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Refusing to Wash - wits end

uktoday

Registered User
Jan 2, 2013
43
Dad refusing to wash. I give his top half a wipe down with a flannel every week (though it's a LOT of threats and physical abuse). For the life of us we can't get him to change his trousers or even bathe. Starting to stink like a tramp. Have tried EVERYTHING.

Dad is actually quite physically fit apart from his mind. No idea what to do! Any advice would be great.
 

uktoday

Registered User
Jan 2, 2013
43
I should add it's been over 2 months now since managed to wash his bottom part. Additionally mum refusing to get carer in etc etc.
 

Amethyst59

Registered User
Jul 3, 2017
5,749
Kent
I have no advice about the bathing I’m afraid. I’m sure someone else will come along soon. But as far as the trousers (and hopefully pants) are concerned, take them away at night and provide clean ones in the morning?
 

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
4,617
USA
I've read a method here on TP where you accidentally on purpose spill something (not dangerously hot or cold) all over the person. Then you happen to have clean, dry trousers to hand. Not sure if this would work for you but worth a mention. Best wishes.
 

uktoday

Registered User
Jan 2, 2013
43
Thanks for all these. Dad sleeps in the trousers also at night so it's just impossible. Have thought about spilling things on him but tbh the aggression afterwards is the fear...
 

Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
4,617
USA
Aggression and uncooperative with personal care make a difficult combination. Is the GP/CMH nurse or team/social workers aware of the aggression? Any chance of a medication review? Maybe trying carers to help with bathing and dressing? Sometimes a PWD will respond better to someone who isn't family, with personal care. Sometimes a uniform helps. And sometimes, nothing helps. Sorry I haven't better suggestions for you.
 

rhubarbtree

Registered User
Jan 7, 2015
492
North West
I bet you are at your wits end. My OH will not wash unless I insist and he tries to get into bed every night in his clothes but at least at the moment I can get him to change into pyjamas. At times I am too exhausted to argue and let things go for a day or two and I know what you mean by the tramp smell. I think you need to get your Mum on side as she may have more sway with him (perhaps more influence than she thinks). And it is important that he keeps clean to avoid skin conditions and UTIs. A brisk, matter of fact carer turning up for bathtime would be wonderful. Try to persuade your Mum.
 

gingerlou

Registered User
Dec 13, 2016
23
Dad refusing to wash. I give his top half a wipe down with a flannel every week (though it's a LOT of threats and physical abuse). For the life of us we can't get him to change his trousers or even bathe. Starting to stink like a tramp. Have tried EVERYTHING.

Dad is actually quite physically fit apart from his mind. No idea what to do! Any advice would be great.
 

gingerlou

Registered User
Dec 13, 2016
23
Ihad this problem with my husband now coping ok bring a bowl of hot soapy water in front of fire put a soothing music on sit him on a stool and sponge him and it works all he says what do i do now like lift your arm and when i wash his back loves it would like this treatment myself he his 87 and I am 86 will look after him as long as I can might not help you but hope it does here is a hug from gingerlou x
 

Hellyg

Registered User
Nov 18, 2014
82
Midlands
My husband refused to wash and after months of me frustratedly asking, telling and persuading all to no avail, it is now resolved by a family bath day... in that if I have a shower, the dog is bathed then my husband agrees to climb in the shower. I am happy, husband seems happy with this, the dog is less happy as hates baths, but it is the dogs contribution to the greater cause.
 

love.dad.but..

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
4,481
Kent
Resistance to personal care is a very difficult problem to resolve for some. The best I got to with dad was an area most days...loading a soapy warm flannel...bowl and everything on hand in his bedroom...including toothbrush and beaker. Flatly refused to go into his bathroom. He flapped his arms at me and tried to push me away plus a few verbals but I was very quick and determined. Sometimes I was successful sometimes I could tell it wasn't even worth trying...I always approached him before bedtime as best opportunity. However he wasn't physically aggressive. You could try the spilling tactic then stand well clear so he doesn't wallop you if being wet doesn't prompt him to allow you to help then I think you should seek advice and maybe trying a carer as sometimes the person responds better with someone in uniform they don't know or depending on his understanding or lack of what worked for a while when I had to cream dad in a most intimate place was telling him the doctor had told me to do it....and I slapped it on quickly with music in the background!
 

Onmyown

Registered User
May 30, 2017
385
Mum is getting worse too. She hasnt had a bath in over a week. I do everything i can heat the bathroom etc.... i used to tell her she smells this used to work now she just says "i dont care"? Sometimes i think maybe im not been caring and she might need a home but she is still fairly competent ie. knows whats going on around her, can still wash etc i keep thinking i could only put her ina home if her memory gets worse and shes not too aware of where she is but we never know if she may have to go in sooner because of her hygiene. Then ive been reading on here that the NH could have same problems as to gettting her to wash? Its awful and everytime she passes me i gag! the smell of urine is so bad. she will wash get dressed etc when she has a doctors apt?????? totally frustrating . Then doctor sees this clean, intelligent, funny, competent woman gosh if there was an oscar for acting with dementia my mum would win.
 

fenellawriter

Registered User
Jul 22, 2016
13
Wivenhoe Essex
Refusing to shower/wash etc is part of this dreadful illness. I give DH clean clothes every day but he once went six weeks without showering. Then I had cubicle taken away and curtain put up and he went in once a week for four weeks - now back to refusing. He was peeing on the bedroom wall until I got en-suite door removed - not happened since. He's happy and loving when he is awake.
 

jos112

Registered User
Dec 17, 2016
6
lowestoft
My dad lives with me and seems happy enough with life, but washing and showering was a big problem.
He like to go out with me for a drive and or stop for a coffee.
I told him that i will not take him out unless he has a shower or a wash.
It works about 80% of the time which im ok with because i can get a look at his skin and make sure he has no problems.
I also spray his clothes with deodorant.
He can get verbally aggresive so i try abit later.
 

Dazed

Registered User
Oct 11, 2014
5
The staff in my Dads CH have terrible trouble getting him to accept personal care but a new male carer solved the problem by telling dad he had young female visitors coming to see him and they wouldn’t fancy him if he smelt! Dad still very interested in the ladies so that worked a treat. Might help some people struggling with cleanliness.
 

Elle3

Registered User
Jun 30, 2016
642
Hi UKtoday, I have the exact same problem. Dad sleeps in all his clothes, including his shoes and refuses to acknowledge that his clothes get dirty and smelly and so does he. Like you I am willing to wash his top half but not his bottom half and I actually manage this quite well now. I don't ask him if he wants to change his clothes, because if I do this just leads to an argument and excuses why he doesn't need to wash and change. To be honest I treat him how I would treat a small child by not giving him a choice and no negotiation. I just get myself prepared with a bowl of hot water, soap and a flannel, a full change of clothes and I bring it all to him, usually in his lounge in front of the fire and I just tell him I'm going to do it and he just accepts this and he now quite likes having his back washed with the flannel and I let him soak his feet in the bowl of water which he enjoys, whilst I get his top half dressed, he can't run away then, lol!

On Monday I did this and I actually got him to wash his own bottom half with the flannel. I told him to take his trousers off and undies, I gave him the hot soapy flannel and I held up a towel so I couldn't see anything and to respect his modesty and I told him to wash himself which he did.

I've found distraction and just getting on with it, I suppose like a nurse would, works well with my dad, but I suppose I'm also lucky as he does seem happy to accept my help. Now if my husband even tries to wipe my dad's hands he gets a mouth full of abuse and my dad threatens violence towards him.

It's such a tricky situation and they just don't realise you are doing it for their own good. Best of luck. Elle
 

bryanthecarer

Registered User
Jan 18, 2018
12
This is a major issue for us. My Grandad has ALWAYS had terrible personal hygiene issues which, before he was diagnosed with Dementia, lead to sepsis. He has a Catheter in his belly and because he refused to clean, it went septic. My uncle found him about to go for a walk, stark naked because he was burning up.

Unfortunately, his wife, my Nan, Died at 61. She was forever nagging him to wash and when he did, she had to grab his clothes while they were off! He's wear the same skids for a month if he wasn't married


My grandad's idea of a shower is, walk in, get wet (slightly) then walk out. We (my family) and the carers literally have to talk him through a proper wash. Sometimes he gets so frustrated he shakes but, with a pipe in his belly, he needs to wash every day. Most days we'll encourage him to pick his soap up, he'll over-do his face and head and think that's enough.....

We then say 'what about the rest of your body?' some day's it's ok gimme a flannel, other's it's f**k off I'm done. Carers can't make him, but I'm buggered if I'm gonna sit up the hospital for hours because he won't clean properly. At least he does his pits, genitals (especially foreskin due to antibiotics (thrush) backside (I regularly find lumps..., skids on the bed) and most importantly, round his pipe. In the process, I get fists, shoves and a lot of verbal abuse! I'm not actually doing it myself, I'm asking him to do it....
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,169
MIL hasn't bathed since 2013 and hasn't washed her hair since at least 2014. She has strip washes. At the moment she doesn't smell and I don't fret about it
 

uktoday

Registered User
Jan 2, 2013
43
It just is getting worse as dad is now going to the toilet in places around the house. Mostly we catch him but on occasions he does it when we are not looking. On those occasions there is sh*t everywhere and refuses to clean. To say it is a nightmare is an understatement.