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Old 03-16-2010, 03:39 PM   #1
Kimbatigger
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OT: What is it with old men and wearing dirty clothes?
My father, who lives with me, and my father-in law are both guilty of this. My dad will go the whole week wearing the same pants, and sometimes I make him change clothes so I can wash what he has on with the rest of the laundry. I have told him countless times, "If you wear it, it needs to be washed.", but to no avail. When I am near him I will say that there is a noticeable odor emanating from a certain area, and I don't want to tell him he stinks. When he says that his clothes don't need to be washed I tell him they smell and go ahead and wash them anyway.

Does anyone else have this problem with the elderly?

BTW my dad is 94 and not about to change.
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Old 03-16-2010, 03:46 PM   #2
borealowl
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Could he have trouble getting in or out of the shower or bath? Is it painful for him to stand or sit for very long? Did he live without running water at any time in his life and get used to wearing his clothes longer or not bathing as much? Of course people do have different odors as they age (not saying all old people smell.). I lived several years in the AK bush and now live in what we call a dry cabin. It has electricity but no running water. I take sponge baths and haul water. I may wear my jeans a few days. Hopefully I don't smell too bad!
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:30 PM   #3
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He doesn't sleep in his clothes, right? Here's what I'd do: after he's gone to bed, snatch the clothes, wash and dry them, and put them back before he awakens. No more fightin' or fussin'. Just take 'em and wash 'em!

The odor you are smelling might be 'dribble'. The 'hose' doesn't shut off quite as well as folks age.
He might be painfully embarrassed by it.

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Old 03-16-2010, 04:36 PM   #4
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I don't know that snatch and grab would work. He sleeps facing the bedroom door and I am sure I would wake him up, and have a lot of explaining to do! LOL And I think his smeller is not working as well as it should either.
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:09 PM   #5
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Creep in, grab the clothes, and DASH OUT! He couldn't possibly catch you by the time you make it to the washer that's already filled with hot sudsy water!

I say, go for it! What can he do? Fire you?
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:18 PM   #6
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I think women have a more acute sense of smell than men (of any age) do, too. My boyfriend is immune to the smell of his cat's litterbox and I aint.
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
Lucy78green
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My grandad grew up in a small house in the country where people only took a bath once a week. After my granny died he used to sleep in his longjohns and had to be persuaded to change them and wash more frequently than he did. Growing up I am guessing he only changed underwear and clothes once a week, maybe as when he was young people only had two sets of clothes - one for church and one for the rest of the week
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Old 03-16-2010, 08:59 PM   #8
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I have noticed over time, that my mother tends to bathe less frequently than she used to. I recall her fighting with her mother about how she smelled and urging her to take a bath. My sister and I are starting to tell her the same things.....maybe it is something with age.
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Old 03-17-2010, 07:10 AM   #9
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I wish more family members would jump in and take care of this far to frequent problem. It may be hard but as a Nurse who see's older patients everyday I am amazed at how terrible some of them smell. I have never had a female patient come in smelling as badly as some of the men do and usually it is urine that is the source of the odor.

I have actually had other patients leave an exercise class because a patient smelled so badly. One time I addressed it with the patient and he never returned leaving me feeling terrible.

Believe me, it is better for it to come from a close family member than a stranger. There is absolutely no excuse for an elderly person to stink, if they are unable to smell themselves then it's time for the family to come to their assistance.

Our elderly are often (unfortunately) treated poorly in the community, smelling bad only reinforces that. I am a Nurse and can look past the smell but not everyone can.
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Old 03-17-2010, 09:57 AM   #10
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He's probably comfortable in the clothes he wears most frequently. Maybe getting him something comparable to wear while you are washing the other set may help.

As far as bathing goes, I know my dad has thinning skin and he gets very dry showering daily. Maybe a nice moisturizing body wash for men (nothing too perfumey) would help that problem (if he has it. You didn't say he did.).
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