Bathing individuals with dementia has been reported as one of the most difficult activities of daily living and often results in unwanted behaviours. A review of the literature on bathing practices for those with dementia resulted in few empirically tested bathing techniques. Based on this review and the authors’ clinical experience, the following guidelines are presented: (1) consider a towel/bed bath in lieu of a shower/tub bath—be flexible; (2) educate the caregiver (improved outcomes are noted)—communication is key; and (3) optimize the environment to meet the needs of the individual and to maintain safety.
Key words: dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, bathing, caregiver, hygiene.
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