Bathing is a common problem but a complex one. Think about the whole process and ask yourself some questions about the possible causes of behavior:

  • Are there possible personal causes such as privacy? Dignity? (How would any of us feel being told we need to bathe?)
  • Is the bathroom comfortable? Often people get cold or there is too much waiting around.
  • Many people with dementia do not like water on their faces and heads. Can you separate hair washing and bathing? Perhaps get her hair washed at a salon.
  • Do you know when and how she bathed before? Try to recreate her old routines as much as possible.
  • Sometimes bringing in a home health aide from an agency is better than trying to have a family member help. You might investigate this.
  • Call the Alzheimer’s Association (800-272-3900) or library and ask if they have or can get the video, Bathing without a Battle. This is an excellent resource that comes with a comprehensive manual with many suggestions.