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My Dad insists that his pants are clean and refuses a new pair.


We need more information. How old is your Dad and what are his health issues? Does he still work or is retired? Does he live by himself, with you, or in a senior home? Why do you feel this pants are not clean?
My dad is 87, in a nursing home and simply won't wear clean clothes. He is incontinent with urine and is trying to find someone to marry him so he can return to his home. He thinks if he had a wife they would allow him to go home. We try to reason with him but the Dr. says we shouldn't engage him in this kind of talk, explanations etc...just don't know what to do next?
You present him with a clean pair + underwear and say "Those pants stink. Here are some clean ones. I can help you change. " Offer no options, don't ask him to do it, TELL him to do it.
Sallymae, You smile and change the subject to girls he dated long ago. He wants to relive his youth. Reminisce.
Thanks so much...the direct approach is good. INstead of engaging him in details, we should start a narrative about his past, right?
It sounds like Dad has dementia ... right? At the very least he is not living in the same reality we are.

Since he is in a nursing home I assume that it is seldom your responsibility to get him to change pants. The staff there should be very well experienced with this kind of thing. I doubt they ask him if he wants to change. :)

Don't try to talk him out of thinking he can marry and go home. His reality is not yours. Use those statements to start a different conversation. Talk about when you first got married or your son's wedding or ask him about his wedding. Did they get gifts? Can he remember any of them. Start out on a topic somewhat related (weddings) and then perhaps ease into how much household appliances have changed.

This is not easy, but the fact that others are doing the day-to-day hands-on caregiving should help you a lot!

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

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