Alzheimer’s disease is a challenge for families. The slow decline is emotionally challenging, and it’s not easy for your mom as she loses more and more of her cognitive and fine motor skills. Over time, she’ll need help with hygiene and grooming. It’s important to consider all aspects as you start to help her with personal care. Would they benefit from home care services?
She Won’t Always Cooperate, and You Shouldn’t Fight Her
Your mom will not always cooperate. She may be resistant to having someone else help wash her body and hair. If you leave her on her own, however, she may use the wrong products or fail to wash them appropriately.
She may particularly be embarrassed that her child is the one helping her. If she is ashamed of having to ask you, a professional personal care aide is a better choice for her mental and emotional comfort.
When she’s particularly agitated, she can become combative. The last thing you need is her kicking, pushing you away, hitting, or biting you when she’s in the bathroom. One of you could fall and become injured.
Plus, if you force a bath while she’s agitated, it can make her fearful of that routine. It’s important to have support with personal care for your mom so that you’re not the only one trying to help her.
Supervision With Products Is Essential
You don’t always think of the way Alzheimer’s can mess with cognitive function, but your mom will lose recognition of the difference between body wash and moisturizing lotion, mouthwash and facial toner, or toothpaste and eye cream. Using the wrong product can irritate her skin and eyes. It can be dangerous if she uses a household cleaner like Windex as a mouthwash.
She’ll Forget Where She Washed and What She Hasn’t
Your mom’s memory struggles can make it hard for her to remember where she washed and hasn’t. She may keep rewashing the same area, which can dry out the skin. She may forget to wash areas at all, which can cause UTIs and skin infections.
She needs guidance while she takes a bath or shower. If she’s not timed, she’ll stay in way too long or barely have the water on before she’s turning it off saying she’s done.
Her balance isn’t going to be as it used to be. When she’s stepping in and out of the bathtub, she could lose her balance and fall. Make sure she has support.
It’s Often Better for Professional Home Care Providers to Help Out
Home care providers help your mom with her grooming and hygiene without her having to rely on you. For some older adults, it’s embarrassing to rely on their child for help with personal care.
As Alzheimer’s disease progresses, your mom may start to fight and become agitated when it’s a shower or bath day. End embarrassment and frustration by having a home care aide help instead.