tiffany715 Asked March 2012

My fathers bowels are incontinent and he refuses to wear adult diapers. Is it time for assisted living?

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We've had the discussion on several occasions and he never follows through. He wears the same soiled pants for three days at a time. My house reeks. He has no problem going to church and into the grocery store in this condition. He also refuses to surrender the keys to his car and has had several fender benders this last year and has gone into the store while leaving his car running. He's putting up a huge fight and I don't know how long to continue this battle of the wills.

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JessieBelle Mar 2012
I don't know why it happens, but some elderly people lose concern for their hygiene. My father would never bathe or change clothes if someone did not make him. He did tend to his diaper when needed, and would wipe himself with baby wipes, but he avoided the shower and closet of clean clothes. This wasn't due to dementia. His mind was as sharp as a tack. He just lost concern about staying as clean as he could. He felt a little shy of totally nasty was good enough. The only thing that helped is that we made him do it. The good thing was that he felt better at the end of his shower. Personally, I believe that he had so little energy that the thought of taking a shower (and perhaps falling) were too much for him. So he had to be encouraged.

About the car -- I agree with everyone else. Get those keys away from him before he hurts an innocent person. Reason with him that other people do not owe him their lives or health so that he can drive. Sometimes it helps to ask him how he would feel if he killed a child. If he relents, tell him you will take him where he needs to go and get those keys away.
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lildeb Mar 2012
If he is living with you why not get the keys and not giving them back? If he is by himself then I suggest like cattails, to give a talk to his doctor. Good Luck.
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zazzy25 Mar 2012
My mom's eye doctor reported her since one eye was almost blind. I begged him to do something since she was still driving. She got a notice from the state saying she could no longer drive, thank goodness. That was all it took.
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It sounds like your dad is not making good decisions. I'm assuming that these behaviors are new and that he hasn't always been so out of touch with his appearance or hygiene. It's time to have a heart to heart with his doctor. I agree with Luvmydad, it could be depression or dementia. I lean a bit more toward dementia. I feel for you.
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It's time time for you to steer the boat! Have his doctor tell him he's a danger to other drivers & revoke his license. Also enlist the help of his dr regarding the poopy pants. Maybe it's time for assisted living. Does he live alone now? He also may be depressed & doesn't care about his appearance. Or it could be dementia. Good luck to you!
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