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First, I am thankful to be in a “safe place” to ask advice and get your opinions, as this has helped me greatly in the past.


Briefly, my FIL lives with my husband and myself (2 years now).... he had a stroke 10 years ago and is managing PD. Husband is an only child. FIL will not shower or change his clothes on a regular basis.... additionally he grows hair like no other and it would require twice a week hair, nail trims... he does try to shave daily, but that is hit and miss. I have pushed husband to talk to FIL about his, and offer to hang around the bathroom while he showers in case he is afraid of falling, and to encourage him to bathe and change regularly. He refuses to say anything because it is “awkward”... I won’t even get started on that, but the BIGGER question is, as several friends have pointed out, if he fell or we had to take him to the hospital, etc., could this be considered neglect or abuse?... while he is well feed, has his own room and is safe, they say that may not be all that is considered.... now, we are planning to visit my MIL out of town, and as they are long divorced, of course FIL is not going. He refuses to go to respite care, and I am being met with resistance with getting a hone health service to come in and check on him while we are away for several days..... I am very concerned that if something were to happen, what the implications could be?


any thoughts????? Many thanks!

Congrats on standing up for yourself! Loved your update, you’re doing great!
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Reply to Daughterof1930
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Congrats on going “poof!” this weekend and sticking the prince with The King! That’s the only way hubby will understand that you’re dead serious. Do it more often.

Mom always said you catch more flies with honey,so tomorrow or Wednesday, kindly remind your husband that it’s time for him to hose down Pop. Give him half and hour then repeat a little more forcefully. Third strike and he’s out. Get towels and soap. Turn off the tv if he’s watching it and insist they get off their behinds NOW. Then show him how to run the washer for Dad’s bedding and clothes. I can almost guarantee you that if you maintain this attitude, Dad will be in the AL by fall.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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I’m glad you've put your foot down and you took my advice in the manner it was offered. I’ve never subscribed to the theory that elders should be treated like fragile little creatures especially when they can be “rather disagreeable”.

I really wouldn't worry about being interrogated or reported just because FIL has BO. APS is much too busy investigating cases of real abuse to check behind FIL’s ears to make sure he washed. They can also differentiate between bruises from falls and those obtained from being beaten.

Hubby needed to hear what I’m sure you said. It sounds like he was kind of sleep walking. Hopefully things will get better for you now.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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sidelined Aug 6, 2018
Hi Ahmijoy - and yes, thank you so much!  I agree with you, I think the agencies have more than full case load with real abuse/neglect cases.  Maybe a little extra hair & crust would not be on their top 10 list!  And yes, seniors are not wilting flowers.... unless there is a real mental health issue, dancing around the subject does not work.

I will tell you that the support you and others have offered has meant the world to me.  Friends can only go so far as their kindness and life experience has taken them - the folks here have been there done that, or still doing it....

While I will not "count my chickens" just yet, I do think my sleepwalking hubby may have taken this serious this time around.  I don't think it hurt that I made myself pretty much absent this week-end.  I told him that a minimum of 3 days per week of bathing - grooming - change of clothes were non-negotiable.  Also, I have suggested 4 choices that he can put before the "King".... do it yourself, do it with hubby's help, do it with the help of a hired caregiver, or lastly, and my personal favorite.... go to an ALF.   I'll keep you posted!  Thanks again!
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I like what Ahmijoy said. He should make things easy for you not harder. My husband used to ask the girls "do u want to go?" and I would tell him they have no choice. They r too young to stay home alone and we are going. Like the choice thing, he gets an aide or its respite care.

TG we didn't have to care for our fathers. Because...I wouldn't be bathing them. To me men do the men and women do the women. Unless, they r husband and wife. Your FIL doesn't need a bath everyday. In NHs its twice a week. I did Mom 3x a week. In between it was a small sponge bath. (I like a clean area to put deodorant on) A couple of days of beard growth, OK. Hair, have it cut short. Clothing, if no accidents he could wear pants a couple of days. Shirts, maybe change.

When my Mom would get iffy about a bath or sponge bath, I would say to her "you don't want to stink do you?" Direct approach works better I think.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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sidelined Aug 5, 2018
Hi JoAnn, thank you so much for your feedback. Yes, it would be nice to get a little cooperation, and like you said, doing nothing is NOT and option. After my post I had a long direct ultimatium talk with hubby... it’s do or die time
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I just said this on another post. When parents live with their adult children, it’s a privilege and not a right. Dad has taken control of your home and you have let him. It’s too bad if he doesn’t want a home health service to come in while you are away, but it’s got to happen because he can’t stay alone. Give him the choice of going to a facility for respite care. He will refuse because he will be afraid you’ll leave him there. So, he may be more amenable to an aide coming in. Let him know it’s either/or. If he can’t decide you will decide for him.

If Dad had to go to the ER, his lack of personal hygiene will be noted, but I doubt seriously if you’d get in trouble with APS. There would have to be other signs of abuse or neglect. Some seniors don’t like showers. Dad may be from the era when everyone took baths. My mom was claustrophobic and showers were pure hell for her. Is your shower handicap outfitted with bars and perhaps a shower bench so he can sit? Does it have those non slip decals or s nonslip mat on the floor? In any case, Hubby needs to step up and INSIST his dad shower or bathe. Dad is embarrassed to have you hovering when he bathes. Fine. Grab hubby by his ear and lead him into the bathroom and tell him to watch his dad. It shouldn’t be up to you anyway. Dad can get a urinary tract infection and those are not fun. Does he sleep in his clothes? Take them then and wash them.

Stop letting FIL run the show. You and your husband need to lay the law down with him. Either he cooperates with what you tell him or he goes to a facility.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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sidelined Aug 5, 2018
Amen to ALL! Yes, our first fatal mistake was not setting ground rules because of feeling sorry for him, not sure where limits were and moving him far away from his home. Now, like you said, the tail is wagging the dog. Time is up and I have told hubby if he does not step in and we were found to be questioned, he hits the road too, because I will be damned if I will be out through an interrogation after all I have done for his dad. Stay tuned, and thanks!
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