Is your parent or patient with Alzheimer’s having trouble drinking water or taking a bath because they are afraid of the water? Don’t worry, it’s a common issue, here is why.
Alzheimer’s patients usually do not like water or have a fear of water because they no longer perceive water in the same way that you do. Water is nearly invisible which does not sit well with many Alzheimer’s patients. Patients usually don’t like drinking water, taking a shower in water or bathing in water. This explains why bathing is among the three main problems that Alzheimer’s caregivers face.
It is usually difficult to give an Alzheimer’s patient a bath.
When an Alzheimer’s patient gets into the shower, they immediately move to the side so that the water does not come down on them. They don’t want the water to “hit” them on the head. This means that a caregiver or a loved one will have to get into the shower with them in order to bathe them. Alzheimer’s patients fear water because they cannot see or perceive it.
For them, getting hit on the head with something they cannot see is very confusing and disconcerting.
How Do You Get Someone With Alzheimer’s To Take A Shower?
The only way then to get an Alzheimer’s patient to take a shower is to use a handheld detach from the wall and let it hang down. While using it, aim in at the floor or away from the patient. In most cases, you will end up helping the patient take the shower. The patients may be uncomfortable at first but there are ways to make them comfortable. Otherwise, they will not take a shower on their own.
Understand that it may be embarrassing for them, so have patience. Sometimes someone who has Alzheimer’s and is being bathed by someone else will slip and forget why they are in a bath with someone, and it could even cause them to be sexually inappropriate, so be prepared for that possibility.
Things To Keep In Mind
- Have soap and shampoo or conditioner and new clothes and a towel already ready
- Try to keep a regular routine schedule
- Make sure the water is warm, not too hot or cold
- Have a warm towel
- Realize they may get angry (See what to do when Alzheimer’s patients get angry)
- Grab bars are essential for Alzheimer’s patients; for some, a chair in the shower is extremely helpful
- Use a sponge if needed to help clean them if the normal bathing & showering is too difficult
Looking For Help Bathing Someone With Alzheimer’s?
Call (316) 691-5050 and talk to one of our staff at Progressive Care. We are one of Kansas’s largest home care providers and offer daily 24 hour living assistance, including bathing.
Wichita Valley’s Trusted Source for Reliable & Safe Home Care
Keeping clients, safe, happy, and healthy in their home, while promoting a quality of life with dignity.