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

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Doesn't change diaper or shower any more.

Answers 1 to 10 of 32
This happens with my dad also, plus he doesn't take his clothes off to go to bed! I think it may be depression
When my mom did this, I knew it was time to hire a nurses aid. I couldn't stand the smell and it wasn't healthy for her. I think it was a combination of not remembering to shower and being afraid of falling in there. Luckily, she didn't put up too much of a fuss having someone help her. The girl we hired is wonderful and my mom now looks forward to seeing her.
Sometimes an outside person is able to get around these obstacles. Does he have an aide, a nurse or someone who visits regularly? If not, having someone come in a few days a week may do him (and you!) wonders.
Definitely happened with my Dad, who is now in a NH, and now happening with Mom. A couple of things not knowing your situation. With Dad, he lost his sense of smell, so he couldn't smell how bad he smelled! I had to say, "I won't take you to church or anywhere unless you bathe." That worked for a while. He wouldn't change his Depends and stuff paper towels in his pants because he thought he was saving money, (something else to think about with that generation).

Now with Mom, she definitely has depression, sleeps all day and as for bathing, we'll she also can't smell herself and when I told her just yesterday, "you need to bathe," she said "I do?" She just forgot........

So I am on plan B and plan to hire home healthcare to come in one day a week to pick up the house and be with her while she bathes. Even if she says, "no" I'm just doing it. Yuck.....enough is enough!

Hope this is helpful.

-SS
Top Answer
My aunt has dementia and hasn't bathed on her own since moving in with me 3 years ago. She's 95 now. Very occasionally she lets me do a sponge bath, but mostly she "remembers" that she bathed this morning or argues that she used to bathe all the time. You have to pick your battles. I put her in respite care once a month. There is a caregiver there that has the knack for bathing her. By the time she starts to smell a bit ripe, it's time for respite care again. I give her a wet, warm washcloth every morning to clean her face and hands. I give her lotion to keep her skin supple. I hire a foot care nurse to do her toenails every month and check her skin integrity (even though I'm an RN, my aunt won't let me do it - she still sees me as a little kid). I make sure she changes her Depends at least twice or 3 times daily. No sores or rashes, so I guess this is good enough. She doesn't exactly smell like a rose, but she's tolerable. Life is too short to be battling with a dementia sufferer about baths. It's stressful on them too.
Yep, been there, doing that. My Dad (almost 92) thinks he doesn't really need to shave or shower more than once a week. He does change his Depends, though he makes a mess when doing so -- hence the need for more frequent showers! The search for home health aides starts with the doctor making a referral to a Visiting Nurse kind of organization for a home evaluation. An Occupational therapist will evaluate his abilities to do his own "Activities of Daily Living", or ADL's. My Dad did better in the shower with a shower chair and detachable shower head. We had already put in lot of grab bars. At that time, he also needed physical assistance getting in and out, so he also got strengthening Physical Therapy. Eventually, still at home, he was able to take his own showers with just reminders from home health aide/companion care people.
Now he is starting to get feisty about going in for a shower. Or a shave. Or to change his clothes. HIs caregivers and I are working together to try to find a motivating factor to use with him. His short term memory issues make it hard for him to remember why he is doing this, though. Though "I really don't want to have to put you in a facility" seems to have some effect.
So far, I can get him to go to the Barber to get a haircut once every month or two. They are very nice to him there, cut his hair nice and short, trim the nose and ear hairs, shave up the parts of his neck that he misses wen he shaves. Dad likes to be pampered.
Even though I am "not quite there" yet with my dad i have a feeling it could become an issue. He showers once a week and refuses to wear deodorant but so far we all can stand him. I think having a home aid would be best for us too. I know he wouldn't want me to help.
My dad passed away in August. He had pampered my mom for 20 years after she had a brain aneurysm. She has dementia and is very obstinate about showering. Once I talk her into it, she's fine with it as long as I just keep talking about other things while showering her. Does get very stressful arguing with her about it though. Actually glad to hear it is a battle others face too.
I also agree with the home aide idea. Maybe try a male aide first and let him know in advance your father's hobies, background etc. so he can establish a relationship. If it works out, have the same aide come each time.
@lizziebee, My mil is 93 and refused to shower/bath or change her adult panties also. We hired in home care to help assist but were not sucsessful at that time. When we placed her back into a care facility we then hired a caregiver, w/the specifics of getting and helping her to shower/bath in mind. While it took several starts and fails,2 months worthand many frustrated days, she is now getting one once a week...! We didn't think this would happen, but with dementia we learned that repetition is key to almost everything!!! Keep trying or hire an inhome care person, they are out there, it will help you help your dad as well. We asked at the care facility if they knew of someone who was kind gental but yet firm to assist in this area.They were very helpful. Good luck and Godbless......

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