Secrets to Making Bathing Easier for Someone With Dementia

If you already have a bathing routine worked out, you've probably discovered that habit -- having everything you need assembled ahead of time, running the bath or shower at about the same time in the day, and washing in the same sequence -- can make the difference between resistance and agreeability.

But did you know that using the same product brands each time is also reassuring? People grow accustomed to specific scents.

Here are five more "nice touches" that making bathing go more easily:

1. Try warming your loved one's towels and robe in the dryer for 10 minutes before you begin the bath. They'll retain some of their warmth during bath time and feel great after.

2. Install a bath bench. Sitting down can remove some of the anxiety your loved one feels about simultaneously being naked, being in water, and trying to keep his or her balance.

3. Try using a washcloth and a dab of shampoo on someone who resists a proper shampoo. Rinse gently with the washcloth, too. Hair gets clean but without the face getting so wet.

4. Play your loved one's favorite music in the bathroom. Try jazz, standards, classical, or whatever is normally calming.

5. Switch to a hand-held shower nozzle. You control the flow of water rather than working around it.


over 1 year ago, said...

When using a hand held shower nozzle, start at the feet and move up slowly


about 2 years ago, said...

I use dry shampoo on Mom, one that is a foam that I pump into my hand then rub through her hair and then towel dry. She loves the scalp massage. I still have a time getting her to shower, but I have had success getting her in there when she wakes up wet. I will get into her bathroom before her, turn the shower on, and put the heater in there. By the time she gets there, she is more worried about getting her wet clothes off than anything else. I have learned to be quick about it so she doesn't have time to object. Once I get her in, I put soap on a sponge and get her backside washed, I have also learned to have a small dry towel handy so she can cover her face. She PANICS if water touches her face. I have also learned to pause when washing her to get her in there as long as possible. I have her wash her front side and privates, which ends up being hit and miss, but I feel I have her pretty clean by having her in there as long as I do.


over 2 years ago, said...

Warming the towels, and the bath bench for anxiety relief. Good ideas. (Now if I could only get him toe agree to USE a bath bench.


over 5 years ago, said...

showers at home nearly always require combat gear. Fortunately, we have an indoor pool where I take mom for "therapy"....afterwards, we "have to" shower the pool chemicals off so I carry Johnson's baby soap with us and when she showers, I start squirting....once the soap is on, she rubs it around and we rinse. Both of us are already wet and I just get in the handicap shower stall wtih her. It is SO much easier on both of us!


over 5 years ago, said...

After MOM wanting to install a v ery expensive Premier Bath System - wanting the luxury and safety of bath and shower head for hair, her first two experiences were somewhat frightening - more like overwhelming. She said - you know I don't know how to swim - it is a bit spooky! So tonight I let her lead what she wanted to do - after spending a fortune on this bath with spa etc. she just wanted to use the shower. I think she might need a xanax at supper time. It seems to be the time of day to avoid anything that requires attention. I thought it might relax her but not yet comfortable with all the gizmos. Will do after breakfast from now on. Maybe she will get more adjusted with usage. What an expence for her not to enjoy! - Tomorrow is another day! Thanks for the ideas of comfort!


over 5 years ago, said...

Hello Anonymous, Thank you very much for your comment. I'm so sorry to hear about this situation with your father. That must be difficult for you and your family. If you'd like, you can post you question in our Ask & Answer section, here: ( http://www.caring.com/ask ). Take care -- Emily | Community Manager


over 5 years ago, said...

My Dad is in an Assisted Living Facikity and has been dianosed with Alzheimer/Dementia. My problem is that he can be in the shower for literarly 3-4 hours if you are not yelling at him to get out. Since my siblings and I work, what do we do to get Dad out of the shower quicker? We do not know what to do, it upsets my Mom because he can never get down to the dining room on time and will go without eating until dinner. He sometimes will go from the being on the toilet for hours (ona and off), resting for 5 minutes, back on the toilet, resting and then in to the shower. What is happening to my Dad? There has to be something that we can do to break the spell of the warm shower and poor Dad washing and re-washing himself because he can not remember that he has already cleaned himself already.


over 5 years ago, said...

Hey greylady66, thank you very much for your question. I'm sorry to hear you've been having trouble lately, that must be difficult. There are some good suggestions in this article, and here is another article with other tips you can implement to help make the process go a bit more smoothly: ( http://www.caring.com/articles/alzheimers-bathing-tips ). I hope that helps. Take care. -- Emily | Community Manager


over 5 years ago, said...

My Mother does not want to take her bath. She gets very agitated when she sees the lady who helps me with her bath and starts crying that she does not feel like it today. This happens everytime. I would appreciate suggestions on how to calm her down before her bath.