Helping a Senior with Alzheimer’s Participate in Their Own Personal Hygiene

Elderly Care Gig Harbor WA

Elderly Care Gig Harbor WACaring for an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s disease can be one of the most fulfilling experiences that you can have, but it can also be extremely stressful. By recognizing the challenges that your elder faces you can better tailor your care efforts to address those challenges and fulfill their care tasks effectively, efficiently, and respectfully.

One of the greatest challenges that family caregivers for elderly adults with Alzheimer’s disease often face is maintaining their parent’s hygiene. Ongoing hygiene is important for supporting good mental and emotional health, as well as reducing the risk of rash, infection, and illness. Seniors with dementia often feel reluctant to bathe and may become anxious or even aggressive during the process. Finding ways to allow your parent to participate in their own personal hygiene can relieve this anxiety, reduce the risk of negative behaviors, and make this process smoother and less stressful for everyone involved.

Try these ways to help your elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s disease participate in their own personal hygiene:

• Let them make decisions. Making decisions is an effective expression of independence for an elderly adult with Alzheimer’s disease. Encourage them to make simple decisions regarding their bathing. This can be what color towels they want to use, which scent of soap, or which clothing they want. Making these simple decisions helps them to feel more in control and invested in the experience.

• Guide them through washing. Set aside plenty of time to handle the actual process of bathing so that you can guide your parent through each step of the bathing process. You may still need to handle some areas of their body, but they can sit on a shower bench or in the bath and wash their arms, legs, chest, and even back. They may be able to wash their hair on their own.

• Give them a “responsibility”. If they are not able to handle the steps of washing themselves, help your parent to stay engaged and reduce anxiety by giving them a responsibility within the bathing experience. This can be as simple as holding the washcloth or body wash when you are not using it. By having something to do they are less likely to feel nervous, scared, or “pushed around” by you, and are more likely to be cooperative.

If your aging parent has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, starting elderly care for them can be an exceptional way for you to help them enjoy a higher quality of life as they progress through the disease. The personalized services of an elderly home care services provider address your parent’s individual challenges, needs, and limitations, and work with them as their needs increase throughout the progression. This means that they are able to maintain as much independence as possible while also staying safe, healthy, and comfortable throughout their later years. Starting this care as early in their progression as possible can help your parent to form a closer relationship with a care provider so that they are able to establish a routine, build trust, and better manage their changing challenges and symptoms as they move through the stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

When it comes to helping them with their hygiene, the services of this care provider can also relieve your caregiver stress by allowing you to step back from this challenging task and focus your energy on other tasks.

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Gig Harbor WA, contact the caring staff at Hospitality Home Care today. Call us at (206) 966-6552.