How To Assist Someone With Dementia With Bathing


Dementia is a particularly serious condition because it causes memory loss and issues with cognitive function. It is well known as a progressive and neurodegenerative disease that affects the brain. While there are several forms of the disorder, Alzheimer’s disease is the most common.

Caregivers of Dementia Patients Face Numerous Challenges.

Their jobs don’t simply come in the form of being there to provide physical care. Many professional caregivers plan grocery lists and can even prepare healthy meals for the days they are not assisting in the home. Some even accompany their clients during their grocery shopping excursions and medical appointments, making sure to record the outcomes of each appointment for your family.

However, at Forward Day, we consider bathing to be at the top of the list of “most important daily activities”. But it can be one of the most difficult jobs a caregiver of a dementia sufferer has. Needless to say, bathing requires one to expose him/herself to a caregiver. This can often cause some trepidation and embarrassment for the care recipient. And, of course, it can be tough on the caregiver too.

Helping someone with Alzheimer’s disease take a bath or shower can be one of the hardest things you do,” notes the National Institute on Aging, “Planning can help make bath time better for both of you. If the person is afraid of bathing, follow his or her lifelong bathing habits, such as doing the bath or shower in the morning or before going to bed.”

What Safety Measures Should Be Taken When Bathing Someone with Dementia?

Firstly, it’s important never leave such a care recipient alone in the shower. This top-of-the-list recommendation by the National Institute on Aging highlights one of the greatest difficulties faced by dementia sufferers: a lack of privacy. While it stands to reason that they shouldn’t be left alone, the intrusiveness of bath time can often cause an individual to want to avoid bathing altogether.

Another major reason for a dementia sufferer to refuse to bathe is because he/she may be under the impression that bathing isn’t necessary. It’s important to remember that dementia is a disease of the brain and, oftentimes, sufferers do or say things that appear out of place, unfounded and even silly. It’s important to be able to sensitively manage a care recipient’s thoughts and feelings.

Poor personal hygiene is an incredibly common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia,” says Carol Bradley Bursack on, “Conditions that cause cognitive impairment are often accompanied by depression, difficult behavioral changes, sensitivity to stimuli and an inability to keep track of time. When these things combine, it can cause a loved one to refuse to bathe or mistakenly think that they have already bathed for days, weeks or months on end.”

At Forward Day, We Have a Lot of Experience Working with Individuals with Dementia.

We’re proud that our Shower Bay portable showers have helped caregivers to get their care recipients to bathe in private settings that can still be supervised. If you have any questions about how our Shower Bay portable showers can help the dementia sufferer in your life to bathe, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask them. Give us a call at 1-877-223-8999 or email us at

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Russell Simpkins

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