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Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by gingerlou, Mar 7, 2017.
how can i get my husband to shower any tips
It's well known Alzheimer's people don't like water! So that's not a good start to begin with ginger lou! I take my oh into the bathroom and sit him on loo when I mention the shower he often says I'm not and I won't I just leave it a few mins then just kind of direct him into it without mentioning the word shower no point in arguing with them just try distraction or if we going somewhere I just say you want to smell nice? I'm sure though there'll be a time when I just can't get him in willingly!
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He may not like the water on his face/head.
Assuming he allows you to help him and you have a shower with a hose try starting with washing his feet and gradually, maybe after a few showers, work upwards.
I used to get in the shower with my wife, I did not wash myself at the same time, I did that when she was in day care.
I assume from your post that you only have a shower, not a bath? If this is the case, I agree with nitram, that gradually working your way up, may be an answer?
I have a shower over the bath (flexible hose type, thankfully). I used to be able to get my wife in the bath daily but around a year ago, she got up to go to the loo in the night, must have fainted and managed to break two bone in her foot!
The resulting "boot" she had to wear for a couple of months meant she couldn't bath so I got used to giving her a strip wash. Even without the boot now, she doesn't like getting in a shallow bath and washing her hair (which I try to do once a week) is a real mission!
I struggle to get her in to a shallow bath and even more to get her to actually sit down. Once sitting, she's fairly okay with me helping her wash and I then start the shower (unfortunately, my mixer valve is the type that's either on or off - you can only regulate the temp). I gradually work my way up her back and then to her head. At this point she usually tries to get out but a gentle elbow on her shoulder, plus a lot of "this won't take a minute" or "nearly done" and I manage to get it done - takes a long time though, and water everywhere!
Like nitram, I did try getting in there with her when she refused to sit down, but her protests, plus the shampoo suds making the bath very slippery, nearly had us both falling out of the bath! Amusing in retrospect but not at the time!
As jennypie has suggested, gentle persuasion and distraction can be effective ways of getting your husband to shower. As dementia sufferers don't like water on their head/face, you could try a shower cap? I was once advised to try swimming goggles but my OH wouldn't have it
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my dad went back to the old-fashioned way of washing himself with flannels (he didn't like the feeling of being out of control which he got from the water flowing from the shower, and he was frightened when the water went near his head, especially his eyes) - with a ready supply of flannels, this worked well - it helped that the loo was right next to the basin so he could sit to wash most of him - he felt more secure that way - I made sure the bathroom was warm and everything he'd need was to hand - in the end, I pretty much washed him - and had a towelling dressing gown ready so that we went to his warm and carpeted bedroom to completely dry off and get dressed
I generally washed his hair separately - either with him leaning over the sink or using flannels, with him having one to cover his eyes - there's also dry shampoo to try
Have you tried wet wash wipes? They are very useful for a quick freshen up, we use them when my mum flatly refuses a shower. You can also get shampoo caps or use dry shampoos. Amazon do a good range.
Not sure about this. I am sure it's true that many PWD, as well as some people who don't have dementia, dislike having water running down their face. However, it's quite possible to wash someone's hair without this happening. My wife, who has advanced AD and has Parkinson's, was until about 6 months ago being looked after at home and we washed her hair in the bath 3 times a week with no problems. Since then she has had her hair washed in hospital and now has it done in her nursing home with no problems. It could be that she is unique in this but it seems highly unlikely.
We have an over bath electric shower with flexi hose.
As previously mentioned don't try to let them know too many steps ahead what you intend to do, in our case I get him up, encourage him to go to the bathroom to use the toilet, then as soon as he's finished on the toilet I guide his attention towards the bath tub, where I get him to step up/in where I already have the water running albeit the shower head his down in the bath running warm water into the area where his feet will be. Then once he's in, I ask him to put his hand out to feel the water temperature is ok, then I slowly move the water up his arm and over his back/shoulders where I rinse him down and occasionally run the water over his shoulder & down his chest creating that warm relaxing feeling. Then I'll soap up a couple of sponges and start washing him, allowing him to take control of 1 to wash his front, and ill wash his back & down to his feet. Finishing off by running the shower head up over the back of his head to wet and wash his hair, where I'll also wash his face after telling him to close his eyes/face, before a final rinse off. Then after switching off the water while he is still stood in the bathtub I'll rub his hair with a hand towel, before allowing him to dry his face, while I use a 2nd towel to dry his back/body. After a while it becomes more routine albeit with the odd stubourn refusal