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I give up. I’m not talking about the stuff I’ve previously given up on: ever being happy, ever going on a vacation, ever getting that puppy I wanted, ever getting a descent job, ever having another human being love me romantically, ever having renovations done on the 39-year-old house I’ve lived in all that time (but it’s not my house), or ever getting help with my father. I’m talking about giving up on trying to get my father to change his clothes. I’ve been told it’s my fault that he hasn’t used soap or shampoo consistently in more than two years, that he no longer brushes his teeth, that he won’t change his clothes, that his finger nails are half an inch long. He won’t let me help him. He has undiagnosed FTD. He just cares about nothing. He won’t let me hire someone. His psych nurse says, “You look awful” and “You need help” but she never says how that can be done against his will. He finished his cognitive testing almost two weeks ago, and not a peep from them. Anyway, last Friday, I put relatively clean clothes where he dumps his dirty clothes, and he did change for the first time in a month. So, I told him, I will put the cleaner clothes there for a changing every Saturday morning, and I did get a “Ya” out of him. This morning, he had not changed. It would be just as easy to put the clean clothes on as the dirty. After asking about three times with no response, he finally raised his voice a little (which he hasn’t done in a while but he loved to yell most of his life) and said, “Because they’re not that dirty!” Ok, I don’t care what they look like, if you haven’t changed your clothes in a week, and you don’t use soap or shampoo, and you don’t brush your teeth, and you stink like a rotting corpse, and you don’t even use toilet paper anymore, those clothes need changing. So, come arrest me for neglect but I’m not ripping the clothes off of him. I officially give up.

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I really feel for you. My mom was also very stinky and didn't allow me to help her until her dementia worsened significantly. Now I am able to get her washed and get a home health aide in to help a couple of times a week. I wonder if part of the problem is the fact that you are a female. If your brother would help maybe then your father would relent a bit...maybe not. You are doing the best you can and that's all you can do. You could try taking away the dirty clothes every day so they aren't available to put back on. That's my only suggestion. I wish you the best
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If he has severe mental illness then you can pursue guardianship.
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He doesn't care enough to clean himself up for appointments anymore. So, yes, they see him in his true state, completely filthy, smelly, unshaven, and unkept with feces on his pants. His psych nurse when she last saw him said, "You look awful." She told him he needs help. He says he doesn't, and nobody presses the issue. He has severe anosognosia (look that up). I got him to a primary care doctor about two months ago which was his first time to one in about 5 years. He had refused to go before until the nurse told him he had to. The doctor is a geriatrician, and he was my mom's doctor so I thought he'd be the best. She would always do tons of research. Yet, this doctor barely skimmed the plethora of problems my father might or does have. Dad's bloodwork was pretty good for his condition. His blood pressure was dangerously low but the other noted problems were not major. We see the PCP again in 3 weeks, and trust me, I have a running list!
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There is something wrong with him because doing things like refusing to use soap and shampoo and wearing filthy clothes are not acceptable in our society. They are indications of self neglect. And self neglect indicates serious cognitive decline.

Unless your father has always been this way, which I doubt, he likely has some form of dementia/cognitive decline. Brain scans don't show everything. In fact, the brain, how it works, and how it malfunctions, are still not well understood.

That said, if you have a video camera, I would document his condition, both of his person and his bedroom. Bring them to his next doctor's appointment. And that raises the question of how does he present himself at the doctor? Does he go to the doctor all stinky or what? And what kind of doctor does he have? Is it a geriatrician?

Your prayers are being answered...you found this forum, didn't you?
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I cannot ship him off because nobody has agreed that there is anything wrong with him or that he is not competent. In fact, they've said that he is. My hands are tied. As for my animals, only an old cat and an old rabbit are what you might consider suffering because they're old and decrepit. Most of the animals are happy and healthy. None of my prayers have ever been answered. My mother was the most willful person who has ever existed. If anyone could have given a sign from an afterlife, she would have done it. I keep telling her to do something but nothing. She claimed her mother's ghost visited her. Did I mention, my mom was a little nuts?!
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Zombie better to be alive and in pain than non-existent? I think you should ship your father off to an assisted living facility and let them deal with him. Then you can keep your house and your animals etc. Please don't let your animals suffer. You may think it's better to be alive and in pain but I doubt they do.

I believe in an afterlife. This life here on earth is just the appetizer. Don't worry, I'm not going to try and convert you. People on here have given you good suggestions. Open your mind.
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It's ok Marinamarie, I never said I was suicidal. I said "I give up" with regards to getting my father to change his clothes not "I give up" on my own life. My father's mother put a shotgun in her mouth when my father went off to college. Her brother and my mother's father's only sibling also killed themselves. I don't really believe in an afterlife. I say with regards to my animals that it's better to be alive and in pain than non-existent. My animals (if nobody else) need me.
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Zombie--PLEASE hang in there. I understand and empathize with your pain. Although I am not actively suicidal I often think my demise will be the only way out of the situation of caring for an elderly parent. This is not the way nature intended. Please use this forum (definitely helps sharing, and we DO care), I admire your dedication of caring. Please send me a message and I will talk to you. We are here to help others. Please DO NOT give up. No storm lasts forever. Sounds like you are in middle of hurricane. Please reach out. We need you.
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Can you go to a thrift store, buy a whole bunch of clean clothes resembling the clothes he wears, and throw the old ones away? Can you assert yourself and do what cwillie suggests with the laundry basket? And you can soak your dad's clothes in a bucket with pine soap for 20 minutes or longer before washing them when feces is involved.
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Sorry, I missed that comment about sneaking into his room. You don't need to sneak, knock on the door, breeze in with a laundry basket, gather and leave. If you do it often enough it should just become commonplace, no big deal.
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Zombie, does he lock his room at night or what? Since he actually takes them off why can't you gather up the dirty clothes and put them in the wash?
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Zombie -- Somewhere in the recesses of your father's addled mind, he knows that you are looking out for him in a way that no one else does. Even tho he expresses himself poorly and doesn't listen to a damm word you say! Hang in there, Z.
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Go in at night and slather the shower head with soap. Get some nylon netting and make an elasticized pouch to fit over the shower head and fill it with shaved soap.
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GivingItMyAll, he takes a shower every single morning! He runs the water for about two minutes (I can hear it). He just hasn't used soap or shampoo in years. I change out the soap every 6 months or so. It never goes down. It just grows mold. I keep my own soap in a bag and only put it in there for the shower. We got special shampoo for him at Hair Cuttery back in April when the woman said his scalp had all sorts of accumulation. By the volume in the bottle which I can see, I know he used it about three times and then stopped. Almost three years ago, I asked him what kind of Head and Shoulders he would like (we've always both used that). He said he didn't use it (which I didn't know at the time). I asked him what he used to wash his hair, soap? No, he said, nothing. He also wouldn't change the towel he uses to dry off so I do that. I've tried putting new clothes where he dumps the dirty ones but he still puts the dirty ones back on. When I ask him why, he last said, "They're not that dirty." Mind you, there was a streak of feces on the pants. My entire life, we never go in to each others bedrooms after we go to sleep for the night so I haven't yet tried to sneak in during the middle of the night to fully remove the dirty clothes as an option for him. I shouldn't have to. In my 44 years, I have never once seen him take a bath, just showers. I contacted the caregivers that helped my mom years ago, and they don't have a problem coming out. The problem is my father won't accept the help because his frontal lobe is damaged so he thinks that everything is just fine.
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Zombie, I understand. I had a father who would go without bathing if we allowed it. When I first came here, he hadn't bathed in 6 months. He didn't smell, but no one was making him bathe. The bad thing is that the skin on his private parts started having trouble. Those private parts can be the worst things when they aren't kept clean. After I got here, Dad bathed every week because we made him do it. We didn't give him an option and got the house warm and the shower and towels ready for him. My mother helped him bathe until toward the end of his life. Then we had some bathing assistants.

Your father doesn't sound as passive as mine, though. Mine hated taking the showers, but always felt better afterwards. I wonder if there is anyone who could convince your father that he was going to take a bath and clean his nether-regions before they went bad. It would be great if you could find a person that could do that.

You are in your home, so of course, you don't want to leave. You just want your dad to take a bath. I understand. Don't you wish we could squirt them down with a hose like we would the ponies?
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I really can't think of a way to solve your problems, but I can suggest each evening when he removes his daily clothes, you later replace them with clean clothes. Put the dirty ones in large containers full of soapy water. Wash them at your convenience. Try to find out what he objects to about a shower. Is the room cold? Are the towels scratchy? Is he afraid he'll slip and fall? Does he need a handheld shower head with massage or gentle flow? Shower bench? New curtain? New bathmat? Play detective. Make the environment safe and inviting. Good luck.
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I don't know why you think I should move out. Not only would I be abandoning my father when he needs me the most but I would be losing my home, land, animals, etc. While I lament that I can't have renovations done and that I have to smell my father at times, life here is like having a zombie (dead body) in the recliner. He requires little work because he won't let me take care of his person. I clean the rest. The psychologist seemed to imply that he was in much better shape than she thought, and since his intelligence is intact, he's not considered incompetent. A lawyer told me a few months ago that I should not try for guardianship because I have full medical and financial POA and there would be no need to do so. Even if I were declared his guardian, I cannot force him to accept someone to say wash him.
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Sorry, I missed the severe level. Wow, he's quite impaired. Did the doctor not emphasize that to you? As in, can no longer live alone ? Move out and call the County.
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Zombie, you apply for Guardian status, based on the test results. You inform the judge he continues to drive and ask the judge to court order the car be disposed of. By the way, once the MD says you should not drive, your license is officially suspended. If he defies the judge, you are not the bad guy. Life is better when someone else is the bad guy.
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Your father has been diagnosed with Mild to Moderate cognitive impairment. Inform the DMV. Set a date to leave and tell your dad he's on his own. Stop rotting away in this hell of your dad's creation.
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I got the results of his testing. While she recommends that he get an MRI, stop driving, and get help, he doesn't want any of those things, so she was like okay! They won't force him so that's that. The fact that he won't use soap, brush his teeth, change clothes, talk, move, etc. has no relevance. In a testing situation, he still tests average for intelligence and most memory skills. Most of his life though, his non-language intelligence was way above average.

Results of impairments:

Mild: motor grip bilaterally, motor coordination, digit forward registration, line quality, planning, organization, semantic verbal fluency.

Moderate: word pair registration, flexible attention, word pair recall, recognition memory.

Severe: motor speed bilaterally, focused attention, figure recall (none), phonemic verbal fluency
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Your father is living his life the way he wants to. There is little chance he'll change.
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I only recently got him to a PCP doctor for the first time in 5 years (what a struggle that was because there's nothing wrong with him according to him), and this new doctor is pretty hands off. The podiatrist only cares about his feet. Aside from that, he hasn't seen any doctors in three years. I have a job, not a good paying one though. I have a masters in analytical chemistry but my job doesn't require it. I don't want to leave. The animals and plants in and around the house are my whole life. Since dad sleeps 20 hours a day, he's not a big burden. I just hate watching someone rot away. And, then people blame me. I used to beg my brother to trim my father's nails or take him for a hair cut (I did get him to a hair cut last Thursday when I went) but he won't help. When I offer to tend to my father's hygiene in any way, he just tells me that it doesn't need it.
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I would have a frank talk with his doctor and tell the doctor exactly what is going on and that you can't do it anymore. If the doctor had no ideas, I would call the county and say the same thing. They will probably be familiar with self-neglecting people such as your father. I wish you were in better financial circumstances so you could leave. Since your finances are so intertwined it makes it harder. Do you have any work training or experience? Talk to someone at the Labor Dept to see if there is work you qualify for.
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Maybe giving up is what you need to do. You have fought and fought and fought and you're right in that you can't make someone do something they don't want to do. You can't hold your father down while you brush his teeth or give him a bath or change his clothes. I don't blame you for giving up. Maybe it will give you some peace to not have to chase after him everyday. You're doing the best you can and that's good enough.
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I feel for you. Nothing I can say will make dad less stinky, so all I can do is send sincere best wishes and prayers in your direction. God bless you for taking all this on.
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