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My dad is 89, has mild/moderate dementia, and still lives at home. I live in another state but have managed to keep him at his home (his big wish) with the help of local caregivers/friends, caring housemates (he has two) once-a-month visits and daily calls.


Most of the time, he refuses to get dressed, bathe and go outside even for a one-block walk. My concerns are that he wears the same underwear for days on end, stinks, and I have a feeling that his not changing adds to his lethargy. He bathes infrequently and won't let anyone help him with this, so it's always a little risk when he gets in the tub, though he has a shower chair.


I keep reading that exercise helps even more than drugs with dementia and Alzheimer's, but none of his caretakers have luck getting him to do any of this. When I was there two weeks ago he did go for a walk with me without a fight, but I am not there most of the time.


Has anyone had success getting a stubborn elder to change clothes, bathe and get out? Any tips? His main caretaker and I are often nagging him with few results.


Thanks so much for any tips!

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And all I’m struggling with is getting dad to a blind camp and those damn stinky salonpas.

You put me in perspective.
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Reply to dontgetthechees
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My husband does not like to shower or change clothes either. So I try to get him to shower at least once a week. At other times In between I tell him he stinks and to go wash your pits and ports. He will do that as he does not want to be embarrassed if someone should stop by. To change his clothes I take his dirty clothes when he goes to bed and put them in the hamper. But then I am here with him. It is difficult all the time.
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Reply to Mamram
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In my experience with my sister, you will never get him to understand the need for hygiene. Their mind does not work normally any more. Only a professional or trusted family member will be able to do this. It will continue to get worse as incontinence begins.

I wish there was an easy answer to give you but honestly..... There isn't one. I have been taking care of my sister for four years and it is not fun!

We can't afford professional care. I would advise you to call Hospice and find out about the Transition program. This is good for helping with ID bracelet, resources and help with supplies. It is part of Hospice used when life expectancy is longer than six months.

They do give you Medicaid resources so you can begin looking into that if needed. They will come to your Dad's home to work with you.

Good luck my friend as you begin this difficult journey!
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Reply to Londll
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Dad is content the way he is, whether he smells or not.
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Reply to shad250
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rovana Sep 5, 2018
But how do the people who are helping care for him feel about it?
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My mom is the same. She goes a week without bathing and stays in pjs all the time. The last time I ask her to get a bath because she had a Drs appointment she told me she was going to call the law to me. She also called me an a——. I had the Drs office call her so she decided to get that bath and go for her visit. I know this is no help to you but you are not alone.
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Reply to GwenKaiser
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sunbrooke Sep 3, 2018
Thanks, Gwen. The struggle is real! Warm wishes.
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its such a hard subject! that ... and incontinence. 

are any of his caretakers actually from an agency with training?

he may need more than once a month visit and daily 'calls'

not bathing I think could trigger skin problems besides the smell

maybe there is a skilled person who is specially trained in the "bathing issues" that can be hired.

my dad didn't like bathing either (in AL) and the skin/hair gets so oily and crusty (ug.)
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Reply to wally003
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