How Do I Make Bathing Easier?
Ask the Alzheimer’s Expert is brought to you each week by Elayne Forgie and the Alzheimer’s’ Care Resource Center.
Question: What are some tips that can help me with bathing the Alzheimer’s patient? How can I make it easier?
Answer: We recently aired a Wednesday Workshop on this topic that I think you will find useful. Below is the transcript and the video!
1. Before you get ready to take your patient into the bathroom, what do you do to prepare yourself and the space for them?
Well, the first thing I do is make sure all the necessary items are set out. For example soap, shampoo, towels and clean clothes. Then I go to the bathroom to make sure everything is safe and secure. If the patient is using a shower chair, make sure it is completely secure before the patient goes into the bath/shower.
2. So walk me through how you bathe one of your patients?
First of all, I check the water temperature to make sure it’s convenient for them. Then I carefully guide the patient into the bath/shower and make sure that they are comfortable. I then start washing the person from head to toe. You want to start at the top with the head/hair and work your way down the body. You should be quick with washing and scrubbing. You want them to be clean but you must be quick. You don’t want the patient to get cold or frustrated while bathing.
3. Once the patient is clean, what is the next step to get them safely out of the shower?
Similar to washing a person, you also start to dry the person from head to toe. Sometimes the patient has a robe to be wrapped around them for warmth but if they do not have a robe a big towel or beach towel should cover most of the body. Next you’ll stay as close to the patient as possible and guide them out of the shower/bath. Be sure that the bath mat is secure and won’t slip around. Then gently guide them into another room to be dressed in clean clothes.
4. What is your best piece of advice, to other caregivers, who need to bathe a loved one or patient?
The best advice I can give is to make sure your loved one is always safe. Always check the water temperature, make sure things are secure and never leave your loved one alone in the bath/shower if they have a cognitive impairment.
For further information about this topic, feel free to call us at the Alzheimer’s Care Resource Center. Our number is (561) 588-4545.