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Caring for Individuals with Alzheimer's

The Home Health Products Journal, in association with the Alzheimer's Association, recognizes that caring for an Alzheimer's patient is a very difficult job. The Alzheimer's Disease Education Center offers helpful tips for caregivers on topics ranging from communicating to behavior problems.

Caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease at home is a difficult task and can become overwhelming at times. Each day brings new challenges as the caregiver copes with changing levels of ability and new patterns of behavior.

One of the biggest struggles caregivers face is dealing with the difficult behaviors of the person they are caring for. Dressing, bathing, eating - basic activities of daily living - often become difficult to manage for both the person with AD and the caregiver. Having a plan for getting through the day can help caregivers cope.

The following are some bathing suggestions to consider when faced with the difficult aspects of caring for a person with AD.


While some people with AD don't mind bathing, for others it is a frightening, confusing experience. Advance planning can help make bath time better for both of you.



Plan the bath or shower for the time of day when the person is most calm and agreeable. Be consistent. Try to develop a routine.



Respect the fact that bathing is scary and uncomfortable for some people with AD. Be gentle and respectful. Be patient and calm.



Tell the person what you are going to do, step by step, and allow him or her to do as much as possible.



Prepare in advance. Make sure you have everything you need ready and in the bathroom before beginning. Draw the bath ahead of time.



Be sensitive to the temperature. Warm up the room beforehand if necessary and keep extra towels and a robe nearby. Test the water temperature before beginning the bath or shower.


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