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to have a word with dad re: hygiene

13 replies

OctopusPete8 · 06/06/2013 12:02

My df has issues with hygiene, I don't think he washes his clothes properly and he always smells sour.
If he has visited the smell lingers :/
My DP has said I need to have a word with asap as they will be hiring suits soon and can't be trying on expensive suits smelling so badly. I do sort of agree there are issues but what can I actually do?

I suppose it would be an issue on the day itself aswell.

OP posts:

persimmon · 06/06/2013 12:48

How old is he? Is he very elderly and perhaps his sense of smell has deteriorated?
If not, I'd suggest being kind but blunt IYSWIM. He may be a bit embarrassed but you're doing him a kindness as you can't be the only ones to have noticed.


Montybojangles · 06/06/2013 12:53

How often do you visit his house? Is it clean? Does he live alone? Did your mother used to look after all the cleaning etc if he is now alone? When did you start to notice this? Might he be struggling to cope with daily life?


OctopusPete8 · 06/06/2013 13:23

no he is middleaged perfectly independent,
he lives alone, I don't visit his place very cluttered unfortunately,

OP posts:

Latara · 06/06/2013 13:35

You need to be straight with him; if it was me then i'd appreciate that!

It could be that living alone either means he doesn't notice the smell, or that he's a bit depressed or just can't be bothered with washing himself and his clothes often... either way it needs sorting. (better said by his DD than by someone else more rudely).


Latara · 06/06/2013 13:36

Ps. middle aged men can get into a rut and find it difficult to change; so you may need to 'advise' him more than once.


Montybojangles · 06/06/2013 13:39

Just cluttered, or might he be a hoarder? Often this can go together with self neglect or poor personal hygiene. It might be a bigger problem than just persuading him to have a bath or shower (are they usable, or has he got too much stuff in them?). He may need support on a much wider issue.


Cailinsalach · 06/06/2013 13:48

Oh I feel your pain.

My Dad, 90, showers every Friday whether he needs to or not. He becomes emotionally attached to his clothes and cannot bear to part with them for the laundry basket. His sight is quite poor so he tends to miss his mouth a lot when he eats. Soup is a bit of a no no for sartorial reasons. I always go easy on the gravy too.

I have to sneak his clothes away to wash them. He claims too much washing ruins clothes. Occasionally I have to be very firm with him. It causes more than a little tension when I have to insist he changes his clothes.

Your Dad is my age though? Maybe I smell? (no, just sniffed my armpit, think I am ok)


GoEasyPudding · 06/06/2013 13:51

You could suggest to him that he needs to wear a new outfit each day and then offer to go shopping with him. I know that the chaps in my life never have many outfits and I have to get them organised with plenty of clothes to choose from.
You may need to be blunt and get stuck in with helping him have a clear out of the house. While you do that you can check his clothes, check he has enough towels and linen. Just say, "it's getting a bit it wiffy, lets have a clean up and while we are at it here's the rules about washing and changing clothes & laundry and taking showers everyday"
Does he have a washer dryer? If not make sure he gets a dryer.
My grandfather and father inlaw were left alone whilst my MIL went away on a 6 week holiday and they didn't do one bit of laundry. My poor SIL had to travel miles to put a load on. It was quite sad.


OctopusPete8 · 06/06/2013 19:40

I hear what you are all saying and some good advice,
My big fear is how defensive and combative he will get when I mention this,

OP posts:

Latara · 06/06/2013 20:06

If your dad gets defensive that's understandable because no-one wants to hear that they smell (however necessary it is to tell them).

If he gets combative though it may be wise to step back rather than get into an argument; & firmly state that he needs to sort it out before trying on suits and that you have his best interests at heart.

It is very difficult though (whenever i try to give my dad advice im told i'm a 'nag'!!!!). So good luck anyway.


OctopusPete8 · 07/06/2013 09:34

Oh god, I'm still quite nervous..
I just don't know how to start that sentence I don't see him too often

OP posts:

Montybojangles · 07/06/2013 10:32

"Dad, is everything ok? I don't want to upset or embarrass you, but I've noticed recently that..."


Montybojangles · 07/06/2013 10:33

Good luck

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