Washing and teeth

Hi I’m new here and caring for my MIL for a while she’s not looking afterself at home and has been told she has dementia she’s 87 on no medication as otherwise she’s fit and well. The problem is we can’t get her to wash or change her clothes she’s wearing what she’s sleeping in , she point blankly refuses to clean her teeth I know they are painful from the gum disease she has she won’t use mouthwashes or go to a dentist. Yesterday I think shesoiled herself and refuses to change her pants. She’s probably had the pants on for weeks. Her daughter managed before she came here to get her vest off her to wash it she’d had it on since September just wondered if there were any tips thanks
We are lighting candles to kill the smell of her breath ive got a strong stomach but the smell makes me gag

Hi Tracy, you sound like a very caring daughter in law. I’m not an expert on personal hygiene but I have a few suggestions.
Give your MIL a choice, say ‘would you like your shower/wash now or before bedtime?’ 'Who would you like to help you with your shower, me or someone else?
Make sure the bathroom is warm and there are towels available and the water is hot enough.
If it is usually just one of you with her try getting together with MIL’s daughter and start off by chatting together and then suggesting the shower .
Good luck.

Hi Tracy,
Dementia is not my area of expertise but lots of others on here have experience of a caree with dementia.

Rhona has given some great advice.

If your MIL won’t accept help from you, would she be better with care visits from a care worker? I also believe some day services ( most have been closed down) and care homes do “pamper days,” and assist day clients with personal hygiene- this might be on offer near you.


Thank you Melly1. It’s lovely to get some positive feedback x

Hi Tracy
My husband absolutely hates the personal needs care. The staff find it helpful if they tell him exactly what they need to do, give him a reason, such as P… ( me) etc like to see you looking smart and handsome. They also chat to him before hand, about his career, family, what’s on t v , anything. He sadly is a stroke victim as well has having vascular dementia. So, I personally think it’s cajoling and encouragement. Certainly not easy for you all. Sadly won’t work each time either.