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Bathing Sparky

By Gwendolyn deGeest, RN,BSN,MA

(Page 3 of 4)  

Do you think talking about ďthe best days of Peterís lifeĒ might help on bath day?

Thatís a good idea. We can sure try.

Can you offer suggestions for other caregivers having similar difficulties?

The most helpful thing I have discovered is to never argue with the person with dementia, or to try to get them to do something they donít want to do. Rather, I allow the person time, and perhaps try again twenty minutes later.

Does Peterís family visit often? Do you think they might have some suggestions about the bathing time?

His wife visits every day. Thatís a good idea; I will discuss with her some suggestions for Peterís bathing time.

Does the family visit make any difference to Peterís behavior?

During the time she is here, Peter is happy. However, when she leaves, Peter starts pacing again. I think heís lonely.

Overall, what is your perception of the present situation?

Iíve learned to never rush Peter, and not to argue with him. No means no. When Peter gets agitated, and feels that we are trying to rush him, he will say, ďDonít guess; wait till my mind tells me.Ē This is Peterís way of letting us know he is still in charge.


Bathing time can be one of the most challenging times for the caregiver, and one of the most frightening times for the person with dementia. Think of all the steps we ourselves need to take when preparing for a bath.

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