What's the best way to bathe a senior who is afraid of water?


since they are afraid of water, whats the best way

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Those are great things to do!
I have not been entirely sold on commercial products Like Johnson's stuff, so far though, as most are chemically based [for instance, our kids always got burned eyes from the "no tears" baby shampoos..].
Chemicals in body products penetrate skin, and do unfortunate things.
Also, I work with some folks who know how chemically sensitive they are, and recognize how sensitive many are, who do not know it.

MSM is a basic, supplemental sulfur [scientific name is : "Methylsulfonylmethane"].
NOTE: -NOT- "sulfa", the drug numerous people are allergic to;
MSM is fundamental sulfur, like found in cancer-preventing foods
--very different substances!!

Sulfur is a major, basic building block the body uses to build and repair healthy tissues all over the body--ranks right up there with protein.
It is diminished by heat and light, so don't cook it.
People can buy and take the crystalline powder of it in food, or in tablets and capsules.
Or make MSM water [2 to 3 tsp. powder per pint of purified water, allow to dissolve] and spray it on scalp and skin--this is most economical, but does not have any "smoothing agent" as lotion does
--though if one adds about 1 tsp. veggie glycerine, it is still non-toxic, sprays easily, and smooths without being oily [if it gets in the mouth, no worries--tastes sweet].
The flavor of MSM is very bitter, but there should never be any smell to it.
One of the first things many notice, who choose to take this by mouth, is that their hair and nails grow stronger. Using that home-mixed spray on skin, helps the comfort of skin, and helps reduce itching fast, and over time, helps keep skin in healthier condition.

But, I get MSM -Lotion- for skin use, from the Rich Distributing Company
[I think they are in Oregon], online.
It is reasonable enough for what we need it for, non-toxic, and available in a number of sizes [quantities].
It comes in unscented [recommended], light apricot, and full-scent apricot--all natural.
The light scent is nice, not overpowering, and kinda goes away soon.
The fully scented one was too much for our house.
Many people no longer tolerate scented stuff, so usually I suggest the UNscented for fragile folks.
It dissolves into the skin very nicely, no oily residue, and can be used to help wipe away stinky residue on the skin.
It has really helped stop itchy, dry skin problems, and over time, helps prevent skin break-downs.
Usually, first use water rags and wipes to remove gross gunk, then use the lotion to do final cleans on delicate skin, by putting some MSM lotion onto a soft rag or soft paper towel and gently wiping skin with that.
It worked really well instead of soap, when a person no longer tolerates soap for some reason.
For washing the "nether-regions", I got Aloe-based, non-scented, non-chemical, baby wipes for the bottom, particularly for women's tender mucosa, from our local Co-Op grocers--some health food stores also may carry or get these for customers.
I learned long ago that most chemicals, and most perfumes used in body products, can STING women's mucosa, so just avoid anything with that stuff in them....commercial products have not yet caught on to that, for the most part.
The problems with other chemicals in body products is a whole 'nuther dissertation most never want to think about, much less hear!
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cernahome12, if she isnt incontinent a long Tena or Poise pad will work find in her regular underwear and it might save you some money. Maybe you can put huggies wipes near the toilet and she will use them, they are super thick and work well.
Chimonger, what is MSM in soap? I use Johnsons bath with the lotion in it, no bedsores yet, hopefully never. I also put her on dermasaver pads to prevent them on her chairs.
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I know how water can be fearful to an AD person. My Mother died from AD and she used to tell me, I don't want people washing my skin off. A Nurse would bath her carefully with a wash cloth.

But now I am faced with my wife having Alzheimer's and here is a woman 62 years old who used to be a good swimmer and now doesn't want anything to do with water....not on her face or anywhere. she constantly complains of being cold in even hot water. I usually give her a sit down bath in the tub every Sunday evening. She wears Depends and I constantly change them. She isn't incontenent but doesn't wipe herself....and I am careful to keep her clean. I have thought of getting some moist wipes from the Drug Store in an effort to keep her clean. I think we can work with this situation if we are keeping our nose to smell body order. When that occurs it's time to wash with soap.

I could not bring myself to bath my Mother, and I even find it difficult to bath my wife......but I do it....like a dutiful caregiver. I have just assumed that all AD patients don't like being bathed.
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All of the above are really great. IT kinda depends on the persons and facilities available. Keep in mind, whatever soap is used, needs to be gentle on the elder's skin, or it can contribute to more skin breakdowns.
If something says it is gentle, it can be tried, but still watch out to make sure it is not drying the skin too much, or causing itching.

I have a really nice lotion that has MSM in it, and low or no scent.
It has been used for elders with very dry, tender skin, with great results, instead of soap...just put some on the washrag, and do a portion of the person at a time, wipe off excess.
The lotion process removes gunk, while leaving traces on skin that helps heal the skin and stop itching.

I have used warm, damp towels for doing a bedbath, and by removing only part of the cloths at a time...it takes longer, but did allow a calmer elder.
I think the problem is not only bathing, but removing clothes
--they have lost control of so much, that even allowing removing the clothes can really set some off.
There are some messes, though, that require taking everything off all at once, unavoidable. That usually takes more than one person to deal with.
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BS0213, you could ask her doctor for Depakote sprinkles, it saved me from my Mom when she was combative. So sad, they cant help it!
We're all getting old some day, good luck.
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I mean "I" can't take the abuse from her. It messes with your head.....
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Problem isn't the washing its taking clothes off in general! Even to change her depends she has a fit! Locks her legs up so hard she gets pressure sores have to put a pillow inbetween. She can't take the abuse from her. So hard. Not even my own mother hit me!
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Use a product that is no rinse. You just use a washrag. The one we used was no rinse brand. There is a body wash and shampoo. Also there Are commercial wipes that you can also use. Check with the pharmacy what they have or Use. I would not recommend spray and wash cleaner.
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I have my MIL that I've been carving for with dementia 89 yrs old bed ridden we the caregiver and I have to bathe her while on her commode. We remove the bottom so we can clean her without getting hit. My problems is that she has become VERY combative! It takes two because she's hitting and kicking and she started spitting now! And I am not even suppose to be doing anything because I had hip replacement in nov. she refuses to be undressed and washed and dressed. Turns into stone and she has to be bathed otherwise she smells awful! We've even given her meds to calm her down but still doesn't seem to work. I'm getting so tired of this struggle and I'm just the DIL! We got the caregiver just so I can get a break but can't because of my MIL combative behavior.
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Many elderly don't care for water over their head so get a hose attachment to easily direct the water over the rest of the body for the major washing. Also my father didn't resist as much when we had a home service provider come once a week (mainly for the shower). My father didn't object as much (and saved the huge fights he was having with my mother regarding showers).
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