Thursday, August 13, 2009

It's Time for a Bath

My mother used to love her bath's then AD set in and taking a bath or shower became war. I learned from a friend whose own mother had AD that many people who suffer from Alzheimer's develop a fear of water. Bath time became a huge struggle. My sweet loving mother would yell at me and accuse me of trying to kill her. It traumatized all of us including my two dogs who were pups at the time.

Someone suggested a bath chair that was a little better. What I didn't know was how to effectively use it. When I hired a new caregiver Jeanie showed me a much safer way of giving mom a bath.

1. Put the bath chair so the back is closest to the faucet.
2. Have mom sit down on the edge of the seat. Scooting back so well centered.
3. Then pick up her legs. Swiveling them into the bathtub.

She remained seated and safe during the procedure.

When my siblings and I were little kids and Mom gave us a bath she would hand us a dry washcloth to put over our eyes when she went to wash our hair. So that's what I did with her. It seemed when the water got into her face and eyes she became more frightened. I also made sure the bathroom was very warm, because she would chill so easily.

I learned that bathtub transfer benches are a great bath safety accessory that makes using tub/showers safer. Two of the legs sit on the outside of the tub. This allows for the user to sit on the edge of the transfer bench and swing their legs over then slide over the tub. This alleviates the need to step into the tub. Hand held showers are the ideal companion item for the transfer bench. Also called transfer tub seats, transfer tub benches, shower bench, or transfer tub seats.

I bought the hand held shower at Walmart and installed it myself with just a few tools. The bath/shower chair that we used had a back and was available through a local medical supply store. Some pharmacies also carry them.

I wish that I had been aware of how to safely use the bath chair earlier.

1 comment:

Kaye - @SandwichINK said...

Excellent tips! Thank you. I just tweeted it :)