Of the numerous challenges linked to providing care for a family member with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that the most prevalent difficulty is with personal hygiene, for a number of reasons:
- Diminished sense of vision and smell
- Comfort present in familiarity (in other words, wanting to wear exactly the same clothes continuously)
- The complexities of bathing, compounded by cognitive impairment and confusion
- Anxiety about falling, the sounds and sensations associated with the water, and more
Cajoling, quarrelling, and reasoning are hardly ever practical techniques with those impacted by Alzheimer’s or any other type of dementia. Rather, attempt these creative approaches in the event your loved one resists maintaining proper hygiene:
- Arrange the bathroom beforehand so the room will likely be comfortable and you will not have to juggle obtaining supplies together with assisting the senior. Warm the room with a space heater, and place soap, shampoo, towels, washcloth, etc. within easy reach, plus eliminate any throw rugs or any other tripping dangers.
- A shower chair and hand-held sprayer commonly make an even more comfortable bathing experience for those with dementia. Face the chair away from the faucet, and use towels to cover up areas of the body before and after they’ve been cleaned to keep the senior warm and to avoid feelings of exposure.
- Have your loved one assist with showering tasks whenever possible to promote independence. It may be as simple as providing a washcloth or perhaps the shampoo bottle for the senior to hold on to.
- If hair washing is hard for either of you, forego that activity during bath time, and schedule regular trips to the salon.
- Arrange a special outing together with the senior, such as a lunch date with a relative, and center bath time around getting ready for the occasion.
- Bring in the support of a medical professional, who is able to advise your loved one in regards to the higher chance of infection or skin issues without the right hygiene. Quite often hearing from a trusted third party carries more weight versus from a member of the family.
- Engage the services of a caregiver, allowing your loved one the dignity of getting personal care needs tended to by a professional caregiver, as opposed to a member of the family.
At Atlanta Home Care Partners, the senior care Buckhead, GA families trust, each of our caregivers is experienced in safe hygiene procedures for older adults, with specific training to help individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease to feel safe with personal hygiene tasks, including creative approaches to safe bathing, skin, hair, and oral care, restroom assistance, and more. Reach out to us at 404.228.0103 to discover practical approaches to the worries you and your loved one are facing!