Fear of taking a shower is common among people with dementia.
Here are some suggestions:
- Make sure the bathroom lighting is adequate. An inability to see will only increase her anxiety.
- Let the shower run for a few minutes, to warm up the bathroom. No one likes getting into a cold shower.
- Purchase a shower chair at a medical supply company or a pharmacy, so she can sit when she feels unsteady.
- Install a hand-held shower head. This is often less threatening than water pouring down from above.
- Play soft, calming music.
- Use a soap she used to love, and from which she might recall the fragrance.
- She wants as much privacy as possible. Let her try and bathe herself, with some sideline coaching.
- Try having her soak in the bathtub, instead of a shower. This is more relaxing.
- Consider having a home health agency look over your bathroom, and make suggestions about how it could be better-adapted to your Mom’s need.
- Consider sponge baths as an occasional option.
- Consider bathing your mom in bed, using a dry shampoo, which many hospitals are doing.
Try and stick with the bathing routine your mother always had. Morning or night? Shower or bath? She’ll feel more at ease if her routine is similar.
Lastly, consider hiring a bath aide, on your own or through an agency. Your Mom may be embarrassed to be bathed by her daughter, and might respond better to someone outside the family.
When you’re a caregiver to someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, questions never stop popping into you mind. But we can help…because we’re Elder Law attorneys.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’ve been walking South Florida families through the Dementia Journey for the past 33 years. And we’ve prepared them in advance for that possibility, as well, with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset-protection plans, and assistance with Medicaid or the VA.
We know every step of the Dementia Journey. And we’re just a phone call away.
I Can No Longer Get Mom In The Shower. How Do I Keep Her Clean?