How can I convince my mother to change her clothes? When I say something about it, she gets insulted and tells me she did change. Any suggestions?

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In the case of my foster dad who eventually developed dementia, for a long time I was unable to connect the dots. One time I saw him take his socks off and put them back in the drawer and I called him out on it. Of course he got offended, But he was one of the ones who kept his clothes changed but he only wore just a few specific outfits that he must've occasionally talk to the laundromat. His bathroom only had a very small laundry basket but he had a whole closet full of clothes, several of them were actually suits. He had one pair of pajamas that he actually wore until they started falling apart. In certain cases like this, it would've been nice if I would've been in a position to take him shopping and replace some of his clothes. It would've been real nice to have him try on some new clothes in the dressing room and check them out in a full length mirror. I only wish I would've had far more financial ability than I did because he possibly could've had all new clothes and other things he could've had replaced. All I needed was the money and a vehicle. Even helping each other with what we had just wasn't enough, lack of money was always a problem for me though it wasn't so much of a problem for him. I think he knew something before I did because he desperately wanted to make some kind of provision for me to help me when he was gone but he never got that chance because the APS finally stepped in and unexpectedly took him away, so I never did get the chance to make time at my convenience to sit down and look through this folder he really wanted me to see. I don't know what all was in it but there was quite a thick stack of different papers. Had I only known what was coming, I would've changed my plans for that night. To this day I don't know what his guardian did with all of his stuff and especially those papers. I would've liked to have known how long ago these papers were collected and what they said. I'm just sorry I was in a hurry that night and I'm also sorry I didn't have better resources and enough money to help him have a better life experience.
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Some elders have lost their olfactory sense, aka, sense of smell. That said, they cannot tell that they have an odor about them. I had to pull my mother aside and say "would you rather hear it from me that you have an odor about you or from your best friend, Evelyn?" So you may want to tell your mother this in a gentle way, naturally.
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I don't know if your mom has mental decline, but if so, you're probably just going to have to put her into a facility and let them deal with it. Before putting her into a facility that deals with dementia and Alzheimer's, carefully do your homework and only select a nursing home with a five star rating. I would also research them with the Better Business Bureau and if they're not listed or accredited with the Better Business Bureau, that's a big huge red flag and I'd never put my loved one in there. Believe it or not, we must be careful where we put our loved ones as some of them definitely need to be in a facility. The problem is we need to look for ones with the highest ratings since there's so much abuse happening even in the nursing homes. It's bad enough there are people who need to be there but even worse when the people who need to be there or being abused by those who are supposed to be caring for them. I saw a video where a nurse was abusing a 90 something-year-old man in his bed and I personally would gladly allow nanny cams all over the nursing home and even in my room to prevent stuff like that from happening
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Marlo Sollitto (updated 7-3-2017) wrote a great guide regarding so many issues one will come up against with aging parents. The bathing/not changing clothing was one of a number of issues addressed (#3 pg 2/10).

You may want to read this http://www.agingcare.com/articles/bad-behavior-by-elderly-parents-138673.htm.

If you get the emails from AgingCare.com you will have so many answers at your finger tips. I have a 3 ring binder (really need to get a 2" binder) that I use regarding all of the issues over Mom with family members (dates/times/issue etc) along with my research both legal and article links provided by AgingCare.com.
This article was a link provided by AgingCare.com
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When my brothers, then there were 2, later 5, I would "trick" them. Tell them Dad would take us out to a movie or dinner if they are bathed and ready when he got home. Tell mom you're going out for coffee or bookstore, something she enjoys, but she needs to bathe and change. Or you could accidentally spill juice and say oh no. We need to take that off so the stain won't set. While she's in the bath/shower pass her a soapy wash cloth, shampoo etc. Pamper her with a freshly warm towel. Check her nails, toenails etc. I find that having her favorite colors in shirts, skirts, and pants, then she may not notice the change. Good luck, my mom needs help with dressing but sometimes she just doesn't want to change clothes.
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IrishColleen, Started out with underclothing with my mom. Since I usually wake up before my mom. I would replace her underclothing before she got up, with fresh underclothing. Soon after it became all her clothing.
After I remove her underclothing from the room, I will simply ask her if she has any dirty clothes she needs washed, as I am trying to fill the washer with light colors. So far so good.
Funny thing this morning she said, oh no you grabbed my shirt, I had my underpants in it, with a pad. I told its ok. I found the pad and through it in the garbage, it was dirty. The underpants are in the wash machine. To her relief, I didn't wash the pad. On a daily basis she doesn't notice, her clothes, or her underclothing missing.
Today, reading this question. I had to laugh. You got this!
If she isn't remembering to change them. Chances are she won't remember what she wore the day before. One more tip... Have the same color underwear, or clothing to swap. Hope this helps. Praying all goes smoothly.
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Boy, does this bring back memories! I agree that it's not worth it to fight and try and get them to change. It's one of the first things I noticed with mom. She would wear the same thing everyday. It was either she felt very secure in the clothes or she just couldn't make a decision on what to wear (and she had plenty to choose from believe me!). I think it was the first. It was something she felt comfortable in and she just didn't know what to do with the others. Then it was the bathing. Something she would never had gone without. She was of the generation that got their hair done every week. Boy, not any more. She started letting it grow since she said she had JUST been to the beauty shop which she hadn't in mos. The one time I got her to go (had to tell her she had made an appt and she sure didn't want her hairdresser to think she was a no show even though it was a completely different prson). Anyway, the hairdresser took me aside and said I can't get all the hairspray out of her hair with washing. I told her to do the best she could then cut it out. It looked so good when we left and my mother never even remembered she had had the long hair and it was quite a bit shorter. Long story how or when I got her to a facility but this is the beginning for you. So my suggestion also is to wash her clothes when she is not looking and also and this really helped me......don't have a lot of clothes. The fewer the better on her and YOU since you are doing the laundry now. Good luck and God Bless
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My sister, 78, won't bath, change clothes, etc...and refuses my help. She takes clean clothes and hangs them outside..."see I washed my clothes." Very soon she will need
more care but refuses all help. Currently her SS check barely covers her living "Independently" @ an Assisted living facility. She has Medi-Cal so I would like to hear from others (CA) who have needed/used Medi-Cal for placement. She has no need for rehab since it's her dementia that is creating problems with taking meds and
ADLs. She walks to dining room without problems. Thoughts?
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Would she remember if you divert her attention to something else and then start all over by saying she's been wearing the same clothes for too long. Would she remember that you just asked her. Try to make it fun. Mother and I coordinate clothes with each other every day. Pick out the color from her wardrobe that you are wearing so you can dress like Mother/ Daughter.
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Consider yourself blessed that your loved one will change her clothes at all.
My FIL refuses to shower or change his clothes for any reason even to put on pajamas for sleeping. He states he wants to be “ready for anything that should come up”.
He is an angry, mean individual and as his dementia progresses his aggression is only getting worse.
Fortunately we were lucky enough to find a CNA to come every two days to bathe and put clean clothes on him afterward. It’s still a struggle as he stalls for lengths of times and uses language that would make your ears melt but for some reason, he will allow this guy to talk him into it most days he comes.
Arguing with someone that has dementia/ Alzheimer’s is pointless so you have to be one step ahead and come up with “work arounds”.
Tell your loved one whatever you need to to make the situation a nonissue.
Other posters came up with some creative ideas. Try any and all of them to see what can work for your situation.
Good luck
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