For caregivers of family members with dementia-related conditions, personal care activities which were formerly viewed as regular or enjoyable could be met with resistance due to perceived risks or confusion. Family caregivers can, however, make activities like bathing easier to deal with by taking some additional steps in regards to personal care. Here are a few ideas in the Annapolis dementia care pros at Home Care Assistance.
Explain What’s Happening
People with dementia can sometimes get confused and agitated if you initiate activities like taking a daily bath without letting them know what’s going on. Take a few minutes to explain things while:
- Speaking in clear, soft tones
- Politely answering questions that are repetitive (“Didn’t I take a bath today?”)
- Giving them time to calm down if they look overly agitated
Prepare Everything in Advance
To prevent sudden mood swings, revived confusion or agitation, get everything prepared in advance. Consider taking the following measures to reduce the odds of combative behaviors:
- Keeping supplies (soap, washcloths, deodorant, toothpaste) within easy reach
- Verifying the water temperature of bathwater
- Covering mirrors (if seeing a reflection causes confusion or fear)
- Having a caregiver of the same sex help with activities like dressing and bathing
- Making sure that the room is comfortable
- Using larger towels to ensure privacy
Offer Choices and Encourage Independence
Avoid the temptation to do everything for your loved one. By tracking rather than being overly protective, dementia patients can retain their valued independence whilst knowing that someone is nearby in case they need assistance. Consider moving some personal care tasks to the morning, if at all possible, since dementia symptoms tend to be less intense during the early hours of the day.
You can further encourage independence by providing your loved one choices (“Would you like a bath or shower today?”) And request permission before giving help (“Do you need some help brushing your hair now?”). Sometimes, seniors are more combative with family members because they feel ashamed or helpless. It can sometimes be helpful to hire a professional caregiver from an Annapolis home care agency who can provide assistance as-needed with the utmost dignity and respect.
Get Help Today
We’re a trusted, local provider of in-home care, specializing in dementia and Alzheimer’s house care in Annapolis. Trust our highly trained and experienced caregivers to assist with jobs from personal care and medication reminders to light housekeeping and transportation. Call 443-302-2771 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation using a friendly Care Manager today.