My mother-in-law wets herself and then refuses to change her clothes, how can I get her to change so she doesn’t smell?

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Prior to me writing this this is how the conversation went.
"Mum, your skirt is very wet at the back"
She replied. "Yes, I know. I have just been up stairs, so I'm not going up again.

I said." If you sit down in your chair it will also get wet, so what do you think would be better to do"?

"I'll see to it later" She replied.
My husband then said she should go change now as her chair will begin to smell as so will she if she doesn't go change. she ignored him but her attitiude suggests that she just doesn't care.
She uses incontinence pads and I have throw away cover sheets for her chair, but unless I clean after her she would just sit in the wet all day every day. It was so bad earlier that she was actually dripping all over the floor and had to mop up after her. We have been told that she is in the early stages of Altzhiemers, but this problem is getting worse. When it comes to food or money or what is on the TV she is on the ball, but her personal hygene she just doesn't care anymore, and the more we ask her the more she fights against us.

Answers 1 to 10 of 11
I guess the first question is has she forgotten how to take care of it. Second is does she have to go upstairs to take care of it. Either can be daunting for someone in this situation and they will fight rather than comply - usually because they don't know how to comply.

Also, never ask a question, just say, "Let's go." If it is something they have forgotten how to do, they cannot cope with a question or a choice.

You don't mention her age and that can play into it also although Alzheimer's hits at all ages (my dad was 61 and died at 71, my mom is now 94).

It may seem like she is with it as far as the TV, money and food but for a long time my mom was able to make it look like she knew what she was doing. When I was actually with her all day, it became clear that things weren't what they seemed. That said, you may well be right and those capabilities are still intact but if she is going downhill in one area, the others will follow sometimes so subtly that you may not notice.

I wish you well!
Top Answer
My father in law is 67,he has had 5 strokes now.He will not drink ANY water! He only drinks dark sodas! He wont take his meds,he wont shower,wont change his clothes! He just sits in his chair all day everyday! He pees and poops on everything,the car,the furniture,the floor,the bed! Everyday is constant laundry! If you tell him to change,he just ignores you! Im so frustrated,my furniture is destroyed,I dont have a life anymore! I cry all the time! I dont want to put him in a home,but im starting to think that it might be a better option for him!
I feel like he has given up on his life,he has cut off all friends and family! My house smells very foul, I clean everyday! Its very challenging to deal with a person that doesnt want to help themself! I want to invite company over but I cant, im so embarrased of my home! Another big issue is his constant smoking! Its harrible! He burns up my carpet and turñs everything into his ashtray! Im an ashtma sufferer! I cant stand it!
Tiana, the more you know about Alzheimer's/Dementia [as per your profile] the more you will understand why your father-in-law acts that way. Click on and now scroll down to the very informative articles.
Tiana, is IS time for him to move to an Assisted Living or Nursing Home. Start looking around and do not feel guilty about it. If you don't get him to the appropriate place, you will die before he does. Thirty percent of caregivers die before their patients and I think you know why.
my mom is 93 and in early stages of dementia. we live in a mother daughter but she is not able to cook for herself so her apartment is no longer being used. she spends all her waking hours with us and we do everything for her. she is able to shower herself when told. she has congestive heart failure but that has been under control. our main issue now is recurring UTI's. I believe it is because of her sanitary habits. desperately needing suggestions regarding this. thanks in advance.
MicheleC, you might want to start a new topic for better responses? What are the sanitary habits that you're concerned about and would like to change?

Also, how long have the uti's been recurring for? Are you reasonably confident that her GP is actually managing to knock the infection on the head each time, or could it be the same one never really going away?

Anyway - please post more, hope there'll be some useful answers.
Yes, if you post on the tail end of someone else's thread, it's possible that it won't get read that much. You might want to start your own thread, giving a little bit about the problem and asking your own specific question.
CC It is now 4 years since you posted. I imagine things have changed quite a bit since you first wrote, at least I hope so... Alzheimer's eventually leads to death, and most need to be in nh even sooner than family realizes. It looks as if you only received one answer (very kind), then another post came up on the thread in 2015 and people responded more to that. Perhaps due to more people being comfortable on internet posting. At any rate, I do wish to say two things: First, blessings to you and your family, including MIL. I hope at this point she is in nh or in heaven, peaceful and clean! 2nd, I don't know if you've been to counseling, but if you haven't already, you may wish to. It is a wonderful thing at any stage of life, even if we don't feel terrible at the time. The kind of stress you endured (meaning you had to repress it so you could function!) can do serious damage to our emotional and physical health. (Side note: I have multiple sclerosis and sometimes I've called it "multiple stress" - my brain/body just couldn't take all the repressed stress anymore... just one dis-ease stress can cause. It makes sense to me why stress causes heart attacks, attacks on our immune systems, etc.) Having said all this, I will say that I have a friend who, once her mother passed on (in an nh), my friend became a new woman, even became sober on her own (heavily drank gin at home on her own, only once in a while), and now lives a peaceful, spiritual life. Her "counseling" is a special book that she lives by (not the Bible but very similar to the true teachings of the Christ). Anyway, I always write a lot, but I wanted so very much at this late date to say you are loved, you are worthy of feeling good about yourself. Think of getting emotional help for any lingering emotions you may have tried to "just get past and move forward."
Tiana, I WILL keep this short as your question has been answered by pamstegma. Just wanted to add that the answer to your question was in the last sentence of your first post. I often feel that when we ask a question or make a statement, the answer is in it. You said you don't want to put him in a nh, but... And of course, the answer is, he needs it, you need it. Blessings to you and your family.

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