According to many doctors, seniors should bathe at least twice each week. Frequent bathing is essential for preventing skin conditions and infection, especially urinary tract infections. However, if your aging loved one has Alzheimer’s, bath time can be challenging. Caledon Alzheimer’s home care experts have a few suggestions to help make bathing a more pleasant experience for your loved one.
Start with Positive Reinforcement
Remind your loved one how good he or she will feel after having taken a warm bath. Try to speak in soothing tones and let him or her know you’ll do something more enjoyable immediately afterward. Congratulate your loved one on every step he or she takes to assist you in this process.
Schedule Bath Time According to Former Routines
If your loved one used to bathe in the morning, schedule this activity when he or she wakes up. If he or she showered late at night, make this a part of the bedtime ritual. Keeping the routine as familiar and predictable as possible limits the amount of resistance you’re likely to encounter.
Get the Water Temperature Just Right
Be mindful of the fact seniors can have extremely sensitive skin. Water that feels just right to you could feel scalding hot to your loved one. Ask your loved one to test the water temperature before encouraging him or her to climb in. Preventing the shock of freezing cold or scorching hot water is important for ensuring the bath goes smoothly.
Gather Bathing Materials in Advance
If you have to spend time searching for the shampoo or a washcloth, your loved one may become agitated. Do not start running the water until you have everything you need on hand. The process of getting everything set up in a predictable fashion can leave both you and your loved one feeling far less flustered.
Turn on the Heater
Get the room temperature at a comfortable level well ahead of bath time. Stepping out of a warm bath into freezing cold air can be unpleasant and may cause your loved one to develop negative associations with this process. Have a warm, comfortable towel ready, as well as a soft bathrobe and any other items you think will keep your loved one feeling relaxed and content.
If your loved one needs help managing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder home care Caledon families trust. Our caregivers are experts in helping seniors with Alzheimer’s and other memory-related conditions lead happier and healthier lives. Call 905-951-8885 today to request a no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced Care Managers.