ARTICLES / General / Bathing
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By Gwendolyn deGeest, RN,BSN,MA
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
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
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
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.