People with dementia eventually begin to have trouble taking care of their own grooming and hygiene needs. In fact, this lack of care is sometimes among the first symptoms that family members observe. They might notice that the older adult isn’t as clean as they once were or that they appear unkempt. Personal care tasks become difficult when cognitive abilities decline to the point where the person isn’t able to get started doing the task or doesn’t remember how to do it at all. Personal care for an aging family member can be difficult because of its private nature. Both the older adult and the family caregiver may find it embarrassing. Knowing how to approach the task and some techniques that can make it easier can help.
Helping an older adult with dementia to bathe is often the toughest task for family caregivers. If your family member has followed the same routine for bathing or showering for years, try to stick to that routine. For example, if they have always showered in the morning, sticking to that can make it less confusing for them.
Prepare for the bath ahead of time by making sure all towels, washcloths, soaps, and shampoos will be on hand. It can help to make the bathroom as soothing as possible by making sure it is warm and playing some soft music. Ensure that the bathroom is lit well so that it is easy to see and there are no dark areas or shadows that may be perceived as threatening.
Try to avoid arguing about the bath. Be direct and tell the person it’s time and gently assist them to prepare. Be respectful and allow them as much privacy as possible without compromising safety.
A person’s appearance can be a point of pride. Looking good can help them to feel better about themselves. Of course, the grooming needs of people can differ based on gender, hairstyle, and personal preferences. Here are some tips for grooming:
- If your family member has always worn makeup, allow them to continue doing so. Help where needed, such as with lipstick or powder.
- For men, encourage them to shave as often as they always have. Help if needed. Using an electric razor can make the task safer.
- Don’t stop going to the barbershop or beautician. If it becomes hard for your family member to go to the shop, find out if the stylist or barber would be willing to come to the home.
If you’re struggling with personal care tasks for an older adult with dementia, hiring a home care provider can help. A home care provider can come to the dementia patient’s home and help them to bathe or shower. Home care providers can also assist with dressing, brushing teeth, and shaving. Home care providers can even drive seniors to the barber shop or beautician and sit with them to help them feel more comfortable during the appointment.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering home care in Grand Prairie, TX, please contact the caring staff at Custom Caregivers today. Call us at (972) 702-7988.
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