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Friends and Family Everyone has disagreements, even best friends and family. If you need advice about a relationship, ask us here.

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Friend has body odour/smells - May 1st 2019, 10:02 PM

Okay so basically where I live (supoorted housing ) thereís a girl in my mental health supoorted housing unit who clearly has some issues with Personnal hygiene she is also my friend and the past few days Iíve noticed sheís like getting rather stinky, thereís dirt behind her nails and I donít just like mean a little bit of dirt behind her nails this is like thick black dirt that to me suggests she is not washing etc... so today when she came to my flat for a chat and to hang out and to get a couple of loo rolls as sheís ran out etc and I like noticed she really stinks and I mean really really stinks like she has not showered or washed for a few days! So I tried to be subtle and gave her a tube of toothpaste ( I have like a few tubes of toothpaste ) and some body wash and some baby wipes and this weird like body paint soap stuff claiming that I was allergic to some of the ingredients in them and they were causing me skin irritation etc and if she didnít like take them they would be going in the bin/trash. However I fear she wonít use them. She asked me if I was trying to tell her something or if I was like hinting that she does smell to which I said no because I didnít like want to upset her etc but she does smell.... itís like a mix of body odour and like a poo sort of smell I did ask her if she had stepped in dogs mess to which she replied no... I donít know how to like approach the subject of Personnal hygiene with her or do I just leave it and like speak to the staff in my unit and let them know that she is like clearly not washing etc and that Iím like worried about her ?



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Re: Friend has body odour/smells - May 1st 2019, 10:34 PM

Talk to the staff about it, they are the ones responsible for teaching her independent living skills.

That includes basic hygiene, such as showering and washing your face and brushing your teeth,

It is not your responsibility, even if you are her friend.


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Re: Friend has body odour/smells - May 1st 2019, 11:12 PM

Yeah that’s what I’ve been thinking as I’ve given her personal hygiene products etc the thing I don’t get it is she’s always like cleaning her flat etc yet her Personnal hygiene is like really poor.... im the other end of the scale flat isn’t exactly tidy etc but my personal hygiene is like really good and my flat isn’t like unclean I’m just untidy etc yet always clean like nails are never dirty etc I just can’t like understand why she doesn’t wash etc..I think I will have to like have a chat with the staff tomorrow.



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Re: Friend has body odour/smells - May 2nd 2019, 04:33 PM

I'm glad you are going to talk with the staff! I think they definitely could help her out, and they are there to support her after all! As what was previously said, since this is supported housing the staff are probably there to teach her the skills that she needs to live and function independently, and this probably includes the skills she needs to take care of herself.

If you do end up deciding you want to talk to her as well at some point (or if this issue ever comes up with someone else in the future) I'd sit her down somewhere private when she's at least in a calm mood. I'd let her know that you have to tell her something, and the reason you are telling her this is because you care about her and want her to be healthy. You can let her know that lately you have noticed that she has a bit of a body odor to her and looks a bit dirty, and ask her if she is doing/feeling okay and washing okay. Let her know that you're concerned about this and you're letting her know because you care about her and want her to be well.

The reason I gave you this tip is because even if you don't talk to her about this and end up letting the staff take care of it, there may be a situation where another friend or acquaintance has a similar issue. I know that if I had an odor problem or looked dirty, I'd rather hear it kindly from a friend than risk it being said not so nicely from a stranger, if that makes sense?


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Re: Friend has body odour/smells - May 3rd 2019, 10:52 PM

I'm yet to mention it to the staff. i was in college again today with this friend and i noticed that she had like thick black dirt behind her nails (the sort of dirt that indicates shes clearly not washing or scrubbing her nails) im playing football with her tomorrow for a football club so im hoping that the football coaches may also notice... and will like maybe say something as i havent had a chance to talk to the staff at my unit yet... i also noticed in college today her clothes were clearly not clean and dirty (we all have access to communal washing machines and tumble dryers) so i do need to like mention it to the staff... as its really beginning to like gross me out and im beginning to feel unclean just like being around her....



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Re: Friend has body odour/smells - May 6th 2019, 06:36 PM

I think that while it definitely sucks that you have to tell staff, it is the right thing to do and also is helping her. If she's not realizing that this is an issue or she doesn't know how to do these tasks, or if anything is going on with her mental or physical health, etc, sometimes it can help to have someone to talk to in order to give her the help she needs. If you can't talk to the staff verbally is there another way you can get in touch with them like email, phone, or by letter?


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Re: Friend has body odour/smells - May 6th 2019, 10:38 PM

I keep intending to mention it to the staff but I always seem to avoid it I’m thinking to maybe ask them that I need to tell them something about one of the other residents but I don’t want them knowing it was me who told the staff so that way I can like tell them without having to worry about upsetting my friend as that’s like the last thing I want to do but the products I gave her bubble bath etc aren’t being used I think i will mention it tomorrow to the staff



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