Severe body odor that permeates the whole house and no support from siblings.

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My 86 year old father hates to bathe. My 25-yr old niece lives in the house with him, and I plan to move in there with him in a few months. Unfortunately, I cannot bear the smell half the time. It's always a major fight to get him to bathe, even though he has agreed to bathe at least once a week. The biggest problem is having older siblings who don't seem to care! They feel that I'm pushing my dad too hard. In fact, my sister even told me that I shouldn't push using soap so much on my dad, she says that SHE doesn't use soap and is just fine. What the!?!? I didn't know that. But seriously? Maybe that explains why she cannot seem to identify the body odor that permeates his house. It's a serious problem. The smell is so bad that I can hardly breathe when I visit him there, and can never stay long. But two of my older siblings claim that they don't smell it. They try to tell me that it's my niece's dogs that cause the odor I smell, which is baloney! I've had dogs for years, and the odor I smell is a distinct body odor....not any kind of animal or feces smell. How do I convince them that they are wrong? I just need more support to get my dad to bathe properly and use lots of soap. It seems to be my problem because they don't really care much. I take my dad out to play cards twice a week, and I can't take him out when he smells bad. So we often end up fighting and then I am the bad guy. It's causing a problem with my relationship with my dad, and I don't want that to happen. Still, I have no support from my siblings, they just insist they don't smell any body odor and try to claim it's the dogs they wish weren't there. What can I do?

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May have to remove carpets etc for your 'allergies' sake - if you will be there rent free or reduced rent pay a bit up front however then make this stand before you move in - get easier cleaned surfaces that have less chance of absorbing order - some smell could be from years ago - niece should appreciate easy clean with her dogs
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I remember back when I put my parent's house on the market for sale... it was being sold "as is". The house was empty, I did get the carpets all professionally cleaned. Wow, it smelled so much better but a month later the hot weather came in, and even with the A/C running, the humid weather brought back all the old odors :(
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What about going to an exercise class at the local pool for both of you - find one with a family change room so you both can go in - he needs to shower before going in & you'll be beside him doing same thing - ask him for 'help' sudzing your back & then say 'your turn' - make a joke about the saying 'I'll wash you back if you wash mine' -
Then the exercise class will help his ability with everything else particularly if it geared for seniors - just once a week - before [if/when] you move in complain to him about your allergies & that you'll need to have a cleaning service get rid of the allergens -
If you say it is dust & pollen that is good reason to do upholstery cleaning - pay for this to get smell out & maybe once or twice a year afterwards
My dad had a smell but it turned out to be some precancerous sores on his back - they were cut away by dr & the smell went down a lot - check this out with his dr
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I agree that moving in is not a good idea. However, he will need someone to take over his care, as he progresses.

When loved ones have dementia, as your profile indicates, not bathing is quite common. As he progresses in his dementia, it may turn out to be the least of your challenges. I would take this opportunity to figure out how things are going to go as his condition grows more advanced.

For example, is this niece going to be responsible for meals, laundry, security, staying up during the night with him, administering his medication, cleaning up the house, changing diapers, etc. long term? I'd discuss this with her and the family so everyone knows who will be responsible. She'll likely need some training as well.

Based on my experience with dementia, you won't really convince the person to start bathing and changing into clean clothes. Their brain just isn't able to handle that anymore. I think that bath aids may be helpful. And what I found that worked with my cousin was I just ran the water, as I talked to her about our plans after she got her bath. I'd lather up the wash cloth and hand it to her and did it that way. I had to do the same with brushing her teeth, combing hair, dressing. She would cry when she had to put on a bra. But, I insisted and we got through it. I just went about it as if it wasn't a big deal.

Of course, that might not be comfortable with it being your dad. You might look at this long term, since, from here out, he'll need someone to take over his bathing and clothes changing. Just tips, reminding, suggesting, begging, etc. don't work. And even if he promises that he did it, you can tell he hasn't. They get confused and forget what they have done. Sorry, for the bad news, but, if you read a lot about it, you'll see that it's true.
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dnicke, lack of bathing is not always the reason for the smell. My parents use to bathe on a daily basis but their house reeked of some strong smell. What is was was urine accidents... not getting to the bathroom on time and the smell was in the rugs. Getting my parents to wear Depends didn't help much as the smell had taken over.

Also part of the smell was the strange combination of powered detergent and liquid softeners that my Mom used to wash clothes. It was just my parents were so nose blind to the odor on the clothes. Eventually when I went grocery shopping for them, I got my Mom "free and clear" detergent and "free and clear" softeners, but it was too late, the smell took root in all their clothes and towels :(

Once my parents had passed, I brought home a lot of their things, and before I knew it my own house had taken on the same odor.... so what I did was sent out bars of Zest green soap as an air freshener and that is working so far.... until I get the clothes, and other items out of the house to be donated.
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Pam - excellent point about the employer. I found it: "Caring for incontinent relative making me smell at work despite best hygenic efforts. Job in jeopardy. Any advice?"
https://www.agingcare.com/questions/Caring-for-incontinent-relative-making-me-smell-at-work-189800.htm?cpage=9
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Oh ... and once he is bathing regularly, wash everything washable in the house -- afghans, sheets, bedspreads, curtains -- everything that could have absorbed the smell. Also rent a shampooer (if you don't own one) and clean the upholstered items.
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We fought with Mom to get her to shower. It was gruesome. I happened to be with her in the nursing home the first time an aide came in and said, "It is time for your shower." I feared a fight. OMG -- off Mom went, meekly and with not argument. What??!!

I suggest bringing in a bath aide once a week. Perhaps the doctor will order this service. I can't guarantee that will work, but it is certainly worth a shot.

(Unless there is incontinence involved, once a week should be fine, and infinitely better than never!)
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You could try speaking to his Dr about it,nright in front of him. Sometimes our Loved ones will take suggestions from their Dr, rathervthan their kids, it's all about him having some self control over his own body, but when it gecome offensive to others, and he hears the potential problems being dirty can csuse from his Dr, then he nay be more inclined to bathe. Also, when you do get himnto cooperate, us Irish Spring, asvthat soap has a powerful scent, thst helps to clean and leaves a nice smelling scent!
Another thing you might try, look up some information online about being dirty, like the risk of infection, rashes, yeast infections such as Athletes feet and yeast infections around the sweaty areas of the body, yea, down there! Lol! Well perhaps he has some jock itch, and its too embarrassing for him to admit it to you. There are simple remedies to treat those, but not until he's clean and bathed or showered! Another thing that you can try if you can stand it, and if you are going to be a hands on caregiver is, buying some nice body butters or creams, and make a fuss of giving him a nice back, shoulder, arm and leg massage. I know my Dad would Love to have a fuss made over him. If you go about it in a calmmand gentle way, he might come to enjoy a nicevrub down, being pampered, After bathing, and it would give you a chance of examining his skin too! At 86, their skin can easily break down, and irritations, rashes, wounds, and infections of many types can occur. Especially if you intend to become a caregiver, you will probably need to step into this kind of caring! Its not for sissies! Not that your a sissy, it's just a saying that we often use in the caregiving role.
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If he won't shower or get in the bathtub, try using the no rinse bathing products and shampoos. He can "bathe" while sitting in his favorite chair and not even get wet.

You should rethink moving in with him. You'll only become more frustrated with him and it will ruin your familial relationship.
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