The laundry conundrum. Any thoughts? - AgingCare.com

The laundry conundrum. Any thoughts?

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My FIL is recovering from a serious illness and staying with another relative right now. I am picking up his laundry once a week to help out. The first week I was shocked at the amount of laundry he had, but thought perhaps he had some left over from his stay in a nursing home (even though I was doing his laundry during that time too and actually felt bad that I might have missed some). This week I was beyond shocked. In one week, he had 3 pair of slacks, two pair of jeans, four sweat suits, 10 tee shirts, 5 pair of pajamas, two more pajama pants, 3 long sleeve knit shirts, 5 sweaters, a jacket, 10 pair of socks and 3 handkerchiefs. That is more laundry than my husband and I have combined in a week. Does anyone else see this happening to their elder? I haven't tried to approach him about this yet because I'm not sure what to say. His 'dirty' clothes still smell fresh and clean like they did when I washed them the last time, so hygiene isn't a problem. Thoughts? Is this simply quirky? Is he just a clean fiend? I have no idea, but I've never seen anything like it.

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Heck I'd just take the "clean clothes", run them through the dryer with a dryer sheet, refold them and take them back. But then I'm a rebel. :)
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Ahhhh, I love the idea of simply running obviously clean clothes through the dryer! I am definitely going to do that for the ones that still smell fresh and clean!

My SIL says he gets up and puts on a clean sweatsuit, then after breakfast he takes a shower and puts on slacks or jeans. So he puts everything in the dirty laundry as soon as he wears it, even if it's for 20 minutes. No wonder some of his clothes are so worn out and faded so soon after he buys them! He also wants everything washed in hot water, which I just nod and smile and then wash the way the labeling indicates.

Thanks to everyone who provided constructive advise!
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Does he have enough, easy to use storage for his clean clothes at the relative's house? My guess would be that he's getting muddled about where things go, and everything's just getting lumped together. The list didn't seem that extreme to me at first, but I was allowing for 'accidents' - if most of these items are basically clean, then if you politely can I should check out how his things are being organised.
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Oh goodness, you don't have to be old to have this problem, my BIL might change clothes several times in one day and never sets anything aside to wear a second time, even if he has only had it on for a couple of hours.
It could be either the relative or FIL who is at the root of it all. You might want to ask (carefully) about all the laundry to see if you can discover why there is so much and whether there is something they can do on their end to minimize it.
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I might do a little detective work to see why there's so much. Why was he recently in the NH? Stroke? Does he seem to be forgetting that he might have already done something?

I might chat more with the person that he is staying with and just see if they comment on him changing his clothes a lot. I wonder if he may have trouble hanging things up or folding and even if something isn't dirty, he just tosses it in the dirty bin, since that's easier than hanging it back up or folding.
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Hannah, if they start throwing in 5 changes of bed linens, then I would inquire about the load of laundry.

It could be in the nursing home, the patients clothes are put in the hamper after wearing them for one day.   I was always surprised at the amount of laundry my Mom had, but I had noticed she was wearing her breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so that made sense.
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Well, there are far worse things that washing already clean clothes ( as you well know)....this is a problem I had when my kids were home--too lazy to put away the clean stuff so they'd drop in into the hamper (grrrr....times that by 5 kids and I was living in the laundry room).
I, for one, would have GRATEFUL had my FIL changed once a week! I would have to beg, threaten and finally just "lose it" to get him to understand that he HAD to shower 3 x's a week and while he was in there I'd take all his clothes and throw them in the washer. He was divorced and never handled the "laundry" stuff well. When he was "ok" it was bad by day 3 or 4, when he became bowel incontinent, and still wouldn't change out of his "thong" underwear after an accident....I had to bring it up with the dr.
Overcleanliness is not something we see a lot of on these boards. Maybe just be grateful and know it could be 100xs worse!
Just an oddity--for sure. Be grateful that's all you're dealing with!
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If they are clean you could always refold them,, and return them for the next time!
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My mother has a lot of "laundry" laying about. Most of it is disorganization. She'll look for what she wants to wear and toss things about while she's looking. She'll hang some things on the door or drawer handles. Other things get tossed on the bed or floor. She'll open drawers and pull things out. It used to be hard to tell which were dirty and which weren't. My mother's room always looks like a bomb went off in it even if I straightened the day before. If something looks and smells clean, I hang or fold it again.
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Sitting here chuckling. I went to pick up his laundry this morning and carried it all home. As I was sorting, I looked for spills, stains, or smells. HALF of his laundry (four pair of slacks, two sweat suits, and four shirts) was perfectly clean, still smelled fresh and didn't appear to be worn! So I put some fabric softener on a wash cloth (I don't use dryer sheets), threw them in the dryer and VIOLA, out they came nice and wrinkle free and smelling great. WONDERFUL IDEA. So big thanks to Blannie for that suggestion, worked like a charm!
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