How can I get my mother-in-law to wear different clothes?

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My mother-in-law (86) is living with us. She wears the same clothes every day. If she does not have her clothes she will not get dressed

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Llamalover. I was suggesting a weekly visit to a beauty shop as an alternative for washing at home once or more weekly. Many older females have made a weekly trip to get their hair "done" and may be more willing to do this than have a caregiver do it at home. It is usually more comfortable with the sink in the beauty shop. My ideas were for the minimum needed for personal care. merely guidelines not rules.
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Veronica91, I do completely understand that it is extremely difficult for an elder to take a bath or shower, but it is important to keep clean. However, I disagree with the weekly hair salon trip. My aunt's hair did stink on the fifth through seventh days, but what was the harm in that? None, really, as for the most part she was in the company of elders who had lost their olfactory sense!
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omg-mom does the same thing! my sis and I buy her nice comfie outfits,yet she will wear threadbare clothes from 1980!I started laying out her clothes for her,and slowly giving Goodwill her old stuff.Shes not a fan of showers or having the hair washed-i insist @ least 1x aweek she really doesnt move around much ,its a compromise
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Bathing is a hot topic for the elderly. So lets stop a moment and consider what is absolutely necessary.
Younger people who have easy acess to bathing facilities seem to feel it necessary to shower and wash their hair one or more times a day. Their skin and hair can stand this kind of abuse and if it complains they can buy all kinds of creams and potions to deal with their dry skin.
Once one reaches the senior years and one is no longer working or very active the needs diminish.
I feel it is perfectly acceptable for an older woman to have there hair washed once a week at a beauty shop. It usually takes more than a week to smell bad if other conditions don't exist. I do actually wash mine twice a week otherwise it stands on end from the static besides which it is thining. As far as bathing is concerned there are certain areas that need to be washed once or more daily but this does not necessarily mean getting totally naked and standing in a draughty shower. Washing the face makes you feel fresh and some simple cream will keep it smooth. makeup of course should be properly removed as it is often toxic to the skin. Now going down the body removing clothes above the waist allows for under arms to be washed and if necessary anti perspirant applied. I do see this as an option if the person does not sweat because these products can cause irritation. Under the breasts and other skin folds also need regular washing and if necessary any prescribed products applied as directed. The top garments can then be put back on and the bottom half exposed. Again attention to the skin folds is essentially even if the person is very thin. Wash and dry carefully. The genital area should be washed daily or more often if there is any incontinence. It is fine to use wipes as long as the area is kept really clean. It may be embarassing but every effort must be made to thoroughly inspect these areas. It is not necessary to say "lie on your back and spread your legs" It can be done with the person lying on the side or bending over but it must be done especially when a catheter is present. This is the area where pressure sores are most likely to start. Thrush is most likely to occur in the genital area and skin folds in the groin and under breasts and in those lovely apron folds in the belly of the obese. As someone said try and stay ahead of the game and pick your battles depending on the circumstances. The feet are also an important part of the body especially in diabetics. They can be dealt with seperately from a shower if that is easier with less hassle. They can sit in front of the TV and soak the feet and then get a nice pedicure. Any problems should of course be dealt with by a Podiatrist if possible. Medicare does cover this every 12 weeks. these are just my thoughts but good common sense should prevail.
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I hope we all support everyone on this site. This is hard.
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Wannek: And i support you.
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Bless you Nhinchliff,
I give my 89yo mom weekly showers because she won't allow more. Although she only has to sit in the chair, everything is an effort for her, thus part of her resistance so i understand what you did. This site is to support one another and I want you to know I support you.
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When my mother was still living at home she wouldn't remember to shower or wash her hair. The only time I got her to hair salon is to tell her she had an appt. that SHE had made and she sure didn't want to stand them up. She would go then. Since she wouldn't wash her hair between visits, all she would do is put hair spray on it. And on it. And on it. Finally the hairdresser told me she couldn't wash it out and that it would have to be cut. I told her to go ahead and do what she had to do to get all the gummy hairspray and odor out. Bless their hearts, they just don't know what they are doing or not doing. If we can just keep one step ahead of them and help them through their journey it makes it a lot easier on us and them. I tried to anticipate my mom's reasoning on something and come up with a plan. Not always easy but it helped quite a bit. And sometimes I had to let it go. Just like with my grandsons.....pick my battles.
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To Llamalover47: I did not say I didn't shower every day, I said " I hate taking showers and especially washing my hair. I think the main reason is it just takes so much effort, even to put on socks, especially after a bath when my skin is damp or has a lot of moisturizer on it. That doesn't mean I don't do it.

I have beautiful skin, a result of very good genes, and I take excellent care of it, especially my face. People say I look at least 20 years younger than I am. Look at my profile pic. I was 79 there.

I also take offense with what you said to AmyGrace about her mom at the beauty salon ("...the stench!) That was inppropriate.
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AmyGrace: that is a sad state of affairs-your mom puts makeup on dirty skin! I honesty don't know how the stylists at the hair salon can stand the stench!
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