Communication

Bathing & Grooming

For some people with Alzheimer's disease, bathing can be frightening, or become a time of confrontation. Refusal to bathe is not unusual.

Consider the following:

  • Make bathing and grooming part of a daily schedule of activities, incorporating as much of the persons' former personal care routine as possible.
  • Try to schedule the bath at the same time everyday. Plan it for the time of day when your care receiver is likely to be more cooperative and agreeable.
  • Ensure that the room and water temperatures are comfortable.
  • As with all activities, encourage the care receiver to participate in bathing and grooming as fully as possible, for as long as possible.
  • Allow plenty of time so as not to rush the individual.
  • Stay calm, gentle and reassuring throughout the bath.
  • If the person needs more hands on assistance, inform them of each step in the process.
  • Provide as much privacy as possible, while maintaining safety. Use of grab bars and non-skid treads in the tub, a handheld shower head, and a shower bench may be helpful.

Source: THE ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE EDUCATION & REFERRAL CENTER