Hi all,

Sorry if this question has been asked before. My FIL has Stage 4 cancer that has metastasized to numerous parts of his body. Even before the cancer, we noticed the beginnings of that "old person smell", even when he still lived at home. Note that he was and is always good about bathing.

Now that he lives with us, and the cancer has progressed, the smell is getting much worse! We give him showers regularly, give him clean sheets at least twice a week, a clean towel after every shower, and clean clothes every day. Nothing works. I read on a cancer forum that there is a "cancer smell" that some people have, and it's a sickly sweet odor. They say it's from the oxidation, and from cells dying. :( When you combine that with the other smell, it's really awful, and it's getting worse, and permeates the whole house. I burn candles, have those wall scents, and we just had the carpet steam cleaned, which did help with the overall house smell.

What can you do to help someone smell better? Or do you just endure it? I feel bad for him, and don't want him to be embarrassed in public, and I also don't want people to think that we never bathe him!!


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Maybe a different lotion? Some of them have strange smells and I imagine could change when applied. A completely unscented lotion? Different body soap?
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So, I just found these ideas in a search, in case it helps anyone else! I don't know that it deals with the source, so if anyone has other ideas, feel free to list them! But here's what I found so far on this site:

Bard Medi Aire Biological Odor Eliminator Lemon Scent

I would add Borax to the laundry detergent to boost the deodorant and stain removal effect.

Eucalyptus body wash is a wonderful, refreshing and deodorizing agent, as well. Good luck.

There is a product called Odoban a disinfectant (in the US available at the local home depot, I like the Eucalyptus one) that can be diluted and put in a spray bottle (sprayed into the air) and put a capful in with the laundry, of course, our 87 year old still takes a shower every day and puts lotion on.

I got this net bag of odor absorbing little rocks...keep that under the bed, and another in the closet it helps some.

This is a bit expensive but it has worked wonders in my home...a large can of coffee placed in a pretty vase or other.It eliminates the smell of the elderly,dog, urine, musty smell and one can last a couple months at least.

Thera Pure air cleaner from Costco--Works GREAT! Hope this helps. Know this attacks only the odor and not the source.
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Oh, and even on the cancer forum, there weren't many ideas. Some people said they changed their diet, and it helped, but those seemed to be younger people, anyway. Dad barely eats anything in the first place, and if it's not super tasty, he won't touch it, so a diet of only veggies and health food whatnot won't appeal to him, lol!
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