One of the most difficult aspects of dealing with people having Alzheimer’s disease is determining when and how to help them. As the disease progresses, it may become difficult for Alzheimer’s patients to take care of their personal hygiene so they will probably need your assistance with everyday tasks.
When your parent, grandparent, mother-in-law, husband, friend starts to rely on you more and more, you’re going to want to preserve their dignity as long as possible, and this includes making sure they look and feel their best.
However, they can become very uncomfortable when they are unable to take care of themselves. They may refuse help or feel angry and embarrassed about not being able to do so on their own anymore. But these suggestions can help you with everyday care.
Bath time can be one of the most difficult things when caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease. The person may resist bathing or feel irritated and angry. But planning ahead of time and following your loved one’s lifelong bathing habits will make the experience more smooth and enjoyable for both of you! For example, a person may enjoy a shower first thing in the morning or before going to bed. So, plan a bath time for them accordingly!
To keep your loved one safe during a bath, follow these safety tips
- Don’t ever leave them alone in the tub or shower
- Always check the water temperature before letting them in the bathtub or shower
- Use a shower chair for a better support and to prevent falls
- Use a rubber mat and safety bars in the tub
- Use toiletries that are not too harsh for a frail person
- Use a hand-held shower
- Be gentle and respectful during the process, and keep telling them what you are going to do next, step by step
- Make small talks to keep them engaged
It's important to maintain your loved one's appearance so they feel good about themselves, but these tasks may become frustrating for them as their disease progresses. Many adults who suffer from dementia find getting dressed confusing- often forgetting where things should go! This might result in your loved one being overwhelmed by all of the available options during an attempt at self-dressing.
To assist your loved one in getting dressed in the most comfortable way possible, follow these tips
- Organize the Process: To help make the dressing process easier, layout all items of clothing in a neat, organized fashion around the person. Point at an individual article as you give them direct instruction for how to wear such as "Put your right arm through this sleeve" rather than just grabbing their hand and asking them “Get dressed”.
- Simplify Options. Keep their closet free of excess clothing so that they don't get overwhelmed seeing so many different choices. To make things easier, try offering two outfits at a time or just one favorite color so that they don't have difficulty in making a decision.
- Choose Comfortable Dressing. Loose and breathable shirts, cardigans, and pants that come with front zippers are easier to work with. Also, while buying clothes for them, make sure that you choose a fabric that is soft and stretchable. Pick some clothing options that make them feel comfortable without comprising aesthetics. Buy shoes for them that are not slippery and are comfortable to wear.
- Never insist on doing things your way. If your loved one wants to wear the same dress repeatedly or insists on wearing an outfit that does not seem practical, let them be as it will make them feel more in control. However, do keep in mind that it is important for an individual to maintain good hygiene, including wearing clean undergarments, so do look out for that and help them accordingly. When outdoor, make sure that they are dressed for the weather.
Getting dressed in the morning is considered to be a fundamental “getting ready” activity, something that has been ingrained in our daily routine since before we can remember.
Not only are clothes a way of expressing your personal style, but they are also a way of proving to yourself and the world that you are still a functioning member of society. While we don’t always want to admit it, and sometimes can’t help it, we judge people by the way they look. So, helping your loved one getting dressed and look presentable will surely leave a positive impact on their health.
Studies show that when people feel good about how they look, they often feel better. People with Alzheimer’s disease lose the ability to do everyday things like brush their hair, shave, put on makeup, and get dressed – at least those skills decline over time. As their family members or caregivers, helping them do these basic things can help them feel more like themselves.
To uplift their mood and to assist them in their grooming, follow these simple tips
- Perform daily tasks with them. Encourage your loved one to do simple tasks, it will help them feel independent and comfortable. Brush your teeth at the same time. Show him/her how to brush teeth. Go step by step. Similarly, you can brush your hair with them. Ask the person to follow your motions. You can also help them where necessary.
- Help them continue their grooming routine. Encourage the woman to apply makeup, if she has always used it. Help her put it on, if needed. Similarly, help a man to shave. Provide them with an electric razor to ensure safety.
- Use favorite toiletries. Provide them with the toiletries that they have always used and loved. It will make them feel happier.
- Ensure personal hygiene. Help them cut and trim their nails. Encourage them to wear clean clothes and undergarments. Help them brush their teeth and wash their face every morning. Provide them with simple grooming tools to ensure safety.
How Reboundwear can help make your loved ones feel comfortable?
This is a period of adjustment, meaning that the clothes your loved one previously owned may no longer be sufficient for their current needs. Some pieces that you could start to implement into their wardrobe are Reboundwear™'s adaptive clothing for men and women. Reboundwear™ apparel is athleisure wear with a purpose.
With strategically-located zippers, we make getting dressed by yourself easy, and are even more useful for those who are helping people get dressed. Reboundwear clothing is chic and comfortable, and we use super soft fabrics in on-trend colors that keep your loved ones feeling, and looking, like themselves. You don’t need to fall victim to frumpy nightgowns and baggy sweatpants, and instead can provide your loved one with a fashionable, yet still comfortable, alternative.REBOUNDWEAR - LOOK GREAT. FEEL BETTER ™