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Clothing should be changed daily. Often seniors don't want to shower daily but you can encourage them to do this by telling them how nice they small after a shower. And again when they put on fresh clothes. Encourage them to smell really good and have other family members tell them the same thing..
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Dana if you feel showers are needed more often you can request that. I did that with my uncle and there was no problem. They showered him whenever they had time. I didn't care as long as he was clean. He had a catheter but the other parts of his body were too stinky for a once a week shower.
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My experience has been that assisted living does showers once a week.
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Having a European - style bidet would be So Nice, when we get around to remodeling our 1950's bathroom I would love to replace the double vanity with single one, and the bidet. However I suspect the drain needs to be as large as a toilet one. An alternative to bidet, is a hotel style long hosed handheld shower nozzle. Have mom stand in shower with no clothing on lower half, and shower her down.
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Wow! Every day showers!! I feel lucky when I con Mom into doing it once a week and/or before a doctor's appointment.
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Malloryg8r: The "smelliness" comes from the fact that elders just can't bathe well and they have lost the olfactory sense.
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Like the bidet idea. I'm big on wipies. I use the big baby ones. Nice and thick. My Mom has some incontinence but can still use the toilet.
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I guess that would vary from person to person based on their past habits. I would however change daily, both under clothes and outer clothes. If she is incontinent or sweats a lot she would have an odor. Outer clothes get soiled with food or liquid spills. I agree with the above, every one likes to receive compliments on how nice they look. Just because someone has dementia, it doesn't mean they can neglect their hygiene. I am well aware of difficult behaviors with dementia and that some people don't like bathing or changing clothing. You just deal with each episode as it comes and redirect, ask again later and then bathe and change clothing when she's agreeable.
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My mum is in a nursing home and does not change her clothes, I change her when I visit, approx every other day.The staff help sometimes but have 40 people. to care for and can't remember what everyone is wearing. She also neatly replaces dirty clothes in the wardrobe and cupboards given half a chance so I have to check that as well.
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All this is making me think of having both a bidet and a walk in bath installed in our home before hubby and I get too old to care anymore!
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Although a good idea, I was not able to wash my mom in the shower if she was wet at lunchtime. I will fill container with water and no rinse soap and was her while sitting on the potty. Squeeze wash rag so water would run between her legs, wash legs then dry, stand her up and wash and dry her from the rear. Then new depends (with a pad) and new pants. Next potty break (if too late) would just remove the pad. Always had a washable pad on the recliner seat too.
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Moms gets a shower everyother day and she gets a change of clothes. Underwear changed everyday except bra everyother. This is as long as there are no smells or spoiled in some way. I think in nursing facilities, they r changed evryday since different people dress them on a daily basis. Showers r onlu given 2 or 3x a week.
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If they are incontinent, change all clothing daily, there is an odor that gets on them, and the senior's cannot always smell it themselves.
They also need to remove their slacks and really wash well (handheld shower is best) between diaper changes--they won't want to, but it's only way to reduce the smelliness.
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Change daily and here is why: the elderly can't bathe well enough and their garments tend to have an oodor! Trust me-my mother's did until I got them away from her to launder them!
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daily or when soiled
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At one point we gave up on wearing the bra and I just bought my mom white tank tshirts for summer and regular white tshirts for winter.
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I would change underwear and outer clothes everyday. I would go in moms closet and match up pants and tops, enough for a week or two. Although my moms outer pants were not wet the crotch did have an odor so I stopped using 2x. My thought was why are we saving all the good clothes. Each day I would hold up 2 sets of clothes and ask mom, would you like to wear the blue or green one. Always creamed up arms and legs and told her how pretty she looked afterwards. If it was cold out and mom had sweat suit outfit one, I did then just leave on for her to sleep in. If she had a blouse and sweater, she was changed into pj. I did what others here also suggested in removing Todays clothes from room so she couldn't find tomorrow. I would just say I washed them last night. This worked for us. If someone else was dressing mom I could say outfits all ready in closet.
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Lots of good tips in your post. Where is "Less Laundry!"?
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The RN in charge of the Aging Brain Care program said a weekly shower is ok. I bought some really nice adult bibs which certainly cuts down on laundry. My husband has "outgrown" Depends and I get much better ones on line. They cost a bit more but he uses fewer of them and there is no more leakage and no bedding to change. Read Less Laundry! He can still shower and shave himself but I have a person come in from a group called Home Care By Design just to be there. I go get my hair done and do some shopping. I feel this gets him used to having someone there for when he needs more help. He also prefers khakis and belts I think it is male pride😊.
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It's a good idea to keep up hygiene in the early stages because it will only get harder. If I had not insisted on daily showers when my husband was going through a stage of not wanting to get wet, I would be in trouble now that he is totally incontinent. He sleeps soundly for 14 hours a night and definitely needs a shower when I get him up.
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I think everyone did a good job of answering. I've only to add that my father dresses himself but sleeps in his underwear so he forgets to put on fresh underwear. I have post-its on his mirrors which tell him to put on fresh underwear every day (he laughs about it) and then I go through his closet when I do laundry and pull shirts he has worn and hung back up. He doesn't soil himself so I wash the pants once in awhile. But he wears his oldest threadbare ones which I will try to replace with duplicates. His biggest problem is that he has too many clothes to choose from so he wears the ones at the front of the closet which are the easiest to see. I think he has always been this way to a certain extent. But he used to link underwear change to a daily shower and now he only showers once a week. He has Depends available to him if he feels incontinent and he will switch on his own between them and his underwear, but he throws the Depends in the laundry hamper. He also prefers khakis because they are lighter weight, have pockets and he can wear a belt.
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I agree with the comments above. If this is a woman, tell her how nice her clothes smell after you wash them. Depending on how soiled she gets, you can purchased panty 'liners' like Pose poise website (they are disposable and line the panty, so you can throw them away every day)... not too expensive and you can buy them at the Dollar Tree for $1.
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When my husband ws first in AL I was upset if I saw him the second day in the same clothes.Sometimes he slept in his clothes, not permitting the staff to change him! I got used to the idea that this too, is a stage of Alzheimer's disease. Now he doesn't care and permits the staff to put on pj's at night and clean clothing every morning. They will adapt to the caregiver's decisions if they are made without fuss.
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I try to change him daily. He gets so much food on his pants since he wipes his hands on his pants like a napkin! I was shocked yesterday that I was able to let him wear them for a second day. He refuses to wear sweat pants. He hates them. I have to grab the dirty clothes at night after he gets into bed. Otherwise he will wear them again. We bathe every day if needed. Lots of bathroom accidents. If he seems clean, doesn't stink, we go a few days between showers. He also refused to wear all of his blue jeans. He said they were ugly! So he wants to wear kakis every day. And they show all the dirt. On the other hand it is easy to see when he has had an accident! Then he gets scrubbed down.
Underwear gets changed once a day unless he obviously needs to be changed. I couldn't get him to wear Depends last year. HE said he didn't need them, although he did need them. I guess he was too proud to wear them. One day I just threw out all his underwear and filled the drawer with Depends. He never said a word!
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at my dads AL they continue to make sure he changes all his clothes daily. His blue jeans or khaki's I will hang back up as I feel they do not have to wash them after one wearing. I do check his dresser to make sure no diety clothes are in there.
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I would say change underwear daily and blouses and pants every few days or when they spill food or soil themselves (and they will). Normally a woman would wear something different every day but not necessarily throw yesterday's in the hamper unless its dirty. Now that I'm not working, I sometimes wear the same thing for two days if its still clean and fresh and I'm just hanging around the house or doing chores, but never more than that. Check the condition of what she is wearing at night, either hang it up if still clean or put in hamper and lay out a different outfit for morning. Sadly dementia robs a woman of her normal interest in caring about looking good. For the past five years my mother will wear the same thing every day, filthy, until I make her change. They just don't notice any more. We buy her new clothes and she won't wear them.
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I would change daily --- as there is likely food spills and perhaps leakage from depends, etc. Many seniors, especialy those with dementia, don't see the need for this so you may be having a battle. My MIL is in assisted liv. and (literally) we have the aides hiding yesterday's clothes as she is hamper diving to retrieve items thrown into it! On a previous thread, someone suggested buying duplicates of clothes and having the set washed while the clean set was put on. Between age and memory and yes sometimes depression, the senior doesn't see the need for it all.
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They like to be told how nice they look so change everything every day
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I see you are caring for a wife with dementia. How often would she normally have changed her clothes a few years ago? Some people get the idea that once they are older and they are not doing physical labour any more they don't need to change their clothes as often, but you don't need to let your standards slip just because you are aging. I would think with dementia there are probably quite a few spills at meal time and probably issues with incontinence, at least occasionally. You need to change her underwear daily (or more often than that if needed), her blouses and pants when she soils them or after her shower, every few days at least.
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