Why doesn't my father want to shower anymore?

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He has shower bench and hand rails for safety. Is there some reason that he won't tell me as to why he refuses this task?

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I don't think anyone knows. Many elders seem to have this change in attitudes about bathing and showering. I've seen speculation about reasons but no real research.

I find I want to shower less than I used to. Why? I have no idea.

There are several youtube videos about helping someone shower.
My FIL wasn't the most "hygienic" guy even in his prime. His home had a tub, no shower and I think he found taking baths to be a waste of time--he was a firefighter and taking a BATH after fighting fires?? what's the point? you're basically bathing in soot. He'd shower at the fire station, but never at home.

Wasn't a huge problem, until he and MIL divorced and he retired and had a knee replacement--moved to condo with a shower, and he wouldn't get in it. He'd go weeks without showering, I know, b/c I was cleaning for him and that shower was dry, and the soap? Unused.

Weirdly, he owned a hot tub, so I guess he cleaned off sometimes.

As he grew older and sicker, he was much less likely to be coerced into the shower. I got him safety rails and a comfortable shower chair. As he was often bowel incontinent, he really didn't have the option to say "no" to bathing/showering. I know he was afraid of falling, so sometimes I'd haul DH out to make sure his dad actually stripped down and scrubbed himself. Embarrassing for both of them, I know, but dad needed to be clean--his ability to fight infections was nil.

I gave up, eventually, and got the big pre-moistened bathing wipes and gave those to him with a basin of hot water and we'd "hobo-bathe" him. I'd get him all over, and let him clean his privates himself. I insisted on clean clothes from the skin out every other day. He finally learned it was pointless to fight me--and gave in. I know he felt better when he was clean.

My mother has said that daily showering is exhausting--and she has no room in her bathroom for a second person to help her. Her attitudes about personal hygiene have really taken a downturn in the last year. She's always "tidy" but not necessarily "clean".
It is part of dementia. It's not something that you can figure out and fix. But, you can make it as pleasant as possible. Make it very, very warm in the room. Someone to prompt or help with each step is VERY important. Showering is a very complex activity.
My mother wanted her shower three times a week. The last time she was in the hospital I asked if she got a good bath. She said “Home Health could show these nurses a thing or two about a good bath.”
I took that as a no.
My aunt enjoys hers too but they both had always enjoyed bathing. They were both gardeners and not afraid of hard work. I think they saw it as a reward. Aunt resists every now and then for just a minute. They both had/have a good routine. I think that helps also.
My brother refuses to shower or bathe. He has had paranoid schizophrenia all his life and now at 63 has dementia but is not aware of it. Heartbreaking for me as I take care of him. He won't let anyone come to the home to help. We have bars & shower seat. He now has sores on arms and legs since it has been many months. I try to wash with moist wipes when he lets me. Don't want to put him in nursing home since he is in early stages and makes sense most of the time. Any suggestions?
When my mom first started getting hesitant about the shower, I made sure to have a good shower chair and added a hand held shower head. I would use a space heater to warm up the bathroom first. I would get the water warm, have her robe and towel ready, put soap on the wash cloth. We also found it best to do her hair at a separate time. I also didn't "ask" her if she wanted to shower, but said "your shower is ready for you to get in." We were still taking her to the salon to have her hair done once a week.

As the disease progressed, mom didn't like the sound of the shower or the running water. We started giving her sponge baths while she sat on the bedside commode with the bucket off for access down under ;-). I could use a Peri bottle to rinse her bottom areas. This worked for us for a couple of years. We did her hair in the kitchen sink using a contraption called a hair funnel and a sprayer. She could no longer handle to confusion of the salon.

Now we give her bed baths twice a week with the assistance of a hospice CNA. She gets her hair washed in bed too once a week.

Bathing has been a challenging time for my mom for over five years. Hang in there and just keep looking for little ways to make it easier on your LO. I think showing/bathing is scary for them.
Sometimes it's depression. People with depression are often resistant to bathing or showering, and many aspects of aging can bring on depression, or a depressed state. 

My mom has had chronic depression her whole life. Home support are VERY good at gently badgering her into the shower once a week - much better than me (I never got her into the shower, not even once). They give her help washing and drying also, and get her dressed after. She looks forward to her Wednesday morning shower now, and feels better for it. It's worth the expense just for that.
Dear Tinkerbell,

I'm sorry to hear about this challenge. I know you only want your dad to be clean and comfortable.

When my father started to refuse, it was because of his vascular dementia and heart failure.

Midkid made many good suggestions.

I know its not easy but hopefully for now you can improvise and use giant wipes or a sponge bath.
Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I am encouraged by all those on this site. I can't even tell you how much you help me ( or how many times!). I will take all the advice given & see which works for my dad. Thank you all!

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