having problems with my father not washing.

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by nanny2twins, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. nanny2twins

    nanny2twins Registered User

    Aug 23, 2015
    I am new to caring for my dad. He is not washing or cleaning his teeth. Bath time is a nightmare as I cant seem to make him understand that all the clothes he's been wearing have to go in the wash. He gets out of bath with pj bottoms on with dirty trousers on top, plus all the other dirty clothes in bedroom. He gets really stroppy when I try to explain. I have got to the stage where I dread bathtime. I have been his carer for 3 months now. I do realise things are going to get a lot worse, but this is the only worrying issue I have at the moment.
  2. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    Could you just take his clothes away at night and wash them, then present him with clean clothes the next morning, as if nothing had changed? Don't make a big fuss about it, explaining won't help. Unless he's really smelly or skin hygiene is an issue (incontinence), people don't have to wash every day. Would wet wipes help?
  3. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hi Nanny, welcome to TP
    How does the situation work, do you care for him in at home or does he live elsewhere?
    If you're all in the same house it's different to living apart. As Beate says I hid all my wife's clothes and just put out something new each morning and night but she co-operates and get's changed. I just tell her to take that off and put this on (with help) and she goes along with it (so far).
    As it's a first post are you aware of and getting all the help available to you?
    Don't be a stranger, come and tell us what's up because whatever it is we've seen it all before on here (somewhat sadly).
  4. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    SW London
    We had the devil of a job to get FIL to have a bath or change clothes - it was no use asking him to put clean clothes on - he was stubbornness incarnate. What I did in the end was watch like a hawk for went he went to the loo first thing, zoom in and swap all clothes for clean ones - I would have a set ready to go. He never noticed. Don't know whether you could try something similar?
  5. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    #5 LynneMcV, Aug 24, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
    Hi nanny2twins,

    I am not facing a problem with my husband washing etc (he is still very adamant about having a shower everyday and cleaning teeth) but he was getting confused over clothes. The routine that works for us at the moment is that he goes into the bathroom in his underwear, slips them off for his shower - then, when he is in the shower I nip in quickly with a clean pair of pants and whisk the other pair away. I then go into the bedroom and lay out his clothing for the day (trousers, top and socks).

    When he comes out the shower, he changes into the clean underwear, giving him a suitable level of dignity to walk across the landing to the bedroom where he changes into the clothes already put out for him. He dresses by himself, so still maintains his feeling of independence - and he seems quite happy with the level of help I have provided - enough to help him but not intrusive.
  6. Skyrim

    Skyrim Registered User

    Jun 19, 2015
    Washing problems

    Hi nanny2twins and others,

    Washing and "the changing of the clothes" are also my problem with MIl and, yes, we're in the same house so I can do a dive and retrieve for grubby clothes - which also involves frisking her bedroom for hidden items..... She can dress herself perfectly well but can't tell if someting is stained and thouroughly dislikes changing her bra (i think its because its difficult but she won't have a slip one one). I can get her yo change out of unsuitable clothes but only if she is going out, like the day centre... I have actually had to day "you're not going like that!" On one occasion, but usually her sense of pride wins through and she'll swap clothes.

    But washing is so tricky! I suspect her generation, and living in the country without hot water on tap, makes bathing a luxury, and a difficult manoeuvre at her age. A good strip wash is what she aims for, but sometimes I think she just goes into the bathroom, forgets what she's doing and tootles out again. Even on a day when she's made a good attempt, things like backs and feet never get a look in. Her makeup and nails are always perfect though.

    I have tried everything I know, including wearing my work uniform, to give some assistance but she refuses. In most cases, when starting out on this road, I'd suggest getting carers in for a short while at least, just to create a oattern, but MIL saw them off pretty sharpish and they won't push the issue on time-measured domiciliary visits. Bathing at day centres is an option but we've been on the waiting list for 12 months at least! Any other ideas gratefully received...we resort to using Febreze fabric spray to minimise the lack of freshness... But this really isn't the answer.
  7. Jessbow

    Jessbow Registered User

    My dad needed help in the shower, although he didn't have altzheimers. What he did have was some dignity and him wearing his boxers in the shower was the norm.
    he wasn't up for revealing his *bits* nor did I want to see them.

    Perhaps his dignity is being bruised? Can you reach a compromise?
  8. nanny2twins

    nanny2twins Registered User

    Aug 23, 2015

    Thanks for all your replies. The problem is iget him into bathroom with clean vest and pj's, explain that all dirty clothes go in laundry basket. He comes out with a mix of dirty and clean clothes. I have tried laying clean clothes out on a chair for the next day with a post it note stating for next day. I can't seem to get to the dirty clothes as he will not let me in the bathroom which I can understand. I am finding it very frustrating as he turns really nasty with me and starts getting in a strop like a child would. As I say this is the main problem I have at the moment.
  9. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    Can't you take away his dirty clothes at night while he is asleep?

  10. nanny2twins

    nanny2twins Registered User

    Aug 23, 2015
    Not really, he sort of cat naps. Also seems attached to money in his pocket!
  11. betsie

    betsie Registered User

    Jun 11, 2012
    We used a bathing service provided by age concern. Two ladies would come once a week and give him a bath( you could have it more than once a week) and put clean clothes on him.
    This worked well and I think my dad did what he was told as they had uniforms on and looked like nurses. They also provided a bathing service at the day centre they ran.

    I am not sure if they have this service everywhere but I would definitely say it was worth a try. I would often hear my dad laughing away while they gave him a bath, I think he liked the attention.

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