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He gets to the toilet and uses a bucket throughout the night. Help! When asked, he gets angry and agitated. We have tried prompting him and laying out garments, but nothing. He is able to wash his face and comb his hair but when we suggest getting a carer he refuses and becomes abusive. Any suggestions? He has vascular dementia.

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This is a constant battle with my Dad. You must choose your battles your willing to fight. Let go of little things, even if you disagree. When you embrace his need for independence, he is more likely to listen to you. Personal hygiene is essential to caregiving. It is one of your most crucial jobs. Choose this battle, stand your ground calmly. What worked for me, was telling Dad that uncleanliness was the main reason people end up in nursing homes, judged to be unable to exist on their own. Dad doesn't shower any more, afraid of falling. However I insist on a sponge bath once a week. Crank up the heat, use a soapy rag, fast, then rinse with another washcloth keep rinsing the washcloth. It isn't perfect, but it works.
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