Dad won't shower or change his diaper. What should I do?

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Doesn't change diaper or shower any more.

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Hi Lizziebee57. I hope things are going well for you. I wanted to share an article that one of our experts have on our site regarding this very subject.

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/elderly-parents-who-wont-shower-or-change-clothes-133877.htm

I wish you the best.
AgingCare.com Team
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Shala9, my cousin is a nurse in an assisted living place and she said none of them like to take a shower. They sometimes fight you over it because they don't like to be cold. After we realized that my mother-inlaw wasn't waiting for the water to warm up, I started getting it going for her while she was undressing.
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I thought I was the only person with a mom who showers once a week. She has a full time care giver who comes to our house every Monday morning and Leaves Friday afternoons. I deal with her the whole weekend. She is very obstinate about what she wants to do and what she doesn't like to do. Showering is on top of the no like list, even though I've had a handyman build a bench for her and a handheld shower installed. Also her caregiver helps wash her. I've had to literally force her into the bathroom by physically blocking her bedroom. Much yelling and screaming, which is embarrassing if the neighbors hear, since the assumption is that she is being brutalized. It has been a heartache for me to use these strong arm tactics on her but I have had no choice. We have assigned a special shower day for her now, Thursdays, and I am trying to increase the showers to two days a week. The thing is that once she goes in then she doesn't want to come out, just like a kid!
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My MIL wasn't washing her hair and was getting out of shower after a minute, so we knew she was barely getting wet. So what I started doing was getting all her clean clothes and towel and washcloth ready, turned on water to get the warm water flowing since it took a while, closed the door for a few minutes until she got in behind the shower door, and then I stand by the door and coach her to wash each body part and wash her hair. I can see her outline so I know if she isn't doing it, so I can help at that point. But so far it is working. As long as I can keep her under the water and scrubbing her body for a few minutes, I feel like she is getting a decent shower. And after doing this every other day, she is getting used to the routine. She goes to adult daycare 3 times a week so she gets her shower every other day and then both days of the weekend, since her hygiene is getting so poor.
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Thank you both for your replies! After the diagnoses, I went through a period of feeling totally overwhelmed and depressed. Then I had an epiphany of how my behavior was setting the tone for our home and relationship. It was as if I had given up...missing in action, if you will. Jaye, I wish I had some of the options you mentioned. My family lives 100 miles away and consists of a 94-year-old Mother and a 55-year-old sister who is now not only our Mother's primary care provider but who also has a husband who recently suffered a massive stroke and coronary. My husband’s older brother lives in our area he is in his 70’s. Bless his heart; he does take his brother once a month to get a haircut. My two stepdaughters live 250 miles away and are having a very difficult time accepting their Father's illness. They see their Father about once every two months. Each visit is about two hours long and always ends with them sharing many complaints concerning their Fathers behavior and the care I provide. I have checked on respite care however because my husband is on Social Security Disability he does not qualify for Medicare (you have to be on disability for 24 months) and his disability payments are 200.00 to high to qualify for Medicaid. Neither of us now has health insurance; first time in over 35 years. I have checked with the department of Aging they do have some funding available for respite but again our income is too high. I have checked with our State SRS (Social Rehabilitation Services) and they sent out a lovely social worker who is trying to find us help with medication cost and a support group for me. The problem with the support group (always seems to be a problem) it is 35 miles away from where we live and they do not provide any kind of care service during the time of the meeting. I have been in touch with my Church and with Catholic Charities looking for any type of assistance/help/support. I hope this posting does not sound negative however; at this moment, this is my reality. Perhaps tomorrow will bring a positive change. All of the agencies and people I have been in contact with are still working on finding some viable options for us.
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fayday this is not an easy situation for either of you. Are you getting any help at all? I am thinking of some respite care for you. Respite would be when someone comes in and stays with your husband while you go run errands, go to the store or the beauty shop to get your hair done. Many home care agencies will provide this. It is also possible another family member could come. Are you in a support group??? You need to take care of you too... I would encourage you to realize this is a process and get support and respite. take care, J
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Fayday...How are you contributing to the problem??? I don't quite understand why you have put that on yourself? Seems to me you are doing all you can( within your power) to help here??!! You aren't "making" him have the strokes and YOU certianlly did NOT "give" him dementia! All each one of us can do is help w/what we can.., pray for what we can't and understand that WE are only human... Godbless You and Take care of you too!
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My husband was the same way when it came to showering, shaving and changing into "street clothes" in the morning. I finally figured out that I was part of the problem...my expectations were not always consistent nor always simple and concise. I had placed a white board in the room he usually sat in. I was using it to write the current date, weather and upcoming events/appointments. Then I started taping up pictures of friends, neighbors and family with the appropriate labels. Then it dawned on me there was no schedule for routine daily activities. I put up a list of expectations (out of frustration) for the first 2 weeks it was only: 1. Get dressed 2. Eat breakfast. And it worked. Now he gets up, sits down in his chair across from the board, and drinks a cup of coffee as he reads/looks or asks me to read out loud the list on the board. Then he gets dressed and sits at the table waiting for his breakfast. I have now added a shower on Sunday and it has been three weeks now with no problems (with the shower part). Next week I will add another shower mid-week. The shaving is still an issue but one I can live with. I know this will probably not work for long...he was as frustrated, as much as I; trying to get use to not working anymore (he needs supervision 24/7) and we had few set routines. My husbands dementia is fairly pronounced; he asks the same questions over and over, does not consistently recognize family members or friends. He frequently cannot recall the names of objects or be clear about what he needs or wants. He has lost most of his safety skills. Sometimes he can read or write simple things like his name and the date and sometimes not. He was diagnosed with Binswanger's Disease in June of 2012 the disease was manifested by many mini-strokes deep in the white matter of his brain. My lesson was understanding that I was a BIG part of the problem. As he continues this hellacious downward spiral I hope I can step back and see how I might be contributing to the problem. Not my strong suit.....
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those are good points... a nice warm towel and some pampering often helps too!!!
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I find most elderly do not like showers because the bathroom is so cold this really upsets them. if you can put a heater up in the ceiling to keep the room warm. or i use a blow dryer before i take them in the shower and use hand bars too. for safe measurements. a bed bath would be good too once a week plus a shower if they can stand at the sink too would help full but keep the room warm
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