Grooming is a very personal act. From combing our hair and dressing ourselves to bathing, it’s usually done in private, the way we’ve done it for many years. For seniors with dementia, the loss of their ability to properly groom themselves can be distressing, particularly if someone tries to do it for them.
Their reluctance to be groomed, especially bathed, may be due to modesty, the reluctance to admit they can’t do it themselves, or even the sensory issues involved (the water and feeling of the facecloth, for example). Because of this, bathing can be a traumatic experience for some aging adults and frustrating for their caregivers. The thing is, they still need to be bathed, so how can you make it easier on both of you?
Here are some alternatives to traditional bathing that you may want to try to find the one that works best for your loved one:
- Towel Bath: Use no-rinse soap and a large, warm, damp towel for a bed bath instead of the typical washcloth and basin of water.
- Recliner Bath: With your loved one lounging in a recliner, try using a basin of water, washcloth and no-rinse soap, but pad body parts being washed with a towel and incontinence pad to absorb extra water.
- Toilet Bath: For those who are especially agitated by a bath routine, combining toileting with washing can be an effective alternative.
- Singing Bath: If your loved one responds positively to particular songs, try singing to him or her as a distraction when it’s bath time.
- Seven-Day Bath: Clean just a section of the body each day, which may be more tolerable than trying to tackle everything at once.
If you want to continue bathing your loved one, there are some helpful tips at Bathing Without Battles. However, maybe you would like to ask for some help with bathing, to free you to do other things for and with your loved one. Home Sweet Home In-Home Care can do that for you. Our trained staff can provide personal care services, such as bathing, grooming, and even oral care. In addition, we offer help such as light housekeeping, meal preparation, and companionship.
Contact Our St. Joseph Senior Care Experts!
We provide exceptional Kalmazaoo MI senior care and home care services throughout Van Buren, Berrien, Cass and Kalamazoo counties in Michigan. Contact us for more information at (269)-849-9252 or through our web form. By allowing us to help your loved one with the basic necessities, you will have more time to spend doing less stressful activities, for both of you.