Would it be appropriate for me to tell my mother-in-law that she should take a bath because she smells ripe?

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She needs help but refuses. She is continuing to show signs of self-neglect. she is very contentious and argues and refuses to seek medical attention. She complains about not feeling well, but as soon as you mention the "D" word she gets mad and hates you forever! It's very difficult listening to her whining and complaining about everything, but does not want help. I have been told to keep my mouth shut, and since everyone else is in denial, the only thing I can think of doing at this point, is calling social services and get her some help - if they can! I don't know what options we have. When we went to her house today, she was a mess!

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I think there is always a diplomatic way of telling an elderly family member that they need a bath. When it comes to the bath itself, I put a sturdy seat in the tub with a soft cushion on top, my mum sits on that and I wash her back and she washes her own front. When I finish her back I place a towel on it so she doesn't get cold. She stands up and holds on to a bar to wash her private area. We do this once a week, that's all she needs.
I think you should speak with your husband about this first and if he is in agreement then I think you and he should discuss it with your MIL together with nobody else around. Just let her know that everyone requires bathing at least once a week other wise poor hygiene can cause serious problems and you worry about her. I would never tell her that she stinks, try and be respectful of her feelings. Good Luck! :-)
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Well once again you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink.
Does she live alone? Is there a husband in the picture?
Is the bath room suitably equipped so she can safely bath or shower. Is she able to do her laundry so she has clean towels. What is the state of the rest of the house. Is your husband OK or is he part of the denial brigade. It is really better for one of her own children to tackle this subject not that it matters if she hates you forever because as long as she smells this bad you probably won't visit much. you can call in social services but don't be surprised if the whole tribe turns against you. Can you and another in law get together and take her by storm. Preferably another female because after you clean the house she is going in that bath. protect her modesty with towels ect but try and get a good look at her body, there may be something nasty that she is hiding. good Luck let us know what happens.
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