My grandpa is an extremely stubborn man. Currently he is only “showering” by using a bar of soap in his sink. He scalp is covered in some sort of seborrhea or psoriasis...there are these spots where there’s like scabs? Some of them even bleed. He won’t listen to me or my parents. My dad is the one who can normally reason with him but it’s just not working. We don’t go see their doctor for quite some time. He used to be very lively, intelligent, and clean but this past year he suffered a major stroke.
I just don’t know what to do at this point. He can’t remember anything. He lies about eating (all he will finish is strawberry ice cream and yogurt) because he thinks everything tastes bad. He will ask you the same question and tell you the same stories a hundred times in a day. All of these things I can deal with! But seeing his head broke out in sores is deeply concerning and I could really use some advice.

We tried an at home aide but that went badly. He’s very stubborn and prideful nowadays. It’s understandable, but I wish I could get him to listen so I could help him. At this point I’m not sure he’d even listen to his doctor because he has refused to before.

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Hi Becca. First I’d like to say what a nice grandchild you are to write here looking for help for your grandfather. You said that a home aide didn’t go well. I would get a visiting nurse to come in. They will at least be able to evaluate the condition and provide some guidance after they have a look at what’s going on with the scalp. They also might be able to convince your grandfather to visit the Dr for evaluation. I agree that Dementia might be involved here with the behaviors you have explained. (My Mom has vascular dementia which presented after a stroke.) The Dr could possibly prescribe medication that would help your grandfathers behavior and allow you and your parents to assist him more with his needs. Good luck.
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Becca, I see from your profile that your grandfather is 80 years old.

I am in my mid 70's and have noticed for myself that taking a shower is like going to the gym for a work out. It can be very exhausting for many seniors.

Another thing, some seniors become claustrophobic when in a shower. Especially if there are glass doors. I know for myself, I need to keep the far door open a couple of feet.

Then there is the fear of falling. If your love one is using a moisturizing liquid soap and/or hair conditioners, it will make the floor of the tub/shower feel like an ice rink, even with a tub mat inside. I almost slipped the other day.

Towel drying isn't easy. I find myself hopping around trying to get one foot and leg dry, can be a challenge. So easy to get one's feet tangled up in the towel.

Then if the person needs to blow dry their hair, that can be tiring on their arms.

Whew !!

An old person doesn't need to shower daily, twice a week or once a week is good enough, unless they are doing hard labor. If the person is a Depends wearer, baby wipes work quite well between showers. Recently I found a product called “Water Wipes” in the baby section, quite pleased with the wipes.

Regarding the food.... well, as we age we do tend to lose our sense of taste. What does still taste good are sugary items. I noticed on my parent's grocery list that my Mom had a lot of Little Debbie's treats, chocolate chip muffins, blueberry pie, vanilla fudge ice cream, jelly, etc. I say let them eat what they want at that age unless there is a medical issue that doesn't allow sugar.

As for the scalp sores, what does his primary doctor recommend?
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Has grandpa been evaluated for dementia? He is showing many of the behaviors associated with this disease; lack of hygiene, stubbornness, and denial. If he is evaluated and shown to have this disease, his behaviors will not get better, only worse. He will need more and more care. And as good as your intentions are, you and your parents will not be able to care for him. He needs to go to his doctor at least for his skin condition, but mostly for his mental issues.
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