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Bathing and Alzheimer’s Disease

People with often are nervous or even upset about the idea of bathing. Following some of these tips can help you to make bathing easier on both of you.

Have a Plan, but Don’t Over Explain

Lots of caregivers want to try to reason with their senior about why a bath is necessary, all the ways that it’s safe, and how it’s all going to happen. The problem is that Alzheimer’s disease changes how your senior’s brain works. She’s not concerned about seeing things from your perspective or understanding long explanations. What she knows right now is that she doesn’t want to get into the shower or the bathtub. It’s important for you to have a plan in place.

Adjust the Temperature in the Bathroom

Your senior might be having a difficult time regulating her body temperature even without Alzheimer’s. What that might mean is that she could be resisting bathing because it’s too cold in the bathroom for her. That’s far more obvious to her when she’s not wearing clothes, of course. One solution to this can be to avoid undressing your senior until the bathwater is ready or the shower is warmed up. You can also warm up the room before you take her into the bathroom.

Stay Positive and Look for Ways to Reward Your Senior

Remember to keep your own attitude positive about bathing and this experience. If you let your mood plummet, your senior will pick up on that. It’s important that she feels true positivity coming from you about everything associated with bathing. Also, look for rewards that your senior will truly enjoy. Make sure that you mention them to her and that you follow through with the reward.

Get Help from Folks Who Know What to Do

You’re not always going to know how to counter your elderly family member’s objections and refusals. In fact, part of why she might be refusing to bathe could be your involvement. Sometimes these vulnerable tasks leave seniors embarrassed and having a family member there makes everything worse. Elder care providers are often able to handle these delicate situations and leave your senior feeling comforted at the same time.

Finding solutions for the problem of bathing is going to be so much easier if you remain as patient as possible. You may not be able to reason with your aging family member any longer, but your emotions will affect the situation. Stay calm and know that you can get through this.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Broadview, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare Billings today at 406-839-2390.

Shanna Tourtlotte

Shanna Tourtlotte has been the owner of SYNERGY HomeCare Billings since 2011.

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