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Hygiene problems


Registered User
Dec 19, 2013
Epsom surrey
My husband refuses to shower or wash and it is with great difficulty and through much aggression from him that I get him to use a toothbrush at all.
He uses pads day and night, has mixed dementia and spastic quadraparesis and bladder difficulties resulting from bladder cancer ( in remission). He also sleeps for at least 12 hours, great, it gives me 'me ' time in the mornings.
I have had success in using medi wipes to keep him clean but he will not allow me to use them on his face. I manage to give his face a cursory wipe in spite of his protests most days. I have been able to get tasteless toothpaste after he said he hated the taste but this has made little difference to his willingness to clean his teeth and freshen his mouth when he gets up. He will not let me near his hair or beard although I have been doing this for 27 years and recently agreed to visit my hairdresser to have a shave and haircut.
Is this refusal to keep clean common? Has anyone found a solution other than the ones I use. He used to agree to showers together but even that doesn't work anymore.


Registered User
Oct 13, 2013
North Somerset
Very common, I'm afraid. Had masses of problems with personal care and even the carers at his CH still do it in pairs. I'm sure you will get lots of responses on your thread and hopefully some advice which I'm afraid I can't give you! Best wishes.


Registered User
Mar 24, 2014
Those Medi-wipes are supposed to be excellent, Bru. I've read some very good reviews on them.

I also had trouble with my husband's complete lack of personal hygiene when he still lived with me. Thank goodness, the people who now look after him in full time care are able to keep him and his clothing very clean. That's the one thing I'm really grateful for.

Is it possible for you to have people in who would wash and dress your loved one for you as part of a care package?


Registered User
Nov 11, 2012
Hi Bru
My mum was very similar, refusing any help and getting quite aggressive about anyone trying to help her. She wouldn't let my dad clean/wash her clothing and insisted on washing out her underwear by hand every evening (not sure she ever used any soap) and left wet stuff on radiators in the summer when there was no heating on. Even when she had carers in she was so convincing about her ability to do things for herself they would wit outside the bathroom while she was apparently washing. I had to explain to them they needed to go in and help her (she had a broken arm at the time!) The only time her hair got washed was when I took her to the hairdressers. Mum moved into a care home just over 2 years ago and they got her sorted out very quickly. I'll ask them how they did it as they are lovely and very gentle with her. She always looks very clean and well-cared for.

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