Alzheimer’s and dementia: Suggestions for day-to-day treatment

Day-to-day treatment for a particular person with dementia requires attention to each wants and consolation. Master suggestions to offer supportive treatment.

By Mayo Clinic Personnel

Individuals who have Alzheimer’s disorder or other issues producing dementia inevitably want assist with day-to-day routines, these types of as bathing, dressing, eating and working with the bathroom. This personalized and palms-on aid requires common, regular closeness and touching. Sometimes this type of treatment is welcomed or tolerated, but a particular person with dementia can be not comfortable or distressed by it.

If you treatment for an individual with dementia, consider the following suggestions to assist you offer treatment that is supportive, respectful and advantageous.

Bathing

Bathing can be tricky since the particular person in your treatment may possibly really feel ashamed about getting naked in front of you, resentful of needing this treatment or not comfortable with bathing. Bathing also requires your continuous attention to steer clear of falls or other injuries. Suggestions consist of:

  • Make the bathroom protected. Set up security bars, set a rubber mat on the floor of the bathtub or shower, and use a sturdy chair or bathing chair. Set up a hand-held shower head if attainable.
  • Put together materials. Have cleaning soap, shampoo, washcloths and towels in put ahead of time, so that you you should not have to go away the particular person in your treatment unattended.
  • Make the bath at ease. Make certain the bathroom is warm and well lit. Enjoy delicate songs if it encourages peace.
  • Retain it personal. If the particular person in your treatment is self-mindful about getting naked, offer a towel for about the shoulders or lap. Use a sponge or washcloth to clean up beneath the towel.
  • Be respectful. Demonstrate what you are executing and what you are going to do following. Permit the particular person in your treatment assist as substantially as attainable.
  • Alternate entire baths or showers with sponge baths. A entire bath or shower two or 3 instances a week is very likely more than enough. In involving, use a washcloth or sponge to clean up the person’s confront, palms, feet, underarms and genitals. Washing hair with a spray hose in the kitchen area sink may possibly be much easier for some people today.
  • Dry totally. Use towels to pat dry gently and just take treatment to dry any folds in the skin to steer clear of irritation.

Dressing

Dressing involves picking what is ideal for the temperature, following personalized preferences and executing methods in a specific order. These selection-making and scheduling tasks can be tricky or irritating for a particular person with dementia. Suggestions to assist with dressing consist of the following:

  • Supply direction. Lay out pieces of clothing in the order they must be set on — or hand out clothing one piece at a time as you offer easy dressing recommendations.
  • Limit choices. Much too quite a few choices can complicate selection-making and lead to agitation. Place away some outfits in a further place.
  • Take into consideration personalized tastes and dislikes. Permit the particular person in your treatment make choices. If he or she always desires to dress in the exact detail, acquire a lot more than one of the outfits if attainable.
  • Make it effortless and at ease. Select outfits that suit easily and are effortless to set on and remove. You may possibly switch shoelaces, buttons and buckles with fabric fastening tape or huge zipper pulls.

Taking in

Mealtime is important for maintaining excellent diet and hydration. Individuals with dementia may possibly forget to eat or consume, and they may possibly uncover the job of eating tricky or distressing. Ideas to make mealtimes balanced and at ease consist of the following:

  • Regime. Consume at the exact time every working day as substantially as attainable. If mealtimes are way too extensive or tricky, consider regular, smaller foods in the course of the working day.
  • Hydration. Offer tiny glasses of water regularly in the course of the working day to endorse ample hydration. Offer food with higher water content, these types of as fruit, soups and smoothies.
  • Relaxed surroundings. Stay clear of interruptions, these types of as a television or radio. Eliminate unwanted clutter from the table. Turn off telephones.
  • Dishes and utensils. Select dishes that are simplest to use: white dishes as a substitute of patterned dishes, bowls as a substitute of plates, spoons as a substitute of forks, or fingers as a substitute of utensils. Use bendable straws or lidded cups.
  • Foodstuff servings. Minimize food into chunk-sized pieces before serving, or make finger food items. Serve one type of food at a time, as choosing what to eat may possibly be agitating.
  • Foodstuff choices. As substantially as attainable, make favorite and acquainted food items, when ensuring generous servings of vegetables, fruits and full grains.
  • Encouragement and modeling. You can assist with the essential mechanics of eating by demonstrating how to keep a spoon, when to just take a consume or how to chew more than enough following a chunk. You can gently keep the person’s hand to assist with working with a utensil.
  • Sharing foods. Consume collectively and address mealtimes as an option to go to.

Toileting

A particular person with dementia may possibly working experience decline of bladder or bowel control (incontinence) for quite a few motives, these types of as clinical problems, medications, problems getting to the bathroom, or not recognizing the want to use the rest room. You can assist with the following tactics:

  • Make the bathroom effortless to uncover. Distinct the path to the bathroom by getting rid of furnishings and rugs. Retain the bathroom door open up so that the rest room is noticeable, or article a photo of a rest room on the bathroom door. Place a portable commode in the bedroom for nighttime use.
  • Create a toileting program. Just take the particular person in your treatment to the rest room on a common program, these types of as every two hours and before foods, bathing or other pursuits.
  • Be warn for symptoms. Restlessness or tugging on clothing may possibly sign the want to use the rest room. Master the term or phrase the particular person uses to suggest the want to use the rest room — which may possibly not be straight similar to toileting.
  • Make clothing effortless to remove. Swap zippers and buttons with fabric fasteners. Select pants with elastic waists somewhat than belts.
  • Be supportive. When incidents come about, just take them in stride. Use encouraging terms and steer clear of criticism.

Getting assistance

Get in touch with a county or spot company for older older people or a community chapter of the Alzheimer’s Affiliation for sources to assistance day-to-day treatment, respite products and services to give you a split, or assistance groups that empower caregivers to share suggestions.