7 Ways to Ease Hygiene Care for Someone with Alzheimer’s
Of the numerous challenges related to caregiving, the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that the most prevalent challenge is hygiene care for someone with Alzheimer’s, for various reasons:
- Decreased sense of vision and smell
- Comfort found in familiarity (i.e., desiring to wear exactly the same clothes repeatedly)
- The challenges of bathing, compounded by cognitive impairment and confusion
- Fear of falling, the noises and feelings associated with the water, and more
Cajoling, arguing, and logical thinking are hardly ever practical strategies with those impacted by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Rather, attempt these innovative techniques if your loved one resists hygiene care:
- Arrange the bathroom in advance so that the room will likely be comfortable and you will not have to juggle collecting supplies along with assisting your senior loved one. Warm the room with a space heater, and put soap, shampoo, towels, washcloth, etc. within easy reach, plus clear away any throw rugs or other tripping hazards.
- A shower chair and hand-held sprayer frequently make a more calming bathing experience for individuals with dementia. Position the chair away from the faucet, and make use of towels to cover up areas of the body before and after they have been washed to keep your senior loved one warm and to avoid feelings of exposure.
- Have your senior loved one help with bathing tasks as much as possible to promote independence. It may something as basic as providing a washcloth or the shampoo bottle for the senior to hold on to.
- If hair washing is difficult for either of you, forego that task during bath time, and set up weekly excursions to the salon.
- Arrange a special outing with the senior, such as a dinner date with a friend, and center bath time around getting ready for the event.
- Bring in the suggestions of a physician, who can advise the senior regarding the heightened risk of infection or skin problems without proper hygiene. Oftentimes hearing from a trusted third party carries more weight than from a relative.
- Engage the services of a caregiver, enabling your senior loved one the dignity of having personal care needs tended to by a professional, rather than a family member.
At Hired Hands Homecare, the top provider of home care assistance in Marin and the nearby areas, each of our caregivers is skilled in safe hygiene procedures for older adults, with specific training to help individuals with Alzheimer’s disease to feel comfortable with personal hygiene tasks, including creative techniques for safe bathing, skin, hair, and oral care, restroom assistance, and more.