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My husband is living in assisted living with Alzheimer's / dementia and depression.

They say the only stupid question is the one that should be asked but isn't. Therefore, I'm going to go ahead and ask: Does he really need to be shaved? Maybe he would be content to let his beard grow, and then trimmed when he gets a haircut (assuming he gets them--of course I don't know if he is bald or has a full head of hair!).

I have had a full beard for a couple decades, mainly because I have somewhat of an overbite so I feel I look better with a beard (and get lots of compliments on it--especially at this time of the year because it is white!) I use scissors to trim it about once or twice a week, usually after a shower which softens it, and then I comb it out before I trim it.
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Reply to jacobsonbob
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gdaughter Dec 27, 2019
I was thinking the same thing...as in just don't (shave it).
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Because he has dementia, he is most likely delusional. He could be envisioning all sorts of things when the aide comes toward him with a razor. Why not buy him an electric shaver? If he is capable, let him attempt to shave himself.
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Reply to Ahmijoy
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When my aunt who is now dead had dementia I was the only one that she trusted to cut her toenails, they were extremely bad, no one else was allowed to cut her toenails, no nurse, no aid no other family member, somehow she trusted me and me alone maybe you could try to shave him? Maybe he would trust you more? have you tried it? As of right now my father is the only one that allows me to shave him and he is not in the best mental state currently, and is also on Pradaxa so a minor cut could bleed for hours. I also had him buy an electric razor which makes a world of difference if you buy a good one, do not buy a cheap 20-30 dollar electric they are bad for older people because of thin and droopy skin. Also I found a 4 bladed razor works great as well.. Also try to talk about something that calms him down, does he like jokes, or talking about the old days, try to find something that he is aware of that he would remember that would help in calming him down before and during the shave.
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Reply to Problemsolve101
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gdaughter Dec 27, 2019
check out reviews on places like Amazon and see which are the best rated electric razors
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If this is the only time he screams I would suggest letting his beard grow and then keep it trimmed. It's obviously very traumatic for him.
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Reply to Samsung137
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jacobsonbob Dec 27, 2019
Thanks, Samsung137!
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So, is this the only time he screams?

Is he new to AL or has he been there awhile and this is nee behavior?

If it is a sudden change in mental status, alert his doctor. It could be a UTI.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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My father is a veteran in the advanced stage of dementia. Always let them know they are about to get shaved. He still jumps around when I shave him, but it works w no cuts. The sound of an electric razor made him unmanageable. I use the sensitive bic shavers (new one each time) with lots(twice the normal amt) of shaving cream/gel. Dampen hair to be shaved w warm water. Coat w cream. Let it stay on for 10 min(if hair is real coarse, wrap damp towel around chin), while bathing other parts. Coat again w cream. Pull skin when shaving. Apply more cream, if needed. Take it slow. Apply his favorite after shave when cream has all been washed off. Brag about how good he looks.
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Reply to dads1caregiver
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gdaughter Dec 27, 2019
Obviously you've mastered this...but for others just to add that my dad who is functional/capable has used an electric shaver always, and he began to have some terribly red/ dry skin issues. I took him to the dematology people who discovered with me he was using an aftershave that was alcohol based and with his aging skin more fragile that was a horrible thing to be using on freshly shaved skin especially.
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When my husband’s Alzheimer’s progressed, I got him an electric razor. First he was able to shave himself, then i helped. When he moved to memory care, the cnas shaved him. As the disease progressed, I found he needed more warning of what was coming next as he couldn’t anticipate and would be surprised and frightened if someone just started grooming him. Best wishes.
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Reply to Franklin2011
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My father was the same way, we prepared him ahead of time...he did OK, but not perfectly....but in the end he was happy to see his clean shaven face when we showed him in a mirror....my husband shaved him with an electric razor...perhaps say "Do you know what today is?" You are getting a shave!" give him a hand mirror, see how good he looks...or perhaps if he doesn't like the aid perhaps you can shave him instead?
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Reply to Chemoangel1967
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I knew a Vietnam War veteran who was afraid of having his throat slit by someone with a razor....
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Reply to Lilacalani
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Yes - speak with the authorities about this - it is possible that he is being scared or even hurt. Make sure that your DH is NOT feeling threatened by the aide.

Have you tried to shave him? I had to learn how to shave my DH when he was no longer able to stand at the sink to shave himself. We even used a roll-around-cart and a mirror so he could shave himself sitting. But eventually, I had to learn how to shave him. I went to YouTube and watched several videos. I didn't do a stellar job, but he coached me along and it was doable.

P.S. dads1caregiver gave you great advice! please read it again. and again. as often as needed.

Good Luck to you. May you be blessed.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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