Encouraging cleanliness: How do I encourage my friend to do her laundry?

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How do I encourage my friend to do her laundry?


How do I get my friend who is resisting washing her clothing, bedding, towels etc. even though I have offered to help her to do this? She does not want a stranger to come in to do the laundry either. She has not washed anything for quite some time and as a result her clothing is visibly dirty and stained and she has an odour.

Our answer

Thank you for contacting Ability411 and for your concern about your friend. There may be a number of reasons why your friend is neglecting to wash her laundry, but trying to identify these or offer solutions are beyond our area of expertise.

We encourage you to call HealthLink BC toll-free at 8-1-1 (or for persons with difficulty hearing, 7-1-1) to speak to a health services navigator who can connect you with a health-care professional who is better qualified to answer your question.

In the meantime, you may be interested in the following 2018 article What to Do When a Senior Refuses to Bathe and Change Their Clothes, posted on agingcare.com. The article – by author Carol Bradley Bursack, who has devoted much of her career to educating caregivers of seniors – suggests several potential reasons for a senior’s refusal to maintain laundry tasks and personal hygiene.


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