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My husband of 50 years diagnosed with vascular dementia 2 years ago. This past year he no longer drives, doesn't want to leave the house, won't shower, shave or get his haircut. Sometimes refuses to go to doctor appts. He won't let anyone help him with difficult tasks. When children come to visit, he visits a while and then retreats to his room. Hasn't participated in family activities for quite awhile. Suggestions on how to get him to attend to personal hygiene issues. I know it is hard for him, but he emphatically refuses help.

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Rattled- If your dad has dementia you need to get POA and have Dad placed in a facility whether he likes it or not...don’t forget, you’re not dealing with your “dad” anymore, but a mere shell of what he once was, and he no longer has decision making ability.
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I have a friend who resists my suggestions that would make him more comfortable. I've learned to let him make his own decisions. Fighting to have him shower, shave and dress as I'd like him to just makes for a miserable experience. When he gets malodorous I'll just stop visiting and let his caretakers deal with him. At some point, we have to let people live their own lives and stop ordering them around, tempting as it is to want to be right all the time.
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He is content to be at home and live out the rest of his life there.
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Donvee,

While I can appreciate where the other poster is coming from the one difference between your situation and her situation is that your husband has dementia. That changes things. Your husband doesn't have the cognitive ability to make day to day decisions on his own, the dementia interferes with everything he does and says. He may not be acting willful, he could just be experiencing symptoms of the dementia.

He also sounds like he may be depressed. Have you considered taking him to the doctor and explaining these symptoms to the doctor? Perhaps asking for an anti-depressant for your husband?

And if you can get your husband to the doctor, enlist the doctor's help in encouraging your husband to take care of his personal hygiene.

If your husband were freshly showered and wearing clean clothes, shaved, and accepting company his mood might improve but it will probably have to be baby steps. Focus on the shower first. Your doctor's office can order a shower aide to come to your place and shower your husband. I did this for my dad when my dad stopped showering. A few times with the aide and my dad went back to showering on his own again. When we're depressed it's difficult to take care of ourselves but when we do something, like shower, it's like a little victory and can be motivating.

* antidepressant
* shower

If it were me I'd start there.
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There is a Teepa Snow video that gives a really good explanation about this aspect of vascular dementia, it doesn't help solve the problem but does help us understand what is going on:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvXKH6UoROs
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My dad absolutely refused help. He refuses to shower or change his depends unless there’s “someplace we are going”... and even then, he will put the same clothes back on.
a dear friend who is 88 said, “ so? What can you do about it?” She’s right. When he’s ready to change, he will... if not, so what? I won’t take him out in my car if he’s wet and malodorous... so he stays home. If he gets a rash, he will go to the doctor. I can’t force him to do it.
Its his choice to make. I know it sounds negligent, but seriously, it’s not worth the battle- because it never ends. If he showers and changes today, then it’s just going to be a mere 48 hours until he’s dripping wet and odorous and the argument will start again. My hope is that the adult underwear disintegrates and he HAS to change it because it’s falling off.
i know it’s hard, but I have had to step back and say “it’s his choice” I’ve actually sprayed him from behind with fabric refresher, covered his chairs in plastic and towels, and plugged in air fresheners in his apartment. If he chooses to sit on wet pants, it’s up to him.
Oh- he won’t go to assisted living because he chain smokes and won’t be able to walk outside each time he wants a cigarette. He would get kicked out for smoking...
good luck to you, as I know how hard this is and unfortunately, it doesn’t improve... it only declines.
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