Washing and changing clothes

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by paulineanna, May 1, 2015.

  1. paulineanna

    paulineanna Registered User

    Oct 25, 2013
    west Lancashire
    I don't usually post but have come to a point of not knowing how to deal with my husband not washing or changing his clothes, once about 3 weeks ago he agreed to have a wash with my help and changed his clothes but since then it's "if I want a wash I will have one, there's nothing wrong in not washing", usually shouting in my face - well there's no answer to that.
    He is not a person who will do what I suggest or tell him to do, he has always thought himself as "boss" in our house.
    My friend comes on a Tuesday and takes him the our local church for the short half hour service - and he goes with her no problem. Then another friend comes and takes him out for a couple of hours one afternoon, so at least I'm getting some ME time.
    When we go out together it gets rather stressful as he stops strangers in the street and starts talking to them, not about anything sensible either when I try to distract him it's as if he can't hear me and just keeps on talking. Somedays it's as if he never stops talking or complaining from morning to evening.
    Today he has "hovered" up 3 times and I've taken it off him 3 times when I couldn't stand it any longer
    Sorry if I've rambled on a bit
    So glad there is this site to "meet" other "sailors" in the same boat xx.
  2. pamann

    pamann Registered User

    Oct 28, 2013
    Hello paulineanna welcome to talking point, my husband talks to strangers all the time lots of rubbish, l tell them he has Alzheimers, l find it so embarassing we go to our local town on the bus once a week he talks to everyone on the bus, l feel that l will not go anymore. I know how you feel, its a nightmare
  3. Rashley

    Rashley Registered User

    Dec 21, 2014
    Welcome to TP which I must admit is also new to me. My OH has VD but over the last year I have battled through persuading him to wash and to change his clothes. That phase has passed I now have to wash and dress him and I have carers in twice a week. He also tries talking to complete strangers when we are out and I am constantly apologising and telling them quietly they he has dementia, it is exhausting. So sorry you are having to deal with the same problems. Best wishes
  4. Chuggalug

    Chuggalug Registered User

    Mar 24, 2014
    The washing and changing thing is dreadful. Plus, you can see everywhere my hubby has been for the filth he leaves behind him. Jam and butter on kitchen surfaces; tea stains everywhere. Dropped food on the floor. Looks like a pig sty sometimes and has been a feature of this horror ever since he got ill. I just can't keep up with it. As much as I try to clean, I go back and find the same horrible mess again. Now, sugar caked on counter tops until I clear it away in the mornings. Used tea bags left where they shouldn't be left. It's no wonder I lose my rag very often, now.

    For the first time ever, one day last week, he wanted his hair cut and washed! I couldn't believe it! No solutions, just have to live with it every single day :(

    Really sorry to know you're having similar trouble, paulineanna
  5. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Hi paulineanna, It's sounds like, apart from the couple of times friends come in, you are doing all the caring for your husband - do you have any 'official' help - carers coming in - for instance to wash and dress your husband , does he go to day care? If you have none of this in place do contact SS and ask for a carers assessment and explain that you are unable to manage his care needs without a degree of help, your local AS group and AgeUK are also good contacts. Get in touch with your local Dementia Adviser ( http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=2076&pageNumber=4) as they can offer good advice on available services and just be a real support for you and hubby. You sound pretty exhausted so do be mindful of your own health needs as well as those of your husband - perhaps a respite break is due to give you a proper week of rest?
  6. alwaysfretting

    alwaysfretting Registered User

    Jan 1, 2015
    My mum won't wash or change her clothes but she now has carers in three times a week who shower her and she accepts this. And I just accept that being clean three times a week will have to be enough.
  7. JigJog

    JigJog Registered User

    Nov 6, 2013
    Hi paulineanna,

    I am in a similar situation. My husband is also reluctant to wash, shower, shave or change his clothes.

    It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't go for a 6 mile walk each morning! He walks so quickly that he gets a real sweat on and that's when things get a bit smelly. :eek:

    With some persuasion, I can usually get him to shower once a week but oh dear, the ongoing battle with this. I know just how you feel paulineanna.

    I can't help wondering how things are going to change from this stage to the next, when I am going to need to wash him. I can't imagine him letting me wash him.

    Can someone who has been through this give any advice please. My OH is 64 and very fit physically. I just can't work out why there is such a reluctance to wash and change clothes or how I'm going move on to the next stage.

  8. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    hi, welcome to TP, I am stuck between devil and deep blue sea, mother won't bath washes with face clothes and I buy cheap ones and throw out old. I have at least got her clothing going to cleaners now.
    My husband who has Parkinson's and this is a form of dementia, now only washes when I tell him he smells....I know the shower is difficult, and the bath not easy to get in and out but I have told him about my mum, and he answers I don't poo very often, I don't have sex very often why wash? Because you still pee and that smells especially when you dribble.

    I hate being honest but what else can I do?
  9. NanLorac

    NanLorac Registered User

    May 14, 2012
    Patsy, ask your husband to sit down to pee. It was not easy and at one point he said " its my life we are talking about " I said " yes it is but its my life too and I have to clean up after you" from then on he just sits on the toilet.
  10. patsy56

    patsy56 Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    Fife Scotland
    I must suggest, but he does hold onto the wall
  11. jlc

    jlc Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    Same problem

    I have the same problem with my husband, although so far he doesnt shout or become aggressive. he just hasnt got the energy to have a shower and change. I find it so draining to have to keep on telling him he needs a shower. Eventually I usually achieve it by either telling him his Mom is coming to visit and will be upset to see him like it or threaten him that strangers will have to come in and do it. It is very hard when it is someone that previously was so particular in his appearance. I know this doesnt help you solve your problem, but at least you know you are not alone with these frustrations.
  12. jlc

    jlc Registered User

    May 3, 2015
    That sounds like a typical day in my house too, the cleaning up never stops and is very frustrating. Ime constantly walking in to the kitchen treading in broken biscuits and trodden in cake from his bing eating during the night.
  13. paulineanna

    paulineanna Registered User

    Oct 25, 2013
    west Lancashire
    update on washing and changing clothes

    Hi everyone, thanks for your replies and understanding.
    This morning I could tell he was in a different mood than normal, so somehow or other I managed to persuade him that he needed to change his shirt which he agreed to do then bit by bit his vest came off and managed to get him to have a wash alas not a shower !! the trousers that I have had hung up downstairs as a "tempter" he says aren't his so I said we would go upstairs and pick another pair which he did - so for a while we are clean and tidy.....
    On Tuesday I was going to ring the Memory Assessment team to see why I hadn't heard from Social Services and lo and behold by 9.30 I had a phone call from S.Svcs to arrange an assessment visit and she came the same day. I have now been offered something called "Time for Me" where someone will come and sit/go out with husband while I do something I want to do and also a suggestion for him to go to Day Centre - don't know how that will work as he isn't one for sitting around all day he has to be up and doing something but he can go for a tester session.
    So since last week all is well - for now anyway.....
  14. Essie

    Essie Registered User

    Feb 11, 2015
    Glad it's good news paulineanna, well done for the washing and clothes change and so pleased you have some support coming - as you say, a big improvement on a week ago. Fingers crossed for the Day Centre, it may take OH a bit of time to settle but it will give both of you a break so worth pursuing.
  15. di65

    di65 Registered User

    Feb 28, 2013
    new zealand
    Are you sure we aren't married to the same man :D. I have overcome the not wanting to bath/shower by washing everything when he goes to daycare twice a week (including changing the sheets). When we get dressed in the morning I make abig show of using the deodorant and then just passing it over to him, and say "here, you might as well use this while I have it out", which works 90% of the time. Shaving on the other hand - probably 6-7 times a day:(.
    Fortunately OH has never been one to sweat much, or else life could be very different.
    I hope you do get to have some form of respite, I do find daycare great, even if he does grumble when they come to collect him, all forgotten by the time he gets home though

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