Many elderly adults struggling with Alzheimer’s disease experience anxiety and resistance when it comes to bathing. This can stem from a wide variety of factors, including not understanding why they need to bathe, thinking that they have just bathed, or being afraid of the sound or the appearance of the water.
If you are a family caregiver for a senior adult who is struggling with Alzheimer’s disease see, this resistance can not only make it difficult for you to ensure that they are getting the personal care that they need to stay healthy and comfortable but can also be frustrating, upsetting, and even lead to negative behaviors that can be risky for both of you.
Some ways that you can help a senior with Alzheimer’s disease feel less anxious about bathing include:
-Make bathing a regular part of your parent’s scheduled routine. Predictability is very important to a senior with cognitive functioning decline. Knowing what to expect and when things will happen can help your parent to feel more in control and less anxious. This can also reduce resistance and anxiety that can come from your parent feeling as though they have just bathed. If it is on the schedule, they are more likely to simply go along with it.
-Explain to your parent why they need to bathe. Tell them that it will make them feel better and smell better, or encourage them by telling them about an upcoming visit or outing that you are planning and that you want them to be at their best for it.
-Talk to them about the process and explain to them step-by-step how you will go through the bath or shower with them. Even if you need to do this at every bath time, it can help your parent to understand what is happening and that they are safe.
-If your parent has exhibited fear or anxiety related to the water, consider filling the bath before they come into the room. This ensures that they are not frightened by the sound of the water.
-Demonstrate to your parent that the water is not deep enough to be dangerous by putting your own hand in it and show them that it is only a few inches deep.
-Play calming music throughout the experience so that your parent can focus on that rather than the steps of the bathing process.
If you have been considering ways to enhance your aging parent’s quality of life, support a more fulfilling lifestyle, and help them to remain as healthy as possible throughout their later years, now may be the ideal time for you to start elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can create a highly personalized set of services tailored towards your parent’s individual needs, challenges, and limitations.
Through these services, the care provider will help your parent manage their needs in the way that is right for them while also supporting a lifestyle that is as independent and fulfilling as possible. This means that your parent can stay happy, healthy, safe, and comfortable, while also remaining compliant with their medications and other guidelines from their doctor, keep their mind stimulated and healthy, and engage with the world around them as much as possible. As their family caregiver, this can give you tremendous peace of mind knowing that your parents are in the best hands both when you are with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Claremont, CA, contact the caring staff at No Place Like Home Homecare today at 951-382-5266.