I am in my 5th round of cancer, this time lungs. Thought I would share with you so that perhaps you can come to understand some of the dilemma that comes with being older and ill.
I am fairly independent and do many things for myself. I also tend now to keep to a schedule so that I know what I expect of me each day. I have a personal care aide who is more than willing to help, but she cannot help with the biggest drawback - taking a shower makes it hard to breathe and takes energy away, even with help and a shower chair.
In the past I have been fastidious about staying clean and still am - but now I prefer to use wipes so that I can breathe and it doesn't sap all my energy for the day. Where I used to shower daily or more often, in the past year it has gone down to weekly and that is the day I set aside to sleep and be lazy because of the enormous effort.
Yes, I hate that it has come to this, but my doc assures me this is normal for what is going on. As we age, the energy just isn't there anymore and so we pick and choose what we can and/or cannot do.
Perhaps your relative or friend is experiencing the same feelings. Talking openly and honestly about it helps. My family partially understands, and partially wishes I would take better care - but ultimately it is up to me, and even with the full help of an aide it is a chore that sometimes gets the best of me. Knowing that I have set aside a specific day every week helps a great deal - I can plan around that day!
Hope this helps some of you