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my 82 yar old husband in late 5 stage Alzheimer's will not take a shower for me, he says he's never had to be told when to shower he knows when and gets really mad if I say anything. he always thinks he just took one. I have to grab his clothes & hide them so he won't put them back on but he sleeps in his t shirt & underwear so I cannot get them. Also he is in such a rush when he wakes up to get downstairs to where I am having my quiet time, he does not wash up, brush teeth ( all his own) nor shave. I need help, I have tried everything I have read.

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Correction - not "nobody" who commented because Virtual did respond to you.!!
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Virtual, letting twopupsmom's hubby to shower when he feels like it won't work at all. Before my father had his stroke 2 years ago, he USED to shower when I told him it was time to shower - like once a week. Then he refused. He has no need to shower. Fortunately, my younger sis and her husband and teenage daughters visit every weekend. My father - for the whole week - would soil his pants with urine and NOT change his underwear brief or his pants. When he refuses to shower, it will take another week before I finally tell him, "Dad, you really really stink of urine! It's really smelly. Sis and family are coming tomorrow, you need to shower." And he did. But, that was like going on week number 3 - towards the end (before his stroke).

You see, my father's sense of smell has gone. He cannot smell his urine or his stinky sweat. He cannot smell that he pooped and it spilled out onto his pants. He Has No Sense of Smell! So, I would not rely on hubby to decide to shower because he stinks. When father soiled his pants with urine, he said that there's no need to change his pants. It will dry up. Eeww!!!

By the way, twopupsmom, I tend to NOT click on topics when someone asks for advice for those whose husband has dementia or for those who have a spouse...I even clicked on one thread with that caption, and the poster Specifically Said she only wants those who are married to respond. After that, I just don't even bother to click on the topic when someone mentions it. Kind of rude to me. Just because I'm single doesn't mean that I have no good input to the thread. Plus I work full time - Mondays to Saturdays. I come home, prepare dinner for father and I. I have only about 2 hours of me-time before I start changing his pampers, etc... I really don't have time to go hopping around the different threads to comment. So, I stick to my home thread - where we caregivers support each other, vent, etc...

However, I AM sorry that nobody who is married and in the same situation as you have commented. Because I do know for a fact that there are lots of you here on AC who is caring for their spouse. I think you and Virtual have a very common background. Remember, if you both want a little more privacy for more intimate questions, you can both send each other HUGS or comment on each other's walls. I do that all the time with the ones I feel comfortable with. {{HUGS}} to Both of you!!!
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oh my goodness they are both in the same frame of mind, my husband after military service went civil service also with 43 years and he thinks the Navy will send people for him & lock him up as he is supposed to be back. mine wants me to answer their calls and tell them he is in the hospital ( I am really laughing now) your answer to this works for me also, he will go about 2 days before he asks again. on the showering I let him go until I cannot take it, it is the head, no sweaty body odor but the head oh my goodness I just cannot stand it. many years ago I showed him something Betty Davis always did after she was dressed, spray her perfume in the air & walk under it so the fragrance followed everywhere, so him & I have done this for years, he remembers that but when he sprays it above a sweat smelly head...whew! he has no sense of smell, never has, so he is not going to notice. no games here either, he even gave up ( forgot ) his favorite, cribbage. tried puzzles, lost cause. ps I did get the underwear tonight, not an easy task but all is finally clean on the home front.

I have posted questions prior to this but you are the only person that has responded to me, ever. seems many of the " regulars" just talk among themselves. I have no where else I feel comfortable asking questions in any other settings, so thank you for being there.

how is your Mother faring through this with your Dad? As I said mine us 82 but I am 67 we have been married 26 years. I fell being a bit younger helps me through this, I would not want to be 80-82 also, way too much if a toll on two people.
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Hmm. My Dad worries that he needs to go in to work and schedule training flights. He retired 40 years ago this year from the Air Force and 18 years ago from Air Force civil service. He's afraid that if he doesn't go in, they'll send the security police after him and put him in the stockade; and that the people who are doing his job now don't know what to do, or that he forgot to tell them something. He asks me to call them and let them know that he won't be able to come in to work anymore. I always tell him I will, and that I did. That seems to settle him down for a while. He needs help showering and dressing. He has difficulty with his eating utensils and forgets to swallow sometimes. He has had sundowning syndrome for the past year at least and sometimes is up all night yelling for my Mom. Other than that...I guess he's doing okay! He still knows us, which is a blessing. His Mom (my grandmother) had Alzheimer's and passed away as a direct result back in the '90s (fell and broke her hip in the nursing home, caught pneumonia, etc.) His oldest sister is now in a nursing home with Alzheimer's; has been diagnosed for about 12 years. She's in her mid-80s. I've read that Alzheimer's is not genetic but many times I wonder. Dad also used to read, he loved westerns. I took him and Mom to the library every 3 weeks and they loaded up on books (she doesn't drive). He hasn't read anything in over a year and a half, at least. Sometimes he takes a book into his 'TV Room' and tells me he's reading it, but he isn't! He can't play cards, dominoes, anything like that anymore.

Do you ever just let your husband go without his shower until he decides he wants to take one? Maybe if he gets smelly enough (to himself) that will get the message across. Does he do anything that causes him to smell or sweat, etc. that makes it necessary to shower every day or every other day? Maybe if he's left to his own devices he'll do it on his own. (You've probably tried this already).
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Changing the showering time would not make a difference. My husband remembers the older periods of his life quite well, does very well on his own, meaning not any other disabilities, knock on wood! Bath rooming is fine. Double knock! He is 82 & still thinks the USN wants him back, he stopped reading anything about 6 months ago. He has two sisters one died 5 years ago - fully blown Alzheimer's & the other Sister (85) 6 hours from here in WV is the same as my husband, diagnosed officially last year he also had two maternal Aunts with same diagnosis. He has one daughter, a RN who lives 25 minutes from us who is useless, never calls him never comes by, maybe lunch 3 times a year, my Dr says its a list cause even asking. He son USN died in his late 20' s & is buried in Arlington Cemetery, I take him, she always has an excuse. Ok enough rambling, stay in touch, you have helped me immensely
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I guess the daily showering ritual is built into the military types -- my Dad is retired Air Force. Sometimes its just really hard to get someone with Alzheimer's to do something! When we really need my Dad to do something he doesn't want to do (and I know this may sound terrible) I tell him that he can either do the thing we're asking him to do, or he can walk a few laps around their driveway with me. He really doesn't like to go for a walk, though he normally does if I ask him to. But, if its a choice of doing one thing or going for a walk, he'll choose the other thing. I guess its sort of like bargaining with him, but it usually works...and you want to go with what works!

Has he always taken his shower at the same time every day? Maybe he needs a change. Would he take one before bed instead of in the morning?

As for trying everything you've read...I don't think everything's been written yet!!! My Mom and I try things we read and they never work. It just depends on the person, what stage they might be in, exactly how they're affected, etc. Everybody is different. Everything I read seems to say that the memory is the first thing to go in Alzheimer's, yet my Dad can remember people from 50 years ago. On the other hand, he has a lot of coordination problems, difficulty finding the right word, forgetting what he's talking about, etc. I found that reading everything I can on the disease is helpful, but it doesn't answer all the questions!
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Husband wanted me to take him to the barber I told him "bob" likes when your hair is shiny & clean before he cuts it. He got mad. I am out on the deck grooming 2 cockers in 90 + temp ( but that's ok - I am out ) low & behold he comes back totally showered, hair washed, shaved so I said I'll be back in a minute & went upstairs - no dirty underwear in laundry bin, just his outer clothes, someway tonight hopefully I can get him to swap underclothes - guess I cannot have it all
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Horizon, thank you for help with this, twice a week would make me happy he us a retired Naval Officer so he is a regular daily shower guy. He will not let me near the shower or into the bathroom when grooming as most times he thinks I am someone else & refuses back scrub, etc. I have peeked in & he showers head toe front to back & I know that he has done it all! Last week ( not a shower day) he did take the clean underwear and put them on then the dirty ones on top of them ( did not catch it till bedtime)
He is still very conscious of what's going on, though not quite on the same time line as me. I write bath day on a small dry erase board sitting on his sink only works if there is an outing involved ( sometimes)
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How often is your husband expected to shower and how well is he cleaned when he showers? I know that sounds odd. About 4 years ago, around the time my Dad was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's, he showered every day. He'd done that all his life, getting up every day (or night) and showering before going to work, or after doing yard work, etc. And even 4 years ago, at 76, he was still showering every day. The problem was that he wasn't cleaning himself. He apparently stood under the water (forever) but never really washed. One day my Mom took it upon herself to make sure he was cleaning his hair and head appropriately (she'd noticed some flakes, etc. in his hair while sitting in church). She made him get in the shower so she could take care of this. Come to find out, he had 'moldy' spots all over his body, wasn't very clean, etc. He may have been taking a shower, but he wasn't cleaning himself! This was one of the very first symptoms of his disease. To make a long story short, he has a shower twice a week now. Sometimes a third time if he has a doctors appointment. He gets scrubbed from top to bottom! His showers are scheduled. So you might consider making a shower schedule and pinning it up on a bulletin board or maybe the bathroom door. This way you're not telling him when to shower, you're making a schedule for him to follow. And if you haven't been observing him at all when he showers please do so at least a couple of times so that you know he's really cleaning himself!

I also know a lady whose husband, suffering from Alzheimer's, hadn't taken a shower in over two years! He just didn't want to. She helped him hand-wash, but that was it. She was shocked when one day he actually allowed her to help him with a real shower.

Regarding his t-shirt, underwear, etc. Maybe they can be made part of a schedule also. Tell him that on shower days you also will be doing laundry, so he needs to give you his underclothes, etc. so they can be taken care of. People with Alzheimer's function best when there's a set routine. Perhaps making a set routine of the shower/laundry would help make sure he showers. You don't actually need to wash the clothes every time, but if he thinks you have to that might work.
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