1. Vera's den

    Vera's den Registered User

    Feb 3, 2016
    54
    Lancashire
    Hi all, how do I get my fil to put his laundry in the basket for washing. It's a constant battle to get him to change his clothes but when he does he puts them back in the cupboard or wardrobe and just reuse them later in the week. He lives alone in sheltered housing with carers going in daily for meals and medication. They are supposed to shower him but he has refused for about 4 months now. He does wash but not always effectively. I visit every day to check on him and do the laundry and the general cleaning. I find I am constantly going through his cupboards and drawers trying to find the worn underwear etc. He gets very annoyed about this always insisting he has already done the laundry even though it's been many months since he could remember how to use the machine. I've now put a white board in his bedroom with reminders on but he has told me he will only do it if he feels like it. So far he hasn't felt like it. Any ideas :confused:
     
  2. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,127
    eastern USA
    So you mean he is hiding his dirty clothes in with clean clothes, and shelves and cupboards of items unrelated to clothing? If this were happening to me, I might try using just one dresser for him and put child locks on the others. If you are going in every day, you can place clean clothes out for him. If you could be there when they are there to shower him, you might be able to persuade him to get showered. My mother will almost always acquiesce if I am in the room; otherwise, she could easily get the carers who come to our home to avoid doing what I've hired them to do.

    Finally, if you are using wardrobes, I might take the doors off the wardrobes, so that he could see his clean clothes placed in there neatly and would have difficulty hiding anything. I might substitute bookshelves or other kinds of shelves if he is using dressers. These are drastic measures, but they might be effective.

    Lovely that you are trying so hard to take care of him. I hope something changes for you so he becomes easier. I should add that I finally gave up trying to get my mother into street clothes, especially when she was not going out, so we let her stay in her pjs - more comfortable, easier to manage during toileting, and so forth. There is some dignity in dressing for the day, but when she lost track of night and day, even that didn't matter.
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,601
    Female
    Scotland
    Yes, limit his access to all of his clothes. My husband is drawer and wardrobe obsessive. Puts on several layers of everything just so he can pull out drawers and rummage through them. The bottom layer would be what he had on the day before or his pyjamas or both. If you simplify his clothes it will be easier to find the laundry and replace it with a clean set which you could take each visit.

    I whip away his worn clothes each night and I have just bought new pyjamas which are very unlike his daytime shirts. I intend to take away all his other plain pale blue pyjamas If this works.
    Less choice seems to work but of course this is just until a new issue pops up! Good luck.
     
  4. Witzend

    Witzend Registered User

    Aug 29, 2007
    4,282
    SW London
    What I did with my FIL, who was extremely stubborn about changing his clothes, was to watch like a hawk for when he went to the loo first thing, have a clean set ready, charge in and substitute. I never said a word about it and he never noticed the difference.

    Obviously you have to be on the spot to do this which is probably not possible for you, but could carers be asked to do it while he's having a bath or shower? I know all too well that these things are not easy.
     
  5. Vera's den

    Vera's den Registered User

    Feb 3, 2016
    54
    Lancashire
    Thanks

    Thanks for you ideas my fil is to angry with me at the moment to listen to me about showering. He feels it's all my fault he is in this situation I take him to his appointments and until I interfered he never needed a doctor. I had a long talk with my husband last night and we have decided to limit the number of drawers he has and rearrange his wardrobe so he has less hanging space. He is a hoarder so a lot of the clothes he has don't fit any more because he doesn't eat much. He won't like it but hopefully he will quickly forget he is always smartly dressed shirt tie waistcoat on Sunday I just wish he realised that soiled clothes don't look good on anyone.
     
  6. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,127
    eastern USA
    Sounds like this might be something your OH could handle, perhaps going in together and working on clearing out when FIL is being showered or toileted. Doing it in front of him will set off a load of resentment and confusion. We always get my mother out of her room - well, almost always - in a wheelchair when we are making changes. Otherwise, she gets overstimulated, watching us, and all hell breaks loose by evening. Good luck. Limiting, rearranging - these worked here with my mother for a time, when she was still ambulatory.
     
  7. fliss

    fliss Registered User

    Feb 3, 2016
    4
    We are going through the same problem with my MIL. She finds an excuse every time why we can not take any dirty washing away. She lives in a warden controlled home with laundry facilities. We offer her the opportunity to put her own clothes in the washing machine so we don't see any soiling but she refuses. In about 5 months we have only managed to get one jumper and one pair of trousers from her to wash. I think she throws underwear out. We used distraction methods this weekend to change the bed linen but she knew we were up to something and it was very difficult keeping her out of the bedroom! I think distraction and visiting in pairs helps.


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  8. Vera's den

    Vera's den Registered User

    Feb 3, 2016
    54
    Lancashire
    New chests of drawers bought so in a week or so we should have them installed fil not keen but he did say a few weeks ago that he was going to sort through all his things he isn't going to remember he said it but if I suggest it was his idea and he was going to start in the bedroom he maybe more amenable.
    We don't always disagree but he always has to be right and he says I don't know anything about him. All he talks about is being in the Navy but that was during the war not just a few years ago. I have researched his ship so we could talk about the places he has been but he won't talk to me about it because I won't understand. Since his wife died 4 years ago he seems to be down on women. I don't answer back anymore I know it's just the AD but that doesn't stop it hurting does it.
     
  9. CJinUSA

    CJinUSA Registered User

    Jan 20, 2014
    1,127
    eastern USA
    Wonderful. What a loving and kind daughter-in-law. Researched his ship! You are amazing. If he is mentally back in his Navy days, maybe he is also living in a time (his wife's and my mother's time) when women were often *not* listened to and were taken for granted. Who knows. What we know here is how you care for him and have concern for him, and yes, he is likely to say hurtful things, but it's the dementia talking.

    Today, I spent the morning with my mother, as usual, trying to engage her in conversation about things we often talk about, and she was unable to have any interest at all. The caregiver shows up at the appointed time, and isn't my mother a chattykin. Sometimes I do think that the main caregiver is taken for granted and all the newcomers are treated, as for show, like guests. This disease never ceases to amaze me.

    And you - what a gem you are to your husband and his family.
     
  10. Pegsdaughter

    Pegsdaughter Registered User

    Oct 7, 2014
    129
    London
    Navy types are usually very neat and tidy because of space constraints on ships. You could say about that and how clean you assume everything had to be on hms whatever and it might stir a few memories of those days.


    Sent from my iPad using Talking Point
     
  11. Vera's den

    Vera's den Registered User

    Feb 3, 2016
    54
    Lancashire
    Thank you for the kind words. I just wanted to have something we could talk about it used to be my grandchildren his great grandchildren but now he doesn't remember them he sometimes talks about "the girl" who I think must be the 13 year old but although there are 7 great grandchildren he doesn't know them now. I am feeling good today we had a rare weekend so I'll be on my way to see him soon. He told my daughter yesterday that we were visiting family in the US.
     

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