Any tricks up your sleeves? (To care for Dementia sufferers)


So I have learnt how wide and varied Dementia can be. 3 members of my family have different sorts.

Have you any tricks for getting anyone with Alzheimers in the bath to have a wash? He’s a bath rather than a shower person. If I suggest directly he has a bath, he takes offence. I have tried getting his wife to help suggest it too, but to no avail. They have a dementia clock, which I have put an alarm on for ‘shower’ (as there isn’t a bath setting), however he just turns it off at the wall and that is that.

I was thinking of putting a note to remind him on his bedside table, but I expect it will be produced to me as a ‘how dare you’/who did this?/he’d take offence to it.

The last occasion of a bath (months ago) was prior to a visit to the doctors. Do I make up an appointment and suggest he has a bath, then say the appointment was cancelled if he asks again? I don’t really like this approach, but might have to give it a try.

I have to ‘steal’ his dirty washing whilst he’s asleep, but he sometimes sleeps in his t-shirt, so I have a similar issue there! Apart from the Alzheimers he is generally fit, healthy and able. He is completely oblivious to his Alzheimers and completely thinks he can cope and look after his wife.

I’d love to hear about any troubles you have with any of your ‘carees’ in order to keep them well! Cheers!

My wife never used a bath for a long time as she was too frail to use it.
So I stood her at the sink and she washed her top half one day and her bottom half on the next day
and so on.
Each morning she used to ask me, “Is it top or bottom today?”
Sometimes I forgot too so I wrote on our wall calendar,
on the relevant days. TBTBTBTB and so on. :slight_smile:

After all this time, not having any baths, she didn’t smell. :laughing:

Interesting site. Thank you for signposting. Useful to know this area is likely to deteriorate even more, therefore setting up a routine sooner rather than later is advised. (deep breath!!!)

I already have a routine with my grandmother so that’s fine.

Brilliant. There are plenty of good times caring - and you have to laugh at the daft bits! I haven’t needed to do personal care for him as he is able, just forgets the need to do it. I’m going to have to bite the bullet and try something! Thankfully his not washing is seemingly not affecting him or anyone else close.

With my Mum I go down the route of running a nice bath with bubbles etc and then say Ooooh, I’ve just run you a nice bath, why don’t you hop in and have a relax and a soak and then you can put your PJs on and have a cup of tea. I fill it to the brim and then mutter about wasted water if she says she doesn’t want one! She enjoys a bath so this does work for us. I keep the tone light as though it is a nice treat and I am being helpful! I can then nick any clothes that need a wash and replace with clean!

I think washing is overdone anyway !!
We are all brought up to wash all the time, because the grand parents did it and so far back it all began, probably started by the bloke who invented soap to make a bob or two. :laughing:

The skin cells replace themselves every few weeks too so we become a brand new person again.

I shall experiment and not wash anymore……….you will not smell me 'cos I’m just
a phantom on the net. :slight_smile:

Me and the carer attempt a shower at least twice a week but it does depend on my mums moods.

We get her meds down as soon as she wakes with a cup of tea and a biscuit…I know some people who leave there meds till they are washed and dressed but I need them to start working ASAP or she puts up to much of a fight and it’s like trying to dress a octopus !!!

We strip wash her the other days whilst she sits on a chair at the side of her bed. She is given a flannel as a distraction but also to ask her to wash her face neck and ears so she feels like she is helping.
We always play some music on the radio for her as we find this relaxes her and she sings along.

As we don’t go out during the week we found it easier to simply pop mum into some clean pyjamas. They are cooler, loose fitting and easier to change if we have any accidents. It’s also easier getting them on her then fiddling about with buttons and zips.

My wifey used pull on canvas shoes, without laces which was a great help.
They are very, very cheap to buy.
I use them too now…no laces to do up, so that’s 30 seconds of my time saved each day. :slight_smile:

I use knowledge of my wife’s routine to help me with the shower issue.

My wife likes a steaming hot shower and a warm room so I turn the wall heater on and tell her that I’m going to have a shower so does she want to go first before I use all the hot water. She jumps in straight away. :smiley:

The Alzheimer’s Society have a Factsheet about the bathing issue and if you care to take a look at it you can find it by clicking this link