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Avoidance/refusal of personal hygiene

Emilypen

New member
Jul 14, 2019
41
0
My husband is constantly untruthful about whether he has washed/cleaned teeth/ changed underwear. I ask him if he has done any of these things and he nearly always says he has. Checking toothbrush/wash basin tells me he hasn't. He does not want me to help and he gets cross if I try to persuade him to be a little cleaner, especially with his teeth. Life is challenging enough without having arguments about cleanliness, but how do I ensure that basic, personal hygiene is carried out. He recently has a really bad bladder infection, which resulted in a frightening increase in his confusion and irrational behaviour. I wonder if this infection was a result of his poor hygiene. My husband is 6ft and a big man, whilst I am 5ft 2ins, so dealing with a difficult chappie isn't easy! I'd be grateful for any advice.
 

Tambo26

New member
Jun 30, 2022
1
0
My mom THINKS she has showered etc. every day. She will NOT allow my father to help her either. She gets so ugly with him that he is afraid to try. I am able to give her a shower, wash her tush even, floss her teeth and brush them for her. MOST of the time (now) this is with little push-back. Not the case 6months ago when my sweet mother that never swore would barrage me with a steady stream of F-BOMBS the entire time! LOL! Maybe your husband would benefit from an outside person helping him? I also find that humor and joking the whole time and also using the Alzheimer's to my benefit as I can easily distract her. I talk non-stop (not my personality typically) to keep her focused on me and not the task at hand. Seems to work for us. We do the shower the same way every time, I say the same things every time. She is familiar with some of the routine, ironically. Hearts!
 

Newanne

Registered User
May 1, 2010
55
0
clitheroe
My oh is still quite capable of doing most things. As long as he doesn't have to plan, problem solve or answer questions. But he has just stopped looking after himself. He's never been brilliant at showers etc but he would alway shower/bath once a week at least. Now he just will not do it. He will not wash his hair or clean his teeth. He would wear the same clothes (including underwear) if I didn't sneak them away. I've tried being nice about it, I've tried being firm and I've tried being honest, yes really honest, telling him he smells, his clothes smell he need a shower and clean clothes. It can go on for months, not just days/weeks. I just don't know what to do either. He does shave and wash his face but it's like he just wets everything and wipes it onto the towel. I have to wash it every time he uses it. It's been interesting hear others experiences and will have to try to sneak clothes away more often, not sure what else I can do. Hugs to everyone.
 

UncleZen

Registered User
Dec 24, 2019
34
0
Sounds familiar. Only this week I mentioned to my wife (PWD) that her armpits were a bit fragrant. She said, its not the armpits it's the shirt she was wearing.
 

AbbyGee

Registered User
Nov 26, 2018
561
0
Portsmouth, South Coast
The best way I can get my OH in the shower is to try and make a fun PARTY ON! event of it.
'Hey, c'mon, geezer! Let's get sparkly clean and shiny!'
Music in the bathroom. Both in the cubicle together. I do his hair and soapy wash then he sits on the little comfy chair, all wrapped in dry towels, whilst I grab a catch up splish-splash.
It ain't perfect ... but what is these days?
So long as his skinny little botty is clean (usually washed off at least once a day with flannel and soap) I can live with the rest.
Teeth get scrubbed downstairs in the kitchen after coffee when he's a little more relaxed. No point in trying to push pooh uphill with spaghetti, eh?
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
12,448
0
Yorkshire
Hello @Tambo26
A warm welcome to DTP

I agree about routines being helpful in some situations ... the clear, stepped instructions, same each time in the same environment helped my dad and me .... I wondered whether it was like a nursery rhyme, and found my voice and rhythm of words becoming soothing for both of us (and when I was calm, dad was more likely to feel comfortable too)

That said, sadly nothing works all the time ... though it was a useful 'tool' to try in various ways
 

Quite contrary

Registered User
Jan 5, 2020
323
0
Ilford, Essex
Well, my husband is at this very moment in the bathroom having suddenly decided completely out of the blue that he is going to have a shave AND hairwash AND bath, the last two for the first time in 3 months!
 

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
67,141
0
71
Dundee
Well, my husband is at this very moment in the bathroom having suddenly decided completely out of the blue that he is going to have a shave AND hairwash AND bath, the last two for the first time in 3 months!

Wow! That's great news!
 

Emilypen

New member
Jul 14, 2019
41
0
Well, my husband is at this very moment in the bathroom having suddenly decided completely out of the blue that he is going to have a shave AND hairwash AND bath, the last two for the first time in 3 months!
Hi Quite contrary. It's a tough problem, isn't it? How have you managed with going out and meeting people, when your husband is not perhaps as fresh as you would like?! My husband has just decided that emptying a nearly full cannister of Brut deodorant over his body, is what's required. I can hardly breathe at the moment! 😂
 

Quite contrary

Registered User
Jan 5, 2020
323
0
Ilford, Essex
Hi Quite contrary. It's a tough problem, isn't it? How have you managed with going out and meeting people, when your husband is not perhaps as fresh as you would like?! My husband has just decided that emptying a nearly full cannister of Brut deodorant over his body, is what's required. I can hardly breathe at the moment! 😂
He rarely goes out to meet people! The last time he did I really put my foot down and was so pleased I did because the following day he was taken to hospital after collapsing. In the meantime he uses Lynx deoderant!
 

Emilypen

New member
Jul 14, 2019
41
0
He rarely goes out to meet people! The last time he did I really put my foot down and was so pleased I did because the following day he was taken to hospital after collapsing. In the meantime he uses Lynx deoderant!
Lynx! Ha ha. It's a good job we've got a sense of humour! Hope your husband was OK.
 

Emilypen

New member
Jul 14, 2019
41
0
He rarely goes out to meet people! The last time he did I really put my foot down and was so pleased I did because the following day he was taken to hospital after collapsing. In the meantime he uses Lynx deoderant!
Lynx!
The best way I can get my OH in the shower is to try and make a fun PARTY ON! event of it.
'Hey, c'mon, geezer! Let's get sparkly clean and shiny!'
Music in the bathroom. Both in the cubicle together. I do his hair and soapy wash then he sits on the little comfy chair, all wrapped in dry towels, whilst I grab a catch up splish-splash.
It ain't perfect ... but what is these days?
So long as his skinny little botty is clean (usually washed off at least once a day with flannel and soap) I can live with the rest.
Teeth get scrubbed downstairs in the kitchen after coffee when he's a little more relaxed. No point in trying to push pooh uphill with spaghetti, eh?

The best way I can get my OH in the shower is to try and make a fun PARTY ON! event of it.
'Hey, c'mon, geezer! Let's get sparkly clean and shiny!'
Music in the bathroom. Both in the cubicle together. I do his hair and soapy wash then he sits on the little comfy chair, all wrapped in dry towels, whilst I grab a catch up splish-splash.
It ain't perfect ... but what is these days?
So long as his skinny little botty is clean (usually washed off at least once a day with flannel and soap) I can live with the rest.
Teeth get scrubbed downstairs in the kitchen after coffee when he's a little more relaxed. No point in trying to push pooh uphill with spaghetti, eh?
AbbyGee- you have made me laugh! Unfortunately, in my case, my hubby doesn't really let me see his not-so-skinny botty, so I've no idea if it ever gets washed! I bought wipes, but still to no avail. And, as for teeth, no chance! It is what it is, I suppose. We all need to pick our battles, don't we?
 

Anthoula

Registered User
Apr 22, 2022
33
0
My goodness, not washing! I`m sorry but the thought fills me with dread and disgust. Surely it is unhealthy for the person concerned as well as those close to them.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
18,833
0
South coast
My goodness, not washing! I`m sorry but the thought fills me with dread and disgust. Surely it is unhealthy for the person concerned as well as those close to them.
Yes, it probably is, but what is euphemistically termed "resistance to personal care" is very much a feature of mid-stage dementia. You will find countless threads on here all with a variation on "how do I get him to wash?"
It is made all the harder as the person with dementia usually thinks that they are washing and gets very angry or upset at the suggestion that they arnt.
 

john1939

Registered User
Sep 21, 2017
199
0
Newtownabbey
Hello, I had a similar problem with my wife who is now resident in a care home. She steadfastly refused to shower or change her clothes and would violently resist any attempt to help. The dementia Support Team were asked for their advice and they took a fairly relaxed view of the problem saying that we should just keep trying, after all they said no one ever died of poor personal hygiene! not very helpful, I think. Eventually the problem was solved when my wife entered a care home about seven months ago. The staff eventually wore her down and have reported that she is being showered 19 days a month. Not bad considering what went on at home.
 

Emilypen

New member
Jul 14, 2019
41
0
My goodness, not washing! I`m sorry but the thought fills me with dread and disgust. Surely it is unhealthy for the person concerned as well as those close to them.
It's a terrible dilemma, made worse during the pandemic, when my husband didn't or wouldn't was his hands. I clean the kitchen constantly and use Milton to wipe surfaces. Needless to say, the minute I've finished, in he comes and leans on the worktop! Bless his cotton socks. I try and encourage him to shower when I change the sheets, cos I explain they're clean so I'd like him to be too. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. It's not great, but you have to pick your battles!