My elderly father-in-law refuses to take a shower and gets mad when we bring up the subject. How do we get him to shower?


My father-in-law is 82 years old and in reasonable health but refuses to shower and gets mad when the issue is brought up. He lives with his daughter who has brought up the subject to no avail. My husband has also tried to speak with him with no success. I don't even want to visit him because he stinks and it grosses me out.

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This is really frustrating - and very common. You may want to read this article:

There are a lot of reasons why elders won't shower or bathe, from dementia fear to loss of smell to not wanting to be "bosses around" by their adult children. Know you aren't alone and that unless it goes on for a really long time, it likely isn't a health issue. Third party help is generally good - a friend, doctor or spiritual leader.
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It's not a matter of speaking to him, asking will be to no avail.
It is just so so much easier for him to not do it, from HIS point of view.

A lot of adjustments need to be made, please check out some of the other posts with a similar questions and suggestions about showering, etc.

I'd also suggest utilizing some activity that he did before, will he shower to prep to "go out to dinner?" Will putting out a new change of clothes, and having the bathroom warm and ready do the trick?

Give us more details and we'll try to help figure something out.

*Does he have dementia of some sort?
*Does he stay in the same sweat pants day-in-day-out?
*Can he handle a set of complex functions (showering is complex)?
*Does the shower have a seat? Is it a bathtub?
*How healthy and "mobile" is he really?
*Will he accept help while naked and in the shower?
*Can you go over to help while he's showering, maybe it's too chaotic with kids around and too over-stimulating for your dad to add on "showering."
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have him sit on the toilet and wash him down , thats what i do to my dad . he just dont want to shower anymore . so i d wash him down while he s sittin on the toilet . helps to knock down the smell .
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My father in law is 90 years old and absolutely refuses to take a shower, shave, anything to do with hygiene. He has dementia so does that mean he possibly has an actual fear of the shower? They have a walk in, stand up shower with a seat in it. How hard can it be?
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how can I care for my 84 year old fatherinlaw who refuses to get up in the morning and wont wash or do anything only when it suits him he smokes cigars and is really dirty he is in reasonable health for his age and it is coming between my husband and I what can I do when my husband wont admit things need to be done we have sold our house and moved on thepremises given my fartherinlaw his annex but he doesn't allow us to keep it clean and wont keep clean himself it is making me ill.
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