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Churchmouse: I agree; that is depressing
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Yes of course it's a negative connotation. I'm not saying he's on the scrap-heap, I'm suggesting he might feel as though he is. Which is why it would be so depressing.
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Churchmouse: "on the scrap heap" is a negative connotation. What I would say is this man could have a skill set that could get him a part-time job, such as turf care, painting, coaching little league, et al. Basically whatever interests him and/or is good at.
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Self-neglect is a common feature of depression. And retirement is a common trigger of it, too - going from having a job of work to do every day to feeling as if you're on the scrap heap, no incentive to make yourself presentable, nothing to get up and busy for. As he's only 64, could he not be making himself useful? Any transferable skills from his career?
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Weare4545: Something is amiss for a 64 year old man not to want to bathe very often or brush his teeth. Perhaps if he made some friends at the local senior center he would think better of himself. I can only imagine his poor doctor getting knocked over by his breath. Perhaps that is one time that he DOES brush his teeth?
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Its sad as my Father Inlaw takes one shower a month sometimes twice a month. He does not Bursh his teeth and is very sloppy. He recently retired and is 64 years old. My concern for him is depression and Bi-polar. He lives with me and my wife and two Sons and is very hard to get along with. We try to encourage him to get out more and enjoy his retirement but he only goes to the grocery store and occasionally to the Dr. I read some of these comments and others with questions regarding thier mother or father who seem to he older and with actual conditions so I am at a loss with what to do for this man as he is bringing me and my wife down.
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There are many types of ways to work with the AD patient who refuses to shower or shave. I would keep trying different things to see if anything works. Depending on how alert he is, I might suggest that I have a new razor that I want to try out and ask him to sit and let me shave him. Say, it's an unusual razor that he should love. That way, if it goes well, you can keep shaving him.

Or, I might give up the regular razor and go with an electric razor. With the dementia patients that I see, I can't imagine they are shaving themselves. They forget how to hold items in their hand. My cousin has forgotten how to remove a small gift out of a gift bag. Eventually, it's a responsibility that the care giver will have to take on.
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Teepa Snow (google her) has a technique where you get the bathroom sauna-hot and steamy first, and just be ready to get wet yourself Have lots of warm towels available.

Then mimic taking off clothes and see if they will copy you. If not, say something like "I love your shirt! Let me try it on!" to see if they will take it off then. If not, then put them in the shower in their clothes.

If they are wet, they will be more likely to want to take off the wet clothes. Then cover up what isn't being washed with a towel. It will get wet, but it keeps them covered and warm.

You may also need to bathe by zones. Top half one day, bottom half another day. Etc.

Shaving with an electric shaver is infinitely easier & safer than a blade as well.

Lots & lots of compliments on how good looking & smelling he is afterwards.
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It is hard to keep an elder clean. Even if they do bathe, they still lack the ability to clean themselves well. Hardest conversation I had to have was "ah, mother, you need to wash better."
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We also have an aid coming in, twice weekly pid for by the VA. I think Dad is less uncomfortable when it's not his daughter or daughter-in-law showering him and it is a routine every Tuesday and Friday morning. It doesn't hurt that he likes to flirt with "girls." We warn them and they all seem to be used to handling this type of behavior.
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I see from your initial intro that your father in law has dementia and lives with you. I agree that the posted link to the article would be helpful as there are issues with fear of water for those with dementia and suggestions for how to deal with that. It's a good article. My Dad didn't want to clean up or shower, and he especially fought my Mom about it. But, when we got a caregiver coming in to help, she had no trouble working with him. Sometimes, that is the solution, because someone with dementia who is in that stage where they know they have problems, get into a control fight with a mate or relative, but they will drop that with a caregiver. My Dad had always been the one in control within the home....re: bills, money, decisions and himself. He was not a tyrant..just that cultural family unit. Mom in charge of house, Dad in charge of money, work and decisions. So....when we started to have to take over, he had real control issues. This can come out in, " You aren't going to tell me I have to change clothes or shower...I'll do it when I want to" ! So the other suggestions above all work and I found with my Dad it was, " Do you want to "thus or so" now....or after lunch?....so that Dad still had the 'choice' and it was 'his decision' worked well during this phase. When dementia gets worse, this phase goes away and before my dad passed, he would just look around and say something like, " Well what are we supposed to do now?" because he just had no memory at all, except for way back long term, with discussion focused conversations. So no more control issues with anything. If there are other problems caring for your father in law, it may be time to find a care giver to come in a few days a week, just for specific things to do with him, and include the shower with that. Then caregivers can use the time someone comes in, to have their own personal time for shopping, running errands, taking care of themselves.
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I have been lucky so far with this, Mom complains sometimes but I bathe her everyday and it is just part of her routine. If I did not we could not leave the house, her Dr. always tells me when she is being stubborn to try something sweet maybe that could work just tell him we are going to take a bath and then tell him you will give him his favorite sweet treat.
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You do not give much information about his health so I will reserve my comments until you provide more information.
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You may want to read the information posted on this site in the past:

https://www.agingcare.com/articles/elderly-parents-who-wont-shower-or-change-clothes-133877.htm
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My Dad has become reluctant to shower and shave as well; I use positive reinforcement when he does (you look great!) and some negotiating tactics similar to NanaForgets mentions above. "We'll go for a walk after you shave" or "Lunch will be ready after you shower." Sort of like a trade negotiation, which works for him. I think my Dad is aware that he needs to do this, but is both forgetful and then resistant. He loves his hugs, so that's motivation to stay shaved and clean! If he was truly resistant, I honestly don't know what I would do, so I'm curious to see other answers in this forum. Thanks for sharing your challenge, Bus152.
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My mom wants to go places (like see the kids play ball etc.). So I just curl up my nose and tell her she can't go unless she gets "cleaned up". She finally gets in the shower for me.
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Does your father-in-law live with you? What does he say when you ask him about this?
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