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Old 03-17-2010, 11:05 AM   #11
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I've noticed that the elderly are very afraid of bathing or showering. My in-laws, after my FIL retired had their bathtub removed in the "company" bathroom and had a huge walk in shower installed with a very nice shower seat built in. I had asked the contractor to install grab bars and happily paid the extra for it, so that they would not worry about slipping in the shower, then realized he would have to do that in their bathroom shower as well.

For many it getting into and out of the bath or shower can be a perilous time and we've all heard the stories of falling in the tub/shower and breaking a hip. I think they realize they are getting frail and thus avoid the thing that sticks in their mind as the scariest thing. I've seen the ads on TV for the tub/shower for the elderly that they can step in to, and fits in the space where your tub is. It has a seat where they can sit in a bath, without being totally submerged (easier to get up out of the water) and the shower is there so they can sit and shower as well. I've talked to both my brother and sister (since they deal with my mother) and said that we would help pay to have it installed in their houses, but neither took advantage of it when it was out there.

Have a serious talk with your dad and try to determine is he's afraid of bathing and see what you can do to allay his fears. Meanwhile, I'm with Artlady on the snatch and grab of his laundry.
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Old 03-17-2010, 12:03 PM   #12
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Well I thank you for all your suggestions. I don't think slipping in the shower is a concern for him, as he goes to the gym 3 days a week to work out, and the other two days volunteers at a museum. In other words, he is fairly active. He has is own apartment in our house, and a walk in shower stall so he can stay upright all the time.

I think rather than the snatch and grab, when we leave for the gym today, I will just happen to be throwing in a load of clothes and "see if he has anything to go in".

The other thing he does it to wear a shirt and then instead of throwing it in the laundry basket, he will put it back on a hanger and put it away. I actually go through his closet performing a sniff test on laundry day.

I have been using Nature's Miracle on his pants to remove any residual odor after laundering. It is really hard to get that smell out, and he has a favorite pair that odor clings to really badly.

I also feel that his hygiene is a reflection on me, which I probably shouldn't, but I know if I met someone with the same issue, that I would wonder if their family were taking care of them properly.
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:04 PM   #13
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Febreze also works well on clothing. I used to use it occasionally on some of my daughter's shirts on the underarms. They showered, changed and laundered clothing regularly (they were teenage girls after all), but it's something about some fabrics that hold odor. That nylon/polyester stuff I think..

I also used Febreze on a chair that was in my grandmas house that smelled horribly of cigarette smoke. Febreze got rid of that odor!

As for old me... yeah I think it's normal sadly. My stepmom has been complaining about my dad not showering and staying in his pjs all day.

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Old 03-17-2010, 07:57 PM   #14
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My mother used to tell me that some older men get to where they don't shower. My dad got very feeble and it was very hard for him to stand up and walk to the shower, but he had one of those chairs in the shower and she helped him get his shower every day, which btw took about 2 hours total. She powdered him and afterward. She was amazing. I know the 2 hour part because my brother would be there at times to help him to the shower and he told me. She was a retired RN. It might not be as important to them anymore or maybe it just takes so much energy that they skip it.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:42 PM   #15
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I have worked in a nursing home as a CNA and bathed elderly people, did all their personal care, etc. When their body hurts the baths just don't seem as important. Also they lose all of their privacy in the nursing home. I really had to struggle with some of them to get them to take a bath. Does your dad have a lot of privacy and plenty of time there to bathe? Maybe he needs help, is shy, and maybe he just doesn't smell as well as he used to. Plus it can be uncomfortable to stand or sit long periods.
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Old 03-18-2010, 06:34 AM   #16
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I don't think that people who smell bad, young or old, actually SMELL themselves. It's kinda like when you have garlic pizza the night before YOU don't know you have major garlic breath til someone TELLS you. And aren't you glad someone mentions it so you have time to throw in a breath mint before encountering a really important client.

TELL HIM HE STINKS, in a kind way. If he is "with it" enough to go to the gym 3 days a week he can comprehend the concept of YOU SMELL BAD. If he volunteers at a museum two days a week he should not be showing up smelling bad.
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