Aging Services News
Wednesday, 29 November 2017 13:17

Water and Dementia?

There are many challenges when taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia.  A common obstacle faced by many is getting the individual to take a bath.  They might cry, scream, or become combative, leaving the caregiver feeling helpless and unsure of the next step.

The perception of water changes with Alzheimer’s or dementia, a fact that remains relatively unknown to caregivers.  The disease can impact the individual’s depth perception and sense of temperature.  To many people suffering from this illness, interacting with water could be scary, regardless of temperature. 

Instead of taking a shower or bath, caregivers may find that a hand-held shower head works better and might be less frightening for their loved ones, while others may prefer sitting on a bath seat instead of being submerged in water.  Try to make the process of bathing as pleasant as possible for the care receiver.  Some caregivers play relaxing music or use nice-smelling body soap.  In all situations, it is important to remember to be patient, sensitive, and respectful of the individual’s dignity. 

Sources: http://www.alzheimersreadingroom.com/2016/02/health-alzheimers-water-is-invisible-dementia-patient.html


https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/info/20029/daily_living/6/washing_and_bathing

 

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