Alzheimer's is widely known as a disease that slowly destroys the mental capabilities and memory of those who have it. However, its effects are not only limited to the mind. This condition also results in physical limitations. We are going to look at some of the physical effects of Alzheimer's and ways you can minimize and help your loved one or patient overcome these limitations.
Alzheimer's and its Effect on Bathing and Dressing
Bathing can be a challenge for both the Alzheimer's patient and his or her caregiver(s). Patients may refuse to bathe. This is often because they no longer remember the purpose for or importance of taking a bath, or they may feel uncomfortable being undressed in front of their caregiver. Additionally, their condition may have caused them to be more sensitive to water temperatures and/or pressure.
How can you help make bathing a more positive experience for them?
Start by being patient and calm with them if they are upset about the process. Allow them to do as much as possible by themselves.
Try to make the experience as comfortable as you can, incorporating needed bathing aids to assist with this. A shower chair with a padded back and armrests can be helpful if they find standing under the shower uncomfortable. Grab bars are instrumental for those who would rather sit in the tub versus showering. They will allow them to independently get in and out of the tub safely.
No rinse body wash or bath wipes can help cut down on the number of baths and showers required each week. They can be utilized to provide hygiene performance between baths or showers.
If modesty is an issue, a large towel can be used to help the patient maintain his or her privacy, placing it over his or her shoulders or lap.
Dressing can be confusing for someone with Alzheimer's. They may not remember how to button or zip their clothes or may have difficulty doing so. A button aid and zipper pull can be useful in this situation. This tool has a wire loop on one end to help with buttoning and a zipper hook on the other end to aid in zipping up.
Patients may also tend to want to wear the same clothes daily either because of familiarity or forgetfulness. You can help eliminate this issue by removing worn clothes from their room each night and laying out a clean outfit for them to wear.
Alzheimer's and Eating
Helping a person with Alzheimer's get their proper nourishment can be challenging, as they may not recall the importance of eating or remember whether they have eaten a meal. Eating meals at the same time each day and sitting down to eat with your loved one can aid with this issue.
Studies have shown that people with Alzheimer's are not able to distinguish light colored food and drink when they are served on or in light colored dishes. Using bright colored dishware, like many items sold in our store, eliminates this problem.
We hope these suggestions and aids will help limit the physical limitations imposed on your loved one by Alzheimer's.
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