled clothes at night and replace them for the morning if you live with your PWD, but its very tricky if you live away.
Believe me it's still tricky if you live with your PWD, I have to sneak in and try to grab my mums clothes when she is not looking, if she caught me in her room I would get both barrels. :rolleyes:
 

bumblefeet

Registered User
Oct 25, 2016
99
We had the same issue with my mum, and as others, no luck with 'you've just got a bit of something' on your trousers. (massive skid marks, sorry for brutal honesty!!).
Even though she is now in residential care, the staff have similar trouble, as she refuses help with personal care.
Subterfuge is the answer, along with asking for more to 'fill the machine', or tell her you're doing a dark wash etc. You just have to use trigger words to get them to comply.

My bugbear is my mums slippers. She has some sort of skin complaint on her legs, and is heavily bandaged all the time, on both legs. The skin weeps, (it's not infected), and therefore wets her slipppers. Not a problem, she just puts them on the radiator, and wears them again the next day when they've dried out....:eek:
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
One ploy I have heard of is to 'accidentally' spill a glass of water over their clothes - 'Oh, silly me, sorry, let me get you some dry things ...'.

I never thought of this one, alas!
 

jen54

Registered User
May 20, 2014
235
We have this with mum, elasticated waisted skirts are easier..luckily I found some that were not .old women's....in her words, so she lives in those skirts,and short sleeve round neck jumpers..she always bought from m&s or bhs..so charity shops are where I look
Sadly mum has forgotten how to use washing machine..but tbh, these mirden things..if you don't constantly use them..you do tend to forget,she doesn't vac I think due to sane thing with her vacuum
We just take clothes and either replace with new ones..ie she had a donkey old cream jumper that was disgusting..and I couldn't get it clean even after several washes etc,so that went
I leave clean clothes by her bed..and if I note she has changed..i nip upstairs and rummage where she hides the stuff she takes off
But she cant our on tights any more and my idea if knee highs wasn't well received..lol
And she tends to take off bras if she bothers to out them on,as they are uncomfortable..again I am washing and trying to find new ones she will wear..or will fit,I sm armed with bra extenders etc..
I washed her cardis when I can sneak one..
Luckily mum only likes a skirt and jumper..
When she fell,she was only wearing a jumper, so had to make her decent for husband to lift..a elasticated flared skirt just pulled on over head and pulled down so it was on properly,the jumpers she likes are loose and nit to hard to slip into.
 

Boz Rihan

Registered User
Dec 9, 2016
35
Bras

Mum has 2 or 3 of those pull on soft bras which can be tricky going over her head etc but no fastenings. Does not wear skirts and only likes dark trousers so lots of sniffing but she loves to wipe dirty fingers down the sides of het trousers despite endless napkins or kitchen towels. Have to tell you this as it still makes me giggle. My bro and I took mum out for lunch one Sunday to a carvery. We thought she haf done really well with the meal until we were leaving and found most of her lunch on the floor/in her lap. We looked at each other shrugged our shoulders and actually laughed something we had not done for ages. We were laughing at ourselves not at mum. She once asked me to prove i was her daughter (at 3 in the morning) and i said my birth certificate was upstairs. She said that anyone can forge a document. Nuff said.
 

clsea1

Registered User
Aug 17, 2015
6
Hi

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

Did not think she could be sleeping in the clothes as well, I also dont want to think about underwear !!

Think i will maybe have to go there every morning to supervise washing and dressing.

Mum wont be happy though

Carol
 

Ginny Hendricks

Registered User
Feb 18, 2016
17
We've recently encountered this problem with my 92-year-old mother, who has Alzheimer's and lives alone; fortunately she has plenty of visits from both professional and family carers so most of the time we get round it by putting clean clothes on her bedroom chair (with a note saying 'clean clothes') for the morning carer, who also assists with her shower, to help her put on. It doesn't always work, though, and sometimes we find the clean clothes untouched - usually, I think, when there's a carer who's unfamiliar with the routine - and she also sometimes says that her socks or pants are clean when we know they aren't, though she's never aggressive.

I know we've been very lucky (insofar as anyone dealing with this can be) in that both my parents have remained pleasant and friendly (my father's in a nursing home with LBD and going downhill fast now) so suggestions about clothing, even if she thinks we're wrong, are normally accepted; I only hope this continues.

It certainly sounds as if supervised washing and dressing is the way to go if possible.

Wishing you, and all carers, all the best.
 

SharonH

Registered User
Jan 12, 2017
7
It's so good to read all these helpful hints! We have same problem with both parents although mum is easier to encourage to change but it's getting to be a huge problem with dad as he's incontinent . Mostly urine but bowels are becoming a problem too and as neither of them think there is anything wrong it's very hard. I've tried gently broaching subject with dad, ( I work for bladder and Bowel service so talk to people all the time about this!) he just gets angry. I'm going to have to have stay over I think and do some smuggling out !! I already sneak out the wet pants he hangs on the headboard of the bed!!
 

SharonH

Registered User
Jan 12, 2017
7
It's not easy, clsea1, I'm learning to be a bit sneaky, it gets easier just to swop stuff over, the confrontation and trying to help is just hard work I've found. I do like suggestions about spilling a drink. Wonderful!
 

Slugsta

Registered User
Aug 25, 2015
2,762
South coast of England
We also removed my Mum's knickers when she started wearing pull-ups. She has stopped wearing a bra and, to be honest, I don't thunk it is a battle worth fighting as long as she has something on up top!

Mum is up and dressed in the mornings before the carers arrive, she won't let them help her with personal care. She will put wet (urine) trousers out to dry on top of clean stuff - so I have to perform the sniff test too!

I have recently discovered that Mum is not always going to bed at night, I don't think she takes off her clothes at night either. I go in 3 times a week so I try and change anything I know she has been wearing since the last time I saw her.

The evening carers change Mum's sock for bedsocks _ I had to specifically ask them to remove the dirty socks so that Mum doesn't just put them back on in the morning :rolleyes:
 

Sweetsheep

Registered User
Jan 12, 2017
66
My MIL also keeps putting the same clothing on but will not allow me to look through her wardrobe to find the dirty clothing she keeps putting back. Occasionally when we send her to my SIL for respite, my husband goes through her bag to check she has enough clothing, and we then ask SIL to wash what's in the bag. MiL washes her pants in her basin at night with hand wash or body wash and we have tried to convince her to put them in the wash basket. But she refuses. She now also washes our tea cups in the basin, so you can imagine my horror when discovering she had been putting them back in our kitchen cupboards and we have been using them! .

The irony though is that she keeps going out with me and when at my SIL and buying loads of new clothing which she never wears, or worst off, wears once and then totally dislikes, and never wears again.

She has the same 2 tops she wears over and over (short sleeve) and even wears these on the coldest days!

I was lucky enough to find 2 bras which were brown from the make up she cakes on her face and weeks of not being washed. However.....I accidently added them to a wash which had a new pair of jeans in and dyed them blue! Pretty funny at the time because she didn't mind them being filthy dirty but refused to wear them as a shade of pale blue!

I have given up trying to trick her into giving me the washing. I have been accused of treating her like a child, and so I am now letting my husband deal with the issue.
 

Elle3

Registered User
Jun 30, 2016
636
Hi need a bit of advice of how to approach this matter.
Mum has been diagnosed with alzheimers since 2013, she lives on her own and this week have noticed she has had same clothes on all week. Not sure how to mention it without upsetting her or embarrassing her.
Hi, I have the same problem, but I'm dealing with my dad which is slightly more embarrassing trying to tell him he needs to wash and change his clothes. He really smells now, but refuses to change. Also, when he does change he insists on hanging his clothes back in his wardrobe and says they are clean. We also know he has little 'accidents' which is hard to address and he becomes embarrassed and offended. I periodically go through all his clothes trying to find the worn ones so I can take them home to be washed (without him knowing), it's not nice smelling the crotch on all his trousers and doing the same with his underwear drawer!!!

I also can't get him to wash himself properly (I refuse to go there!!), and I don't know what to do. :(
 

elvismad

Registered User
Jan 8, 2012
289
Mum forgets what she has worn the previous day and if these clothes are hanging on the back of her chair she will put them on the next day. She does have a morning carer to get her showered and dressed so I try to get mum ready for bed each evening before I leave (about 7.30PM) so I can put the old clothes in the laundry basket. Sometimes mum agrees to this and sometimes she decides its too early to put on PJ's. One night a week we got out for meal or a Late drive and as it is later, there is no issue for her getting ready for bed before I leave. To be fair , if she wears a jumper for a couple of days, its not such an issue. I know she enjoys her morning shower and she is always presentable. Thankfully she still loves to get herself together.
I don't bother with a sniff test, I just assume the clothes will need washing.