It is very hard to cope with uncooperative behavior. You want to help them eat, drink, bath, change their clothes and they just refuse. It can be so frustrating. Can I first give you a bit of a pat on the back! Well done for not using lorazepam too often. It can be a great drug but can also cause a lot of problems if overused.
Here are a few suggestions that may help with bathing. You may have tried them already.
*See if she will take a bath at different times of the day. People with Alzheimer's are often at their best, less confused, therefore more cooperative, in the morning, but this is not always so.
*Try giving her rewards for cooperation-i.e. verbal praise, giving her some food or drink she likes before and after her bath.
*Let her choose lotions to put in the bath.
*Always use simple instructions, never shout, smile, chat in a friendly calming way. Gently lead them to the bathroom.
*Be flexible, if she does not want a bath go away and try later. Like all of us all, moods change.
Write a care plan that will record what works and what does not. Consistency is very important for people with dementia and for staff to provide the best care possible. Caregiving is frustrating at times
I am not the one that bathed my father-in-law but I get some clues from the caregivers who do it. the change of the underwear does not have to go with the bath. You can change her every morning. If you don't change it, she could have diaper rash and it is not good for Alzheimer's patient as she would scratch it all the time. Usually some people go to bed at night and take a shower in the morning. If she has the same habit, it is better to change her underwear in the moring while she was being dressed when she just got up. Also call it underwear in front of her as she would not like to know it is diaper!
Our trick to give my FIL bath is to do it when he just got up every Saturday or Sunday. Before he is dressed, the caregiver would get the shower ready and put him on the bath bench. Also, you need to buy bath bench that is a longer one so she can get into the tub easily and she can sit on the bench.
Since my FIL is still alert, the caregiver would need to sort of ask him or tell him it is time to take a shower if he is ready. In a way, he needs to approve of it. This way he only takes a shower once a week in the winter and 2 or 3 times per week in the warm weather. They also apply lotion on his skin.
The routine is important and he does not want anyone to wash him - it is embarrassing, you know.
Hope this helps,
Dear Shirley, Bathing can be difficult for individuals with Alzheimer's disease but there are ways to make the process easier. It is important to "set up the scene" in advance to make showering seem less intimidating. For example, if your mother thinks that another person might be in the room while seeing her own refection, you should consider covering up the mirror. You can also dim the lights, play soft music, and turn on the hot water in advance to warm up the room. You also must consider privacy issues, as it is possible your mother feels uncomfortable being exposed. When in the shower, it can be helpful to wash one body part at a time, while keeping the rest covered to preserve her dignity. It is a good idea to use a handheld shower head as this can also prevent water from splashing directly into her face (which can be very frightening to a person with this illness). Also, try engaging her with activities and discussion throughout the process. Allow her to take part in the process by encouraging her to wash herself. You can use her favorite scents in the tub that could help spark memories from the past. Here is an example of a conversation you can have: You: Mom, I want you to know that I bought this great bath soap for you. What do you think of the smell? Mom: Smells like cake. You: It sure does smell like cake! I know you love cake. It's your favorite. Mom: Yes. You: (While washing her) Do you remember the time you baked that delicious cake for the bake sale? It was the one with the vanilla icing. Mom: Oh yes, it won first prize! You: (Pass the sponge to her) Yes it did, and it one of the best I ever tasted. I love this soap because it reminds me so much of your icing. I want to wash my hands with it now. Why don't you join me? Just remember to always be positive, patient, and go at her pace. If you have exhausted all these options and she continues to refuse, you may have to consider giving her sponge baths as an alternative.
This sharepost that I wrote about aggression in Alzheimer's may be helpful to you. It is very stressful to cope with. Click on the link Aggression in Alzheimer's Disease
Hope it gives you some ideas
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