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What reason has he given for not wanting to shower? Many elderly folks don't like to shower because the water raining down on them actually hurts. There is also the aging skin that can actually be damaged by the piercing water hitting them.
There is also the fear of falling while in the shower or not being able to regulate the temperature.
If it is the temperature thing, there are shower/tub water valves that have scald protection adjustments that can be preset by a plumber. These are very safe and cannot be reset allowing higher temperature without removing the cover plate.
They are not cheap but worth the protection scalds.

I just wonder if a fixing a washrag or towel over the head of a hand held shower would help? I don't know, that just popped into my head.

Have you tried a seat in the bathtub and letting him wash off that way? If that doesn't work you may have to resort sponge baths from the sink.
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