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.


Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio