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Changing Pants and Socks

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Rach1985, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    Since my Dads diagnosis our biggest battle ground seems to have become him no longer changing his pants and socks. He will only do it after having a shower and he will now only shower once a week when he needs a shave. The only other time he will change them is if he has a doctors appointment which he will have a shower for so change them then
    He takes the dirty pants and socks off at night and then puts them back on again in the morning
    Both myself and my mum have tried talking to him and he is just adamant they aren’t dirty
    So tonight when he was in the bathroom after getting changing into his pjs I went into his bedroom got the offending pants and socks and put them in the dirty washing and walked away without saying anything. He walked in his bedroom, immediately noticed they had gone and went into the washing basket and took them back out for wearing tomorrow.
    I will be honest and tell you I called him a dirty old man. I know this is wrong but I lost my cool. He can lose really important things, forget where certain things are, but notice immediately if someone moves his dirty underwear
    What I’m asking is does anyone have any tips on what to try next?
    Should I even bother trying anything or just let it go? (I’m concerned if doing that may lead to athletes foot etc)
    Should I try getting my brother to talk to him? He is more removed from the situation

    Thanks
     
  2. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,902
    Female
    South coast
    Why not sneak into his room as you have done, but instead of just putting the things into the dirty washing basket, put them in the washing machine and switch it on?

    "Oops, sorry dad! I thought they needed washing"
     
  3. DaisyCat

    DaisyCat Registered User

    Dec 2, 2017
    70
    Female
    I'm having a similar problem with my husband. He used to be clean-shaven and would shower at least every other day. He used to love getting dressed up in smart clothes but now I have a struggle to get him to have a shower. Last week I got him to have a soak in the bath and shaved him whilst he relaxed although I did have trouble getting him out of the bath:rolleyes:. I try to pinch the dirty socks and pants and put clean ones out to replace them. Put the dirty ones in the washing machine.:oops:
     
  4. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    Yes I’m beginning to think my mistake was the basket and not putting them straight into the machine, he’s only changing his clothes once a week now too, he is wearing a pair of trousers which don’t fit (they are going in the outside bin when he isn’t looking)

    I’ll definitely go for the straight in the machine option tomorrow night, as long as I can find them, as he has now hidden the offending items tonight!!
     
  5. Grahamstown

    Grahamstown Registered User

    Jan 12, 2018
    1,254
    East of England
    I can tell you that you describe my husband and his behaviour over showering and changing clothes. He doesn’t go as far as to take the dirty clothes out of the washing basket but otherwise getting him to shower is difficult. He has become the very sort of dirty old man that he joked about years ago. It’s heartbreaking to see a previously fastidious man become like this. I take him to the barbers for a better shave every now and then, but that’s getting more difficult. I do struggle.
     
  6. Just me

    Just me Registered User

    Nov 17, 2013
    78
    When Mum first stopped changing clothes I removed the dirty ones when she was in the loo/shower and replaced them with clean.
    Years later I no longer have to sneak in to do this and it’s just part of her routine that I get her clean underwear and clothes out and make the dirty ones disappear.
     
  7. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    Yes I should replace the dirty ones with clean, hope that he doesn’t notice the difference. It was just amazing how so many things can pass him by now but he didn’t miss a trick when I moved them
    Like of all the things to notice?
     
  8. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,471
    All dad's pants and socks are the same, he even has 3 identical shirts so I just swop them before he gets up in the morning. He never notices.

    It avoids arguments that I won't win.
     
  9. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    That’s a good idea, I’ve already got about 5 pairs of socks that are the same for him. I’ll throw the others away and buy more of the same again!
     
  10. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    You can't get away with just removing the old ones because he is expecting to see them where he left them, he has that routine. But if you replace them with a new set it's very unlikely he'd notice. There's no point confronting him about it, he doesn't have the ability to be logical about the state of his undies so you just have to do it without him noticing. Fingers crossed for next time!
     
  11. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,471
    It's very odd, dad would wear the same clothes forever if it were not for me but he shaves himself 3 times a night.

    He no longer showers either but he does have a quick wash in the mornings. I don't know how good the wash is but it is probably better than nothing.

    We do our best.
     
  12. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    Yes my Dad has took to not cleaning his teeth now, but will wash his hands genuinely like a surgeon does, up his arms and everything. He does this at least 5 times a day and even when he’s not been toilet

    I know there isn’t any logic to it, but in his head there is always a reason and an explanation, it makes sense to him.
     
  13. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    Yes he has become very precise about certain routines. He has a specific place for his watch and phone when he goes to bed. A specific place for the tv remote. Same for keys. But then he will lose his glasses I would say at least once a day, as he doesn’t have a specific spot for them.
    That’s what I find strange, how some things are more important than others, but it’s seems like no reason behind it. Why no spot for his glasses? But a spot for the tv remote and his watch and his phone which he can’t see without the glasses?
    I know you’re right though, trying to put logic to it is just futile
     
  14. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    It's odd isn't it, the things which get the focus and the others which don't. I suppose there is only brain-space for a limited amount and the rest falls off the edge. My mother was very focussed on her phone (and she used to confuse her mobile phone with her landline handset, and take the latter out with her!) but didn't seem to lose those. But her keys went astray on a regular basis. I had thought that maybe the keys were SO important that they had to be safely 'hidden' - and then she couldn't remember where she hid them (unlikely places, like under her pillow). Good luck with the undies!
     
  15. Bikerbeth

    Bikerbeth Registered User

    Feb 11, 2019
    125
    Bedford
    The lack of logic behind the actions is one of many I struggle with but hopefully as time goes on get better at dealing with
     
  16. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    Yes I’m trying to take the approach of if he is happy then leave him be, which is fine on the smaller things but when it’s something important it’s harder, still it’s only been a few months. I suppose there’s that dread as well of if it’s like this now how bad will it get?
    But then I find myself making adjustments and I’m sure I will again in the future
     
  17. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    Yes last night he has found a new hiding place for them and this morning was up and dressed at 445am, so I think he has cottoned on to my tactics
    Maybe leave it a day or two? Let him think the issue has died or that he will just naturally forget, then try again?
     
  18. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,414
    Female
    Yes leave it a little while until he has (hopefully) forgotten there is an issue.
     
  19. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    2,839
    Nottinghamshire
    I remember the joys (not) of this phase with my dad and as he lived on his own I had to get creative but one of the simplest things I did was replace all his pants with identical ones. I bought white ones as he was also starting to have accidents at the time and he didn’t spot the pads in the white pants if I taped them down well!

    By the end dad also had six pairs of identical trousers and I used to hide his dirty washing in the garage as he’d take it out of the washing machine.

    Mind you he did tell me that men only needed to wash their pants once a week and trousers once a year :eek::eek:...

    I was never quite sure if he was serious :confused:
     
  20. Rach1985

    Rach1985 Registered User

    Jun 9, 2019
    398
    Yes I’m definitely going down the identical pant and sock route now. I think it’s the only solution without leading to argument
    At the moment he believes a shower once a week is enough, unless he has an appointment in which case he will shower twice then, and that is when he changes his underwear as in his words you only need clean pants with a clean body
     

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