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We cannot get him to shower. We have waited for the winter to pass, as he is always cold (understandable with age issues); we have gently told him he needs to do this. We know we cannot force him. Would perhaps hiring an outside agency to come in and assist (while we are here also) might help? He has been cheap all of his life and maybe knowing that we've had to pay someone to get him to do something essential might help. SO CONFUSED and feel stonewalled. Has anyone got any ideas that helped them?

I get all the reasons why; I understand how dementia figures into it. The bathroom is handicapped accessible, has a shower seat is is extremely safe (it was modified for just this reason). Thank you for any suggestions!

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Mother didn't like to bathe either, but at the NH, they seem to have no problem keeping the folks clean. The patients even seem happy, when clean and dressed.
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My mom probably went a year without showering - she'd occasionally do a poor job of washing her hair in the sink, but never showered. Once she was in daycare once a week (against her will -she was SOOO mad about having to go, but her doctor signed her over to an organization that provides dementia care during the day) , they forced her into the shower. She screams and cries every time, but relents, and now she doesn't stink. Other than when she pees herself, which is daily. There comes a time when you can't provide the level of care the person needs and keep them healthy. Not showering for a year - the risk of infection is significant. Not to mention what that says about the person's overall mental condition. It's rough being the person who either has to "parent" this person or to decide the time has come to let professionals do it in a home.
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Watch the teepa snow video on youtube about giving them a shower. Basically you leave him in his underwear, put a warm towel on his shoulders and start with feet, legs and arms. Of course the warm water will splash onto his clothes and he will naturally want them off. His MD can send an OT to the house to teach him how to safely take a shower. In dementia, they often have trouble with setting the water temperature and the idea is to assist and still preserve his modesty. Watch the video.
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My father also hated to take showers. He would have never taken one if we hadn't insisted. I think the whole shower experience was confusing to him. The bad thing is that men's privates do need a good bath to keep the skin healthy. If for no other reason than this, I think men need a good shower at least once a week.

When it came time for my father's shower, we heated the house and got all his essentials set up for him. We turned on the water and got it the right temperature. Then my mother would sit in the bathroom with him while he showered. We didn't give him the option of not taking one.

When he became too weak to shower alone, we hired someone from a local caregiving agency to come by to give him either a wet or dry bath twice a week. He preferred the dry baths, but they didn't get him as clean.

As much as he didn't like to shower, he always perked up after the shower. I know it made him feel better and kept his skin healthier. I hope you're able to convince your father that taking a shower isn't optional -- it's a necessity.
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Is he a little unsteady on his feet? He may just be afraid of falling. If "we" are female he could be self conscious about being helped. Could you get a male relative to help him shower?

My wee old house has a huge jetted (doesn't work) tub and, with a hip replacement, I'm afraid to get into it in case I can't get out. In a few weeks it will be taken out and a shower installed as I haven't been able to afford it up to now and I'm so looking forward to it. For the past year I've made do with a wash down. I live out in the country and probably smell like a dead bear by now but my dogs don't care, they like stinky stuff :)
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