Daily Dementia Dose: Tips on Bathing Your Dementia Patients

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Daily Dementia Dose: Tips on Bathing Your Dementia Patients

There are certain reasons why your dementia patient doesn’t want to take a bath.

First is what we call – visual spatial issues.

Basically they have problems with their vision, and they’re afraid to go to the bathroom because it’s just white.

They have difficulty going inside.

The second reason is they have what we call a – dignity issue.

Just imagine, a person who is bathing you and removing your clothes, and you don’t know them.

They have dementia. They don’t know you.

You may be their daughter or their care-giver, but they have lost the ability to recognize you.

Obviously, they don’t want you bathing them.

The third reason they don’t want to take a bath is obviously the sensation.

When you have dementia, or cognitive problems with your brain, you have what you call hypersensitivity in your skin. And just the water hitting your body will cause pain.

That’s the reason why they get afraid. Why they don’t want to take a bath.

The fourth reason is their hearing.

They usually have hearing problems. Every-time they hear the shower or the water hitting from the shower, they get scared.

One tip that you can do is make the bathing really comfortable. Make sure you give them a good experience.

You can give them aromatherapy and make sure that the water is not too loud.


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About the author 

Dr Michael Chua PT, DPT

Dr Michael Chua is a physical therapist practising in Home Health, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Acute Care Hospital. His clinical interest involves pain management, geriatrics and dementia management. He enjoys treating patients and bringing out the best in them using positive treatment approaches, his dynamic work setting in a rural area provides an opportunity to treat a wide range from geriatrics to orthopaedics.

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