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Bathing | Management Strategies

  1. Perhaps the person you care for is unaware of the time lapse between his or her baths. He or she may not realize that it has been a week since they last bathed. Putting bath days on calendar may help.

  2. Sometimes, Alzheimer's disease affects people's ability to judge and understand distance or where things are. A person who is afraid to bathe may be afraid of being swept down the drain, or may be afraid of drowning. Perhaps you can discuss their fears directly and try and alleviate them. Covering the drain with a cloth or an overturned bowl may relieve that particular fear.

  3. You may have an easier time persuading or reminding the person you care for to bathe at an established time during the day. Creating this routine helps provide consistency and may make it easier for them to remember. If you are aware of the time of the day which they prefer to bathe, try and take this into account.

  4. Try and allow the method of bathing that the person you care for is most comfortable with, whether it be a bath, shower or sponge bath. They may have a preference due to past experiences.

  5. Installation of a tub rail or shower seat may help to provide reassurance and safety for the person you care for.

  6. Establish a secure and comfortable environment whether it be providing calming sounds or scents. If privacy is a concern, try to leave them partially covered up during bathing. These will all help to create a warm and pleasant atmosphere.

  7. Often people find it easier to accept the help of a stranger, especially a professional health care attendant . For some home services, the need for assistance with bathing is also a way to get the weekly check-ins by an outside agency. This can be beneficial in a number of ways, especially when the caregiver in the home is nervous about being able to entirely do it alone.

  8. Check mirrors/reflections, a shiny bathroom floor, etc., for anything the person you care for might think will harm them.

See Also:
Symptom Library > Thinking & Judgment > Judgment
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Disorientation to Time
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Last updated January 9, 2019
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