Dementia Care Tips: Best Approaches to Avoid Personal Care Resistance

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Use these tips to help a senior loved one with dementia manage personal care tasks.

Of all the challenges related to providing care for a senior loved one with dementia, the Alzheimer’s Association indicates that the most prevalent difficulty is with personal hygiene, for a variety of reasons:

  • Diminished sense of vision and smell
  • Comfort associated with familiarity (i.e., wanting to wear the same clothes again and again)
  • The challenges of bathing, compounded by cognitive impairment and confusion
  • Anxiety about falling, the sounds and feelings associated with the water, and so much more

Cajoling, quarreling, and reasoning are rarely practical techniques to employ with those impacted by Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. Alternatively, consider these creative approaches in the event your loved one resists maintaining suitable hygiene:

  • Organize the bathroom ahead of time so the room is likely to be comfortable and you won’t need to juggle acquiring supplies together with helping the senior. Warm the room with a space heater, and set soap, shampoo, towels, washcloth, etc. within easy reach, plus eliminate any throw rugs or any other tripping hazards.
  • A shower chair and hand-held sprayer frequently make an even more calming bathing experience for anyone with dementia. Position the chair away from the faucet, and use towels to cover up parts of the body before and after they have been cleaned to help keep the senior warm and to prevent feelings of exposure.
  • Have the senior help with bathing tasks whenever possible to maintain independence. It could be as basic as providing a washcloth or the shampoo bottle for the senior to hold on to.
  • If hair washing is hard for either of you, forego that task during bath time, and schedule regular outings to the salon instead.
  • Arrange a special excursion together with the senior, such as a lunch date with a good friend, and center bath time around getting ready for the event.
  • Bring in the assistance of a healthcare professional, who can advise the senior regarding the increased chance of infection or skin issues without proper hygiene. Often hearing from a dependable third party holds more weight than hearing the same information from family members.
  • Engage the services of a caregiver, providing your loved one the dignity of having personal care needs tended to by a professional, rather than a relative.

At Responsive Home Care, the leaders in home health services in Pembroke Pines, FL, each of our caregivers is experienced in safe hygiene procedures for older adults, with specific training to help those with Alzheimer’s disease to feel comfortable with personal hygiene tasks, including creative approaches to safe bathing, skin, hair, and oral care, restroom assistance, and much more. Give us a call at 954-486-6440 or contact us online to discover practical solutions to the worries you and your loved one are facing!

When Should You Be Concerned About a Fever?

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As a family caregiver one of your primary focuses in life is making sure that your senior parent stays as healthy as possible. While pursuing this goal it is easy for you to feel concerned and overwhelmed when you notice certain symptoms. By understanding these symptoms you can better know how to respond to ensure that they get the care, treatment, and support necessary to keep them healthy. One of the symptoms that may cause the most concern is a fever. When your parent starts to exhibit an elevated temperature, you might immediately think that they are dealing with something serious. When should you be concerned about a fever? First, take a step back and thoroughly evaluate their condition to help ensure that you are not overreacting and are giving your parent the attention that they actually need.

Some things that you should know about fevers include:

  • A fever is when your body’s temperature increases as a reaction to something that is going on within the body. This can be slight or severe depending on the situation.
  • Though uncomfortable, a fever in an senior adult is generally not a serious issue unless it has reached 103 degrees or higher.
  • Fevers rarely last more than 48 hours, and tend to respond quickly to remediation tactics such as your parent taking over-the-counter fever reduction medications or using a cool compress to bring the body temperature down.
  • Sometimes it is better to simply allow the fever to run its course rather than attempting to reduce it as the fever is an indication that the body is fighting off an infection or illness, and reducing the fever might reduce the body’s ability to fight effectively

It is extremely important to remember that if your parent is suffering a medical condition, has a compromised immune system, or is otherwise vulnerable, a fever could be a more serious situation. If your parent is showing signs of a fever, particularly in conjunction with other symptoms such as a sore throat or vomiting, you should get in contact with their doctor as soon as possible to get them an accurate diagnosis. This will help to prevent potentially serious consequences.

Senior care can be extremely beneficial if your elderly parent has been suffering from illness or infection. Having a senior home care services provider in the home with your aging parent helps them to follow through with the guidelines set forth by their doctor to help them recover from their current condition, as well as stay healthier as they age in place. A personalized approach to care and assistance can include offering reminders to take their medications when they need to, assisting with grocery shopping and meal preparation to encourage a healthier, more varied diet, and supporting both activity and enough rest to keep their body strong, healthy, and resilient. This can be especially reassuring for you as you know that your elderly loved one is in good hands whether you are able to be with them or not, allowing you to take care of the other obligations in your life with lower stress and worry.


If you or an aging loved one are considering care at home, please contact the leading provider of home health care in Hollywood, FL and the surrounding areas at Responsive Home Care. Call today 954-486-6440.