Alzheimer’s Care Tips to Make Bathing Less Stressful

Alzheimer’s Care Tips to Make Bathing Less Stressful

 November 17, 2023

A man in the bathroom is taking a shower

One area that many caregivers say is the hardest activity to help their aging loved one with Alzheimer’s is bathing. Because of the memory loss brought on by Alzheimer’s disease, they may need help now following the basic steps of taking a shower, shaving, and brushing their teeth, but because they’ve done it on their own their whole life, they may not be receptive to someone in their personal space trying to help with personal care needs. This can result in frustration for all involved.

Alzheimer’s Care

As a caregiver, you might consider hiring a professional Alzheimer’s care provider to visit your home to help with some of these personal tasks. Your loved one may be more receptive to a non-family member helping him do things he doesn’t want a family member to help with. An Alzheimer’s care provider will be trained on how to navigate through obstacles with care and patience. You can work with your Alzheimer’s care professional with what areas they will help with and what areas of bathing and personal care you’ll continue to perform.

If you are still doing the majority of the personal care such as bathing for your loved one, here are some steps you can take to help make that time less stressful.

Allow Plenty of Time

Being rushed always adds extra stress when your loved one either isn’t cooperating or needs more time to complete a step of his personal care. Build in plenty of time to the chore so that if it takes longer than expected, you won’t begin to feel anxious because something else is waiting to get done.

Choose the Right Time of Day

Some people like to bathe in the morning, some like to shower at night. Whatever your loved one has always done in the past will probably be most comfortable for him now. So, if he always took a shower at night, don’t try to switch him to baths in the morning now.

Know the Routine

Does your loved one like to disrobe in his room and then go into the bathroom to get ready? Is his preference to have the shower running before he steps in or start it up after he’s in there? Does he use the toilet each time before he showers or after? Knowing his routine will help him transition into bathing and then transition back out more easily.

Make the Experience Enjoyable

Your loved one might like some familiar music playing while he bathes, or perhaps having a scented candle will make the area more inviting. Conversations should be calm but upbeat without any raised voices.

Let Them Help When They Can

This promotes independence and self-esteem. You can direct your loved one with statements such as “Okay, Dad, now it’s time to scrub your elbows,” so that every step is completed but he is an active participant.

If bathing progresses into being too difficult to do alone, talk to your Alzheimer’s care provider about how they can help you with this task.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Alzheimer’s Care in Sewickley PA, please contact the caring staff at In-Home Quality Care today. Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area since 1990! Call 412-421-5202