Posted on | May 21, 2012
Making bathing and other personal hygiene tasks comfortable and relaxing for an individual with Alzheimer’s can be a challenge. Needing assistance in this highly personal part of life can make bathing uncomfortable and even stressful, but it doesn’t need to be. Here are some guidelines for making bathing a calm and soothing occurrence for an individual with Alzheimer’s.
Setting the stage is key to success. This means setting up a warm, calm room with a soothing atmosphere; think soft lighting, warm air, fluffy towels laid out, soaps at hand, and maybe even some soft music playing. Set everything up in advance so your patient or loved one is able to enter the space without any stress or rushing. Having everything prepared will also make you calmer and more confident, an attitude your loved one or patient will pick up on.
Ensure the room’s safety. Consider using a shower chair or bench for an individual who may have difficulty balancing. Grippy rugs and sturdy handlebars can also make a bathroom safer for an aging individual with Alzheimer’s.
Consider your charge’s integrity at all points in the process. Being bathed by another individual is a very personal and potentially embarrassing process. Some may prefer to wear a towel or other item in an effort to preserve their dignity. State what you will do before you do it so the individual can feel assured you are confident and know what you are doing, and maintain an attitude of calm, dignified confidence at all times.
Bath time may be the only time for a caregiver to assess an Alzheimer’s patient’s physical condition, so use your time wisely, but remember to keep calm and consider your patient’s integrity and dignity every step of the way.
About the Author:
Bridges® by EPOCH is the evolution of EPOCH Senior Living’s renowned memory care program BRIDGES®. Recognizing that a free-standing community devoted entirely to caring for those with memory challenges can provide more focused care, an enhanced lifestyle and a more fulfilling environment, Bridges® by EPOCH is the realization of EPOCH’s commitment to improving the lives of all those touched by Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. EOEA Certification Application Pending.
With nearly 20 years of experience in the senior living industry, Alicia Seaver is committed to making a difference in the lives of seniors. Prior to joining the Bridges® by EPOCH team, Alicia held various positions at senior living communities in Florida and Massachusetts, including Executive Director of Hearthstone Alzheimer Care and Memory Care Program Director at Emeritus Senior Living. Through her extensive experience, Alicia gained valuable knowledge and expertise that will allow her to truly make a difference in the lives of residents at Bridges® by EPOCH at Hingham. Additionally, Alicia is certified by the National Institute on Aging as a Memory Impairment Specialist and is certified in both Massachusetts and Florida as a State Certified Alzheimer’s and Related Dementia Trainer. Alicia is excited to be part of an organization that is as dedicated to providing high quality, individualized care to seniors as she is. Alicia currently lives in South Shore with her husband and two daughters.