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Hi I have just registered and would like to ask a question for my sister. Her husband has dementia and it is progressing fast. She is having great difficultly in getting her husband to do personal care such as bathing and shaving. She tries to get through to him but he just gets defensive. Anyone have any suggestions or little tricks that might help. It is getting very hard for her. Her husband is approx. 65.

Would appreciate any help you can give.
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Hello Connell... not sure how your sister might be faring. There is an excellent book for caregivers of dimentia called the 36 hr day... this would cover info like this... also the Alzheimer's association sites such as:

it isn't easy getting them to bathe from what other caregivers have shared... let us know how you both make out.

Hi Connell
and welcome. Gail is right...very difficult to get some with dementia to shower. It becomes a matter of wills and when you are dealing with dementia, most things just don't make sense, so you end up beating your head against a wall.

I cared for my mom who has Alzheimer's and I did read the book "The 36 hour day" which was a tremendous help. My mom has always been a very stubborn, very proud woman. If I suggested she shower, she would whirl around and say "are you telling me I stink?" time, out of exasperation, I said "well you are a little stinky" and she was so insulted, so hurt and wouldn't let it go. People with dementia seem to be able to retain emotional issues much longer than anything else.

I have heard from others on this website that seniors really don't need to shower daily and in fact, if you can get him to simply wash up daily, in the bathroom sink, then a weekly shower would be okay. Of course, it depends on if he is continent..that would make a difference.

I do remember the time when mom was refusing daily showers, how horrified I was. I learned, with time, really not so bad. I would just make sure there was a fresh washcloth and towel waiting for her by the bathroom sink in the morning.

Others may have some other suggestions too.

Best of luck to you and your family. It's a tough road and we are here, just to listen, if need be.

Warm regards,

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