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Old 07-15-2004, 12:30 AM   #1
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anaf2r HB User
Bathing? Help!

I am a hired caregiver taking care of an elderly man with Alzheimers. Actually, the service just hired me this week. I lived with my grandmother for 2 years and took care of her in her decline into AD. She was still mobile when I lived with her, though--just no short term memory, lack of judgment, needed to be parented a bit, etc. She was still able to bathe and groom herself if I badgered her about it.

Well the service is sending me for the first time to care for this man with AD tomorrow. They just told me tonight that I will need to bathe him. I have absoluely no idea how to approach this. They told me that sometimes he is resistant to bathing, but that he is used to someone bathing him. Well, I am not used to it!

Someone please tell me how to talk someone with AD into taking off his clothes and getting into a bathtub to let a total stranger bathe him. And please give me some tips. I am not squeamish or bashful I just don't have the slightest idea about how to approach this. Totally clueless.

Many thanks. Crossposting.

 
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Old 07-15-2004, 02:37 AM   #2
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angelwings171 HB User
Re: Bathing? Help!

First thing right off the bat I would suggest NOT to bath him on your first visit. I don't care how experienced you are this is not a "right" thing to do.

I have been a Certified Nurse Aid or 14 yrs. I also specialize with Alzheimer patients.

In regards to bathing him if you are "forced" to do it----Talk about taking a bath, don't tell him he "has to" take one. Ask him if he is ready to take a bath. Lead him towards the bathing area. Make sure you have everything you need to do the bathing, drying, and redressing of this person. When you get him to the bathroom point out that everything is ready for him to bath and ask him "Since we are here do you think this would be a good time to take your bath?" Continue with "I understand you enjoy taking a bath/shower". By this time you should be able to tell what his temperment is in regards to bathing. If he insist he is not ready or makes a comment about not wanting to do it with you walk away from the situation and reapproach it later with the same technique.

If he is willing to take the bath then allow him to do anything/everything he is able to do himself. Explain everything you are doing. I mean everything. "I am taking off your right shoe, know I am taking off your left shoe, etc...."

If at anytime he becomes aggressive then back away from the situation to keep yourself and the patient safe.

I wish you luck! If you need any more advise PLEASE FEEL FREE to ask me. Like I said, I have 14 yrs worth of experience with AD patients in all stages.


Angela
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Old 07-15-2004, 05:40 AM   #3
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dalesgirl HB User
Re: Bathing? Help!

I second everything that Angela said. I do have to ask however where you are located and what kind of home care this is. I live in Indiana and in order to do that through any sort of agency we are to be certifed which includes training on things such as bathing (not always geared toward Alz but at least the approach itself). Depending on his stage of Alz and just how bad he resists showers or bathing is different with each individual. An approach that sometimes works with me also (as well as the step by step telling everything and talk about it before hand) is talk about how they need to smell good and be clean ETC.

 
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Old 07-15-2004, 09:29 PM   #4
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anaf2r HB User
Re: Bathing? Help!

Thank you both for your responses. I am in California. I'm not certified, just a hired caregiver (and I could have sworn when I was hired they told me no bathing or diapering would be required). This is a national chain, I think -- Home Instead Senior Care. I too thought it was slightly unprofessional to risk having a complete newbie do this on her first day. You would think they would be worried about lawsuits.

It went superbly considering. I did read some documents online for suggestions. He wasn't disagreeable at all about it. I just acted as if it were a regular and logical part of his routine. I gave him a bit of warning ("well, I just turned the heater on in the bathroom and it should be warm enough for your shower soon"). He mostly needed help getting in and out of the shower chair and also washing his hair and back. After I made him lunch he thanked me for the bath and told me that I did better than "the last one" (who was a hospice worker).

And here I tossed and turned all night thinking that he would not get into the shower when I asked him to.

Please do let me know if there is some certification required to do this. I had absolutely no training in personal care at all, just had to look online for information.

Thanks for helping!

 
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:00 PM   #5
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dalesgirl HB User
Re: Bathing? Help!

I'm glad things went so well for you. Every state is different as far as what things they are allowed to do without certification. However, I must state if I was a family member I wouldn't have someone from that company come and care for a loved one of mine, but that's just my opinion. There are certain and very specific guidelines that are supposed to be followed and if you aren't trained properly it's not only putting you but also the patient at risk. Something you might find very innocent can be contruded as abuse with the proper knowledge.

 
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Old 07-16-2004, 02:55 AM   #6
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angelwings171 HB User
Re: Bathing? Help!

I am so glad that things went well for you. Each state is different about what a person can do in different situations. Here in Texas you have to be Certified to work in a Nursing Home of for a Home Health Org. You don't have to be certified to work private care (hiring yourself out) or an Assisted Living Facility.

I recomended training for ANY job that requires working with the handicapped or elderly. There is so much more to it than feeding, bathing, or changing "briefs". Diapers is such a humiliating term to use with an adult. There are also the issues of Patient Rights.

Until the world "is right" I will do anything I can to help people, help the elderly. I was a teacher/trainer before I was struck down with a rare peripheral nerve disorder. I am on disability since I am not able to "work" anymore.

There is still a need for me somewhere! Please, if you need any more help--ASK.


Angela
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Old 07-17-2004, 03:57 AM   #7
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Re: Bathing? Help!

It sounds like you're a very concerned caregiver! I hope that when we get to the point of needing help with my husband, we're also able to find someone who cares about being able to do his/her job well! Your patient is very fortunate that you care enough to research how to help him, even though you weren't adequately trained.

 
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