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I've read in this forum that dementia victims may develop strong opposition to showering, but is it the splashing shower or water in general that they fear? I'm looking for ideas for daily cleansing for my husband who is 89 and has vascular dementia. He screams, fights, and becomes very nervous in the shower. We use a shower bench and hand-held shower head.

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A woman I knew who lived in a nursing home screamed in terror before her bath. They had a wonderful, warm, massaging walk-in bath but the bubbles in the water made her think she was going to be boiled. Yes - boiled. Can you imagine the terror that poor woman felt.

Water in general seems to be a problem and fear plus lack of understanding seem to be at the bottom of the behavior. Anything a caregiver can do to calm, soothe, reassure and praise the person is helpful. Asking him or her to help you along by holding something like a washcloth can help. So can telling the person step by step what you are going to do and keeping private areas covered.

Sometimes hiring an outside caregiver from an agency just for a weekly bath can help. It's one area where a professional "stranger" may seem more reassuring than a family member (modesty).

Keep reading - many people have ideas for you here.
Carol
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I'm not sure if anyone understands the aversion to bathing for people with dementia. It could be the water, feeling cold, fear of falling, maybe it's a chore, or maybe someone with dementia feels very physically and/or emotionally vulnerable. By the time someone's dementia has reached a point that they begin to refuse bathing the dementia prevents them from being able to articulate what it is that bothers them about it.

Bathing is a pervasive issue here, there are hundreds if not thousands of comments regarding how to bathe someone with dementia. I've read about people making sure the house is warm, big soft and fluffy towels, scented soaps, warm sudsy water....trying to make it a positive experience.

In the upper right corner of your screen is a search bar. Type in "bathing" and read other people's experiences in trying to bathe their loved one. Yours is not an uncommon problem.

Good luck!
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Hi, I work in a carehome and have found this a common problem. Im not sure what products you have over there but in the UK we use this product. Norinse.co.uk

Thanks
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I just learned this. It makes sense too. I wonder for the last couple years why my cousin refused to bathe. Now, with her significant dementia, it makes sense.

My LO also dislikes brushing her teeth.
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Yes I agree, I think with many of our residents they simply dont understand what water is and then it represents a danger for them. It is sad because then they loose their dignity if they can not be kept clean.

Do you not have any products in the states that can be used? We also find face wipes are good as people with dementia like the feel of them.
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