My Mother-in-law has not voluntarily showered or bathed since I have known her (14+ years). She has always sponged bathed herself and had her hair washed and set once a week. Recently she is not interested in even sponge cleaning herself. She has terrible skin flaking, smells and carries staph and really needs to be cleaner. She refuses to have her feet tended to as well and her toe nails are so long is scarey. A real breeding zone for bacteria. Her mind is sharp. Her constitution is strong like bull. What can I do?

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This may not help but I will share. I was able to get my mothers doctor to prescribe swimming and a swimming exercise class at the YMCA. She wasn't thrilled but since the doctor said she had too.... I got her a swim suit, got her to shower off before the class and there we were in the water.
She couldn't do everything but did what she could and just moved about when it was to something she couldn't do or the same things for to long.
After awhile she was going into the hot tub right next to the pool before we'd leave. Some weeks later I was able to get her to the swim lesson and then run an errand and come back when it was over and she was in the hot tub. She'd shower off, dress and got to admit she was feeling better.
This took time but worked for us. My mother was resistant but when the doctor advised her this was what she needed, was safer than walking for exercise, would build strength to maintain independance, etc.... and made it sound like it was something she needed to do as much as take the medicine he prescribed... it worked. I had to show her the RX he wrote a few hundred times stating he prescribe it, but it worked.
Hope this helps.
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