Alzheimers and Bathing

Challenges With Daily Activities: Bathing

For caregivers of individuals with Alzheimers disease; one of the biggest challenges comes with the fact that these individuals have often lost their ability to perform daily activities and one of the most common issues for elderly individuals to have challenges with is their bathing. This can be frustrating on both the caregiver and the individual of dementia. Handling bathing issues can be challenging, but with some information in mind you may find yourself better equipped at handling these issues.

The Phases of Bathing

When it comes to developing a plan for helping an individual with Alzheimers with bathing it is important to know about the phases of bathing. These phases include undressing, an introduction the shower or bath area, washing and bathing, drying and then re-dressing. You will want to make sure that you have developed a plan for each phase involved in order to find the success you are looking for.

Common Problems with Bathing

There are a number of issues that tend to accompany the bathing process with Alzheimers patients. Knowing these common obstacles beforehand can help you be more successful in your efforts. - Many individuals with Alzheimers, like most adults, will be quite modest and uncomfortable with the idea of undressing in front of others. - Those with dementia may have forgotten how to undress themselves or to was or dry themselves and can be confused by the process or unable to assist. - Many older adults in general are at risk of slipping and falling when in the tub or shower. - It is not uncommon for a person with dementia to become frightened or alarmed while being helped with bathing and attempt to flee from the situation.

Tips on Successful Bathing

Here are some tips to consider that may help in the bathing process.

- Approach the individual from the front, as to not alarm them. Make sure that you close the door to the bathroom so they feel that they have privacy but do not lock it, for safety reasons. - Prepare the area before hand with everything you will need and make sure you secure soap, towels and other items in advance. Make sure you have side railings, shower seats and non-slip pads in place. - Be prepared to meet some resistance and reassure the individual whenever they are expressing concern over receiving assistance or when they have modesty concerns. - Communicate slowly and with a comforting voice and try to use slow and simple instructions. Do not be afraid to use visual aids when communicating.


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