Avoiding Resistance During Bath or Shower Making It A Pleasant Experience for Seniors With Dementia

showerSeniors living with Dementia face many challenges. One of the more common challenges is hygiene. As a top provider of in home dementia care in the Raleigh/Durham area, our trained caregivers are faced with this challenge daily. The good news is, there are tactics that caregivers can implement into their personal care routines that make showering and bathing less challenging for the caregiver and more comfortable for the senior. Read on to learn more!

Showering or bathing is an experience that seniors with dementia may find threatening, scary, embarrassing, or even painful. Any of these experiences may cause reactions of resistance or even combativeness. The senior reacts this way because he or she may not understand the purpose of showering or bathing and may react in an unpleasant manner.  Resistance to showers and bathing usually begins in the middle stage of Alzheimer’s, when the senior displays the cognitive capacity of a young child.

Effective Tips for Successful In Home Dementia Care During Baths or Showers:

Prepare In Advance
-Adjust the temperature in the room
-Have the bath towels nearby
-Test the water temperature and make sure that is comfortable for delicate skin
-Try and use a soap with a fragrance that is familiar to the senior
Allow the Senior to Feel In Control
-Ask if he or she would prefer a bath or shower
-Try redirecting the senior by starting a discussion about something that interests him or her; an old hobby or questions about their career prior to retirement
-Ask the senior to assist with choosing their clothing for the day
-Speak clearly and calmly without raising your voice
-Show the senior that you are respecting his or her dignity by offering a towel to hold in front of body
-Be gentle. Avoid scrubbing the skin. Gently pat dry. The skin is fragile, and rough handling will only result in resistance.
Be extra careful when shampooing hair
-Avoid spraying water directly on the senior’s head
-Use a washcloth to shampoo and rinse hair – be gentle
-Avoid excess water on the senior’s face

Following these basic tips can usually lead to a less stressful experience for both the senior and the in home dementia caregiver. The main thing to remember is to be patient at all times. He or she is not a child. Be respectful and treat the senior with dignity. Don’t rush or use force. You have one chance to get it right. If the senior becomes upset, things can quickly go downhill from there.

For assistance in easing the challenges of personal care for your senior loved one, call in the experts at Allcare Home Health Agency, Inc. Our in home dementia caregivers are trained to provide compassionate solutions with respect and dignity during difficult situations when dealing with a dementia client. Our CNAs receive ongoing in-service training throughout the year, much of it centered around providing care to clients with dementia. Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to assist family caregivers in ensuring that their loved one receives quality care at all times.
Call (919) 301-0236 today to schedule an in-home assessment with one of our experienced RNs.