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Lack of personal hygiene

Debstuck

New member
Nov 24, 2020
3
0
Hi, I care for my Mum and Dad who both have dementia. My Dad was always meticulous about hygiene, but his personal hygiene is non existent now and I'm at my wits end to know how to support him with this. He insists he's showering and changing his clothes regularly, but he hasn't actually showered or washed this year, although he believes he has. He is filthy and his clothes and body are also really dirty and smelly. He just doesn't see this. Any advice please? Debs
 

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
16,859
0
66
Toronto, Canada
Welcome to DTP @Debstuck . Personal hygiene is such a difficult issue. I well remember my previously very fastidious mother absolutely reeking of every body odour at once. It was horrible. I used to offer my mother a choice between a bath or a shower. Sometimes that worked. More than once, I bluntly told her she stunk. Sometimes that worked too.

What about a strip wash? Would he accept any assistance from anyone? I'm thinking a professional here, as often a person will respond better to a stranger than a family member, particularly if that stranger is in some sort of uniform. Does your father change into pyjamas? That's an opportunity to snatch the dirty clothes away at least. What about bribing with a special treat? I'm just throwing out ideas here.

Good luck, I found the smelly time so very difficult emotionally.
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
1,136
0
High Peak
There's always the tried and tested, 'Oh I'm so sorry dad! I've spilled this entire mug of (luke warm) tomato soup all over you! Here - let me help you get showered and changed...'
 

Debstuck

New member
Nov 24, 2020
3
0
Welcome to DTP @Debstuck . Personal hygiene is such a difficult issue. I well remember my previously very fastidious mother absolutely reeking of every body odour at once. It was horrible. I used to offer my mother a choice between a bath or a shower. Sometimes that worked. More than once, I bluntly told her she stunk. Sometimes that worked too.

What about a strip wash? Would he accept any assistance from anyone? I'm thinking a professional here, as often a person will respond better to a stranger than a family member, particularly if that stranger is in some sort of uniform. Does your father change into pyjamas? That's an opportunity to snatch the dirty clothes away at least. What about bribing with a special treat? I'm just throwing out ideas here.

Good luck, I found the smelly time so very difficult emotionally.
Welcome to DTP @Debstuck . Personal hygiene is such a difficult issue. I well remember my previously very fastidious mother absolutely reeking of every body odour at once. It was horrible. I used to offer my mother a choice between a bath or a shower. Sometimes that worked. More than once, I bluntly told her she stunk. Sometimes that worked too.

What about a strip wash? Would he accept any assistance from anyone? I'm thinking a professional here, as often a person will respond better to a stranger than a family member, particularly if that stranger is in some sort of uniform. Does your father change into pyjamas? That's an opportunity to snatch the dirty clothes away at least. What about bribing with a special treat? I'm just throwing out ideas here.

Good luck, I found the smelly time so very difficult emotionally.
Hi Joanne, yes it very difficult emotionally and heart breaking to witness this, when your parents were so fastidious about their personal hygiene in the past. I'm sorry you've experienced this issue too. My Mum has carers in, so I think I might ask them if they could help Dad with a shower. Like you said, it's someone in a uniform and not a family member, so he may accept this! Many thanks for your reply! 😁