Elderly Care in Jupiter FL
One of the most important efforts in your elderly care journey with your aging loved one is to ensure that they maintain proper personal hygiene. This is not just about looking and smelling their best. While this is an important part of keeping the mental and emotional health high, ensuring that your aging parent remains clean and fresh is a critical part of supporting their health and wellbeing. Bathing or showering regularly controls germs to reduce the chance of illness and infection. It also protects their skin to reduce discomfort and irritation and guard against damage. While bathing or showering yourself may be something that you take for granted, if Alzheimer’s disease is a part of your elderly care experience, it may be more challenging than you expect.
Bathing a senior with Alzheimer’s disease can prevent an array of challenges. Not only are you coping with the actual physical needs of helping your parent bathe, but you must also take into consideration the mental, emotional, and cognitive realities of this situation. Many seniors with dementia become resistant to bathing. This can happen because they forget why bathing is important or they think that they have already bathed. They may also develop a fear of bathing. Addressing all of these issues will help you to make the bathing process simpler and ensure that your loved one gets all of the care that they need.
The first step in helping your parent with Alzheimer’s disease bathe effectively is preparing for the experience. Making sure that you are as ready as possible will help to streamline the event and reduce the chances of injury, anxiety, and other issues.
Use these tips to help you prepare to bathe your senior with Alzheimer’s disease:
- Gather all of your supplies. Have everything that you need for the bath or shower on hand before you even bring your parent into the bathroom. This includes towels, washcloths, extra clothing or a robe, soap and other toiletries, and any specific tools such as a shower bench or a handled sponge. Having everything already on hand prevents the need for you to leave your parent unattended in the bath or shower, or lengthen the experience any longer than absolutely necessary.
- Prepare the room. Make sure that the room is a comfortable temperature for your aging parent. A room that is too cold will make it more likely that your parent will be resistant and even combative. Consider having a small space heater running in the bathroom for several minutes before you start the water. Be sure to unplug and remove this device before starting the water, however. Also put items into place such as the shower bench, towels, and toiletry items.
- Get the water going. For many elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease, the water itself is what is upsetting about the bath or shower. They may dislike the sound or think that they are going to drown. Help to reduce this anxiety by starting the water running before you bring your parent in rather than when they are already in the room.