Some seniors with Alzheimer’s find bathing unpleasant, and many even try to stop bathing halfway through, which can be dangerous if they are not properly supervised. If you are providing Alzheimer’s care for an elderly loved one, safety should always take priority. Here are a few key tips to manage your loved one’s Alzheimer’s symptoms and increase his or her safety when bathing.
Start by Simplifying
The longer your loved one stays in the shower or bath, the more likely he or she will become uncomfortable and try to leave, which increases the risk of falling. Try simplifying the bathing experience. For example, purchase bathing products that can be used for both body and hair. Another way you can make bathing easier is to sew pockets into washcloths. This will help prevent your loved from dropping the soap and attempting to pick it up. Make sure you have these items ready before the bath begins.
Set a Routine
Seniors living with Alzheimer’s often feel more relaxed when maintaining a routine. If your loved one prefers bathing in the morning or evening, avoid changing the bath time whenever possible to prevent him or her from becoming confused and agitated. Sticking to a routine should help your loved one feel more in control and comfortable long enough to finish the bath safely.
Prepare in Advance
When helping your loved one with Alzheimer’s during bath time, be ready to assist when needed. Offer the level of help necessary. For example, in the early stages of dementia, your elderly loved one may need only a reminder to bathe. As the disease progresses, more of your assistance will be required. To help during this stage, you can prepare the bathroom in advance by gathering bath supplies and placing them within reach. You should always check the water temperature, as your loved one may not sense when the water is dangerously hot or may resist bathing if the water is too cold.
If your loved one does not have a tub, using a shower chair or bench can make bathing safer. Though the seat may not be required for the entire bath, your loved one may be less combative and more comfortable if he or she has the option of sitting while bathing.
Living with Alzheimer’s can be challenging for seniors because the effects of the disease increase the risk for confusion that can lead to injury. Help your loved one remain safe in the comfort of home by hiring a professional caregiver. At Keyline Home Care Solutions, our Keygivers are available 24/7 to assist with bathing and grooming, provide mental and social stimulation, and help with many other everyday tasks. To learn more about In-Home care West Georgia seniors and their families trust, call 1-855-4-KEYLINE today to speak with a Key Expert in Home Care and schedule a no-obligation consultation.