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 ozsealady1
Joined: 6/13/2013
Msg: 1
Eliminating Old Man SmellPage 1 of 4    (1, 2, 3, 4)
Hi.
My 80+ year old dad lives with me and he often has a distinctive smell.
I have learned to handle it most of the time except when we are in close quarters. e.g. in a car.
This morning the smell was overpowering and we were about to get in the car so I encouraged him to shower but the smell was still there just not as strong.

My house guests have said that this is 'old man smell'.
I smelt the same smell on a meet and greet a few weeks ago with a 58 year old man.

Does anyone have any ideas of how to minimise this?
Any specific soaps, body washes etc that may help?
 raxarsr
Joined: 7/10/2008
Msg: 2
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Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/23/2014 9:58:02 PM
most likely...........its not just him...its his clothes and sheets and blankets

either clean or fabreeze the heck out of his stuff..............includeing his mattress and couch/ chair
 Non_je_ne_regrette_rien
Joined: 1/11/2014
Msg: 3
Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/24/2014 3:07:50 AM
Has he always smelled like this? If he hasn't have you tried finding out why he smells like that now.
Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/24/2014 3:52:26 AM
What he eats can have a lot to do with how he smells.
If he bathes regular, may or may not have a lot to do with it.

You dont really describe the smell much,so we are guessing.
I tool care of an older woman for a while and she never smelled and she ate a lot of antibacterial foods that smell strong for a while ( garlic ), but little sugar and less meat.Low acidic forming diet.

If you have been to a nursing home and smelled *that smell*, its usually ammonia like from strong acidic ( poor diets).
Not fresh fruits and veggies.

Sick people smell different, people on certain drugs may smell different.
How clean his clothes are ( they often wear smelly clothes on a clean body)
A clean body and not clean hair can have a strong smell.


My 80+ year old dad lives with me and he often has a distinctive smell.
I have learned to handle it most of the time except when we are in close quarters. e.g. in a car.
This morning the smell was overpowering and we were about to get in the car so I encouraged him to shower but the smell was still there just not as strong.


I would do the following.
A good check up.Dental to blood work.
Make sure he gets fresh fruits and veggies 40- 50% of his diet for a while.
Make sure he is having reg bowel movements.
Keep his bed linens and towels clean and DRY. Drying off with a funky towel makes it worse.

Get him a barber ( or whoever trims his hair) that will wash his hair, trim things when needed and massage his scalp with some lemongrass and tea tree oil ( make it if you have to). Use a lemongrass and pine essential oil added to his reg shampoo/body wash .
There are other wood oils, but these are VERY effective if he isn't allergic to pine, like cedarwood.
Sebum smells from the scalp get strong smelling ( funky).

Use coconut oil to soften skin, not lotions.
Make his deodorants out of aloe, coconut oil and lemongrass and /or tea tree oil.( you can buy one like that online if you have to) Great for foot smells too.
His soap can be coconut oil/lemongrass/tea tree based, you can get those online or at a health food store.
Have wipes that dont dry the skin, he can touch up during the day.

I am sensitive to smells myself.
I hope these tips help .
 DragonBits
Joined: 1/6/2012
Msg: 5
Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/24/2014 4:03:06 AM

This article may have more information than you want. Seems to be fairly thorough, though.
http://www.ecoteamlab.com/uploads/3/5/4/6/3546990/common_odor_problems_and_how_to_solve_them.pdf


The article is pretty good, I have noticed this smell on both older men and women. Also as you age, your sense of smell declines, so one can use too much perfume / cologne. I have noticed that also, some older people use too much scent.
 lowmiles2
Joined: 6/5/2007
Msg: 6
Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/24/2014 8:50:59 AM
Doesn't pass the smell test. I find most older (not all) women have this problem. Then there are some women that smell like the sh1t house door on a tuna boat. Go figure! It just depends.
 Molly Maude
Joined: 9/11/2008
Msg: 7
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Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/24/2014 10:02:12 AM
I agree with the recommendations to find the source of the odor ... I
have a friend who's in her early 30s and has a horrible breath odor ...
she claims to see a dentist regularly but getting closer to her than 3' is
unpleasant due to the odor from her breath ...

ill health sometimes announces itself thru odors ... so having him see
a doctor would be high on my list of things to do if it were for my loved
one with an odor problem ...

on the other hand, after being hugged repeatedly at church Sunday,
I smelled like someone's horrid perfume for HOURS afterward ... it
had a very strong and spicy licorice scent and it was pervasive! wow!
 ouija2013
Joined: 12/9/2012
Msg: 8
Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/24/2014 4:58:56 PM
Often I don't think you can
It is the smell of " growing up"
or how the GR can find you
Usually I have found it is because they seldom bathe, dry clean, etc
But I know that smell * shudder"
People are right, have your Daddy checked up
I don;t envy you :(
 Like2dance
Joined: 4/13/2013
Msg: 9
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Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/24/2014 5:37:30 PM
Could even be due to the meds he takes.

Old women have the same kind of problem. Smelling bad for any number or combination of reasons is not gender specific.
 ozsealady1
Joined: 6/13/2013
Msg: 10
Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/24/2014 11:54:02 PM
Take pity on my dad as he is away and I am doing a spring clean of his room.

Everything getting washed.
New bedding.
A good airing.

And disposing of a lot of old, musty stuff. Mouldy leather shoes from the back the wardrobe etc.
I have found things that must have been stored wet.
Lots of musty old books that will be stored elsewhere, just not in his bedroom.

Poor man is having his daughter reorganise his life for him.

As I have been going through I can smell the same smell.
So irrespective of how recently his clothes have been washed or he has showered.
Sleeping or dressing in clothing from that room must be brining back the smell.

I am sure sleeping with all that musty stuff cannot be good for you.
 Peppermint_Petunias
Joined: 3/30/2012
Msg: 11
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Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/25/2014 3:34:28 AM
^^^^^^^^^

I have noticed some people smell like their homes also. Age is not always related.
Be it moldy/musty/ smokey/or like old fried chicken.Good point to make.
Many spend hours in their rooms/homes a day and at night with these things that" smell".

It gets in everything, esp clothes and hair it seems.
Still think first there should be a dental and physical check up so you are sure. Stress/emotions addressed.
Use products that are naturally anti fungal/bacterial. Not bacterial commercial soaps.

Medications and topical pain rubs can add to the smell.
Some research shows stress sweat is more pungent than heat related sweat also.

From the Mayo clinic
When your body temperature rises, your eccrine glands secrete fluid onto the surface of your skin, where it cools your body as it evaporates. This fluid is composed mainly of water and salt.

Apocrine glands, on the other hand, produce a milky fluid that most commonly is secreted when you're under emotional stress. This fluid is odorless until it combines with bacteria found normally on your skin.
 the_regency
Joined: 12/20/2013
Msg: 12
Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/25/2014 2:44:48 PM
Give him a smoothie everyday with a green powder in it, mix them up. Spirulina, chlorella, blue green algae etc... Chlorophyll deodorizes the body naturally. Make sure he eats alot of fiber and fresh food raw or cooked minimally. Minimize the processed foods or cut them out all together. Make a spray out of water and tea tree oil and spritz him, his bedding and clothes daily. You can change that oil up with other natural antiseptics like lemongrass, peppermint, lavender etc...
 Peppermint_Petunias
Joined: 3/30/2012
Msg: 13
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Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/26/2014 2:40:00 AM

Give him a smoothie everyday with a green powder in it, mix them up. Spirulina, chlorella, blue green algae etc... Chlorophyll deodorizes the body naturally. Make sure he eats alot of fiber and fresh food raw or cooked minimally. Minimize the processed foods or cut them out all together. Make a spray out of water and tea tree oil and spritz him, his bedding and clothes daily. You can change that oil up with other natural antiseptics like lemongrass, peppermint, lavender etc..

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Great advise.
 c_deacon
Joined: 3/13/2005
Msg: 14
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Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/26/2014 9:52:06 AM
Many "older" people smell like their domain and the reverse is true also. A good house cleaning is one thing, but then it is time to get to the source of the problem.

Many older people do not have the proper diet, and no one to make sure that they do. They do not drink enough water each and every day, and seem to stick to what they have gravitated towards years ago. To often, they do not exercise enough to work all that they have ingested out of their systems, including many man made drugs that they might be on, and all the processed food that they seem to consume regularly.

Showering daily is a good suggestion, along with brushing their teeth often, and scraping their tongues, and not wearing the same clothes over and over. Reducing their wardrobe to what they actually use and need, is yet another way to eliminate "older" items not truly necessary in their closets and drawers.

Drinking every morning a full glass of pineapple/orange juice, along with fresh fruits, veggies, and grains, along with some nuts, can eliminate many of the internal things their body shares with the world, and smells of the aged. Just as one can smell the smoke of someone that smokes in their house, so can they smell all the other items of years of using and many times abusing, and it will take some time to correct.

Of course, you have to have them want to do all of this, and that is a whole other topic.

cd
 DragonBits
Joined: 1/6/2012
Msg: 15
Eliminating Old Man Smell
Posted: 3/26/2014 10:00:23 AM
I think it's an interesting subject. Old people smell is real, and young people can determine age by scent. It's the same for men and women. So there is old lady smell and old man smell.

The reason is as one gets older there is an accumulation of a chemical called 2-nenal. The same smell as old books.

This occurs from an accumulation of omega 7 fatty acids in the sweat glans.

I know I have smelled this before when visiting nursing homes or some older people.

I don't yet have that sort of smell, (I asked). I guess showering daily and using antiperspirant would help. Maybe diet has something to do with it, maybe not.

But it's real and it exists.
 ozsealady1
Joined: 6/13/2013
Msg: 16
Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 3/26/2014 4:01:12 PM
Maintaining dignity and ego whilst Eliminating Old Man Smell.

Dad is back from his visit with his lady friend and the reaction to my cleaning frenzy (Which I had told him about via telephone) was not quite as bad as expected.

I agree Deacon.
Many of these suggestions including 'sprizing' are not practical if maintaining dignity and independence is possible.

I also agree dragonbits - the smell is like Old Books.
And that is how I am trying to handle it.

Rather than treat him like an object or a child or insulting him.
I am trying to say that his room, clothes etc needs airing due to mustiness in his room.
And irrespective of how often he showers, going back in and sleeping in a musty room and wearing clothing stored there will have the same effect.
This morning over breakfast I told him that this cleaning frenzy of mine to eliminate the mustiness will continue.
It is not a once off phenomenon.

My dad has always been a very independent and capable man.
He is a retired master tradesman who had a thriving business.
That capability is diminishing.
Today after breakfast he muttered that he wished all stairs went downhill.

He has no money. (Yes is on a pension but that is not much. )
Has spent all his money having a great time and miscalculating how long he will live - His words.

Dad is not on any regular medication - he is amazingly fit and healthy for an 81 year old man. Also being a Depression Child perhaps - he hates throwing anything out - it could come in handy. The same for tools, parts etc.

Dad does not like me doing things for him nor buying him things.
He gets embarrassed. So he buys those clothes from the Salvation Army.

Today he is wearing the clothes he wore yesterday and slept in last night.
Which of course were stored in that room. (Yep Tickle me - you are right)
So he has that smell again now.
It is also bucketing with rain and warm - tropical type weather so the musty smell is almost everywhere and nothing is drying.

Lucky his lady friend is the same age and obviously has a reduced sense of smell. :)
 Proteaus
Joined: 6/9/2009
Msg: 17
Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 3/28/2014 6:40:33 AM
Maybe it is time he got introduced to a bar of soap and a scrub brush . That was the cure back in the day for men in the military that didn't want to clean up . But then a lot of people in that age bracket worry about falling down in a shower or getting into a tub etc . Get him one of those little bath tubs that has a little door on it , then force him to use it every day . Bet the smell goes away fast .
 DragonBits
Joined: 1/6/2012
Msg: 18
Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 3/28/2014 6:43:10 AM
I can't help myself, when I see this thread I keep thinking soylent green.
 ozsealady1
Joined: 6/13/2013
Msg: 19
Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 3/28/2014 3:00:11 PM
Funny you should mention...

'Maybe it is time he got introduced to a bar of soap and a scrub brush . That was the cure back in the day for men in the military that didn't want to clean up '

He often tells a story like that about another bloke in the Nashos.

I have spoken with a number of aged care services and he is an adult with a free will.
Neither I nor anyone else can force him to do something against that free will.
Unless he is a proven danger to himself or others.

It is apparently very common. Yes - fear of falling... and yes he bought himself 3 x non slip mats for the bathroom.
He can't smell it and as far as he is concerned everything is fine and his daughter is 'acting as if you are pregnant'.
'God save me from neat and tidy people'.

Apparently as you age your sense of smell diminishes. I have asked a 70'is lady who is visiting if she can smell it and she says no. A 50's lady who is also visiting was the one who said - 'That is Old Man Smell'.

This could be good for all of us as we age.
Sense of smell and eyesight failing.
I hope the people we date when we get to that stage are all like that as well.
Then they will not notice.
 Eric_Summit
Joined: 11/3/2009
Msg: 20
Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 3/28/2014 6:52:13 PM
What about trying Dr. Bonner's Peppermint soap (or similar) in liquid form?
If that is not available, any of the tea tree astringent soaps will give a thorough cleansing.
They are not harsh yet will effectively wash-away any lingering scents.
 the_regency
Joined: 12/20/2013
Msg: 21
Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 3/29/2014 12:33:29 PM
Dignity is a two way street. What ever happened to honesty? Most people with diminishing scent would love to know if they have a foul odor about themselves as to not offend others. If he doesn't care and you don't have the courage to stand up for yourself and your comfort, that is certainly your choice to just live with it.

Constant foul odors and stench would not be allowed in my home. And anyone insisting on it is being disrespectful and needs a good talking to. It's my home and my only rule is basic courtesy.
 BlackLady1953
Joined: 5/27/2011
Msg: 22
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Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 3/29/2014 8:40:46 PM
Chlorophyl capsules -- can be purchased from Puritan's Pride.....great body odor neutralizers. Take one three times a day.
 Proteaus
Joined: 6/9/2009
Msg: 23
Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 3/29/2014 9:23:23 PM
It is not a matter of diminishing scent . Example : I grew up on a dairy farm and I could not smell the cow manure but visitors sure could . When you live with a smell daily you tend to get used to it and then you do not smell it any more .
 daynadaze
Joined: 2/11/2008
Msg: 24
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Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 4/4/2014 1:33:40 PM
I read an article not too long ago about the fact that while old people do smell differently than they did when younger, they actually smelled better than younger people who had more active sweat glands, etc., so who knows.

Your dad may well be quite healthy for a man in his 80s but he's still a man in his 80s and parts of his body are not working the same. Things like older women passing more gas is often because they are eating wheat. If you got rid or lowered the smell and now it's back and he's sleeping in his clothes and wearing them for days, then it's normal smell from someone not being clean. Are the windows in his room open often? Fresh air may not cleanse the smell but it does keep it down a bit.

Personally I find things like spray on smells to be stinky as hell, I prefer to cover my mattress with baking soda a few times a year, let it sit as long as possible then vacuum it off. It removes many odors but doesn't add more. Wash clothes and if you don't wear them for months, wash them again before you do. Of course a daily bath or shower but because of stinky soaps or gawd awful old man smelly stuff like Old Spice or musk scents, often a person is clean but they used so many different scents along the way or ones that become offensive on their personal body, that you can't get near them. I happen to hate with a passion the smell of Old Spice, that's why I picked on that one. It actually makes me ill, as in needing to throw up, it's a horrid smell. So maybe check what your father is using to wash with, and make sure he washes every day and that his clothes get washed after wearing them. We had a terrible time with my mother before she moved to an assistant living home, she use to shower every day but only wash her hair once a week. Trust me people, if you don't wash your scalp everyday, it smells. Then in her 80s I think she tired in the shower but refused a shower seat, and so she showered less often, when she did shower she only soaped 'certain' spots so a lot of her skin smelled unwashed, and she almost stopped washing her hair. Smelly hair and scalp can travel far and wide.
 ozsealady1
Joined: 6/13/2013
Msg: 25
Eliminating Old Man Smell and maintaining dignity
Posted: 4/5/2014 11:10:24 PM
Thank you.
The poor man, my father, is feeling like I am taking over his life.
And he is rebelling against my 'totally obsessive behaviour'
Asking / telling him to shower, cleaning his bathroom, washing his clothes, insisting that he put on fresh clothes etc.
There is NO WAY I could ever convince him to take extra tablets or capsules.
I can't even get him to suck on a lozenge when he has a cough!!!
He hates medication and doctors.

My next battle is to get him to use sheets.
He sleeps in his clothing with no sheets nor pillow cases.

Up till very recently, as per his request, I would not go in his room.
That was his sanctuary. So I did not know what he did in there.
Now I am insisting on him living in a way different to his choosing.
Very, very difficult.

Was on a party cruise on Saturday night and struck up a conversation with an 86 year old man.
He had the same smell. He has been a widower for 9 years.

I have a Tea Tree .... tree in my garden which is growing out of control.
Next step will be to put some branches in his room and else where in the house. I love the scent.
Am getting a quote to have those whirly things installed to help circulation in his room.
And the rest of the house. Everywhere else in the house is fine, just his room but I do have his pride to take into consideration and I have apparently been giving it a battering.

I have opened the two windows in his room but they are high up and possibly don't allow for sufficient air circulation.
Have also got his pharmacy, where he really likes the people, to ask him to test some special, low irritant body cleaners.
The ploy is to ask for his help in testing this new stuff and report back so they can recommend it with confidence.
It could be just him and his body smell.
If so it is something I will have to learn to live with.

Just came back from a weekend away and the house is a disaster area and the toilet smells of urine.

So the monster cleaning frenzy has started again.
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