Did you know that in 2015, there will be 850,000 people in the UK suffering from Dementia. It is one of the main causes of disability in later life and yet as a country, we spend much less on dementia treatments and research than most other high profile conditions.
As many carers or relatives of a person suffering with dementia will know, as the condition progresses, a persons’ mobility and everyday activities will become very limited and they will start to need more and more assistance even with the most basic of daily activities such as washing and personal care.
We’ve found some helpful tips from the Alzheimer’s Society to help those caring for people with Dementia.
Keep bath water shallow
Deep water can often cause worry of fear in a person suffering with dementia therefore keeping the water shallow reassures them that they are safe. Having a bath seat can also help with this as they feel more supported by being up right.
Hand held shower heads
This same fear of deep water can also resonate with overhead showers, as the rush of water from above can be quite daunting. Using a hand held shower head allows them to see where the water is running from and have some sort of visual control over the water.
Half height shower doors
One of the biggest fears in Alzheimer’s sufferers is isolation. Being left alone, especially in a vulnerable situation provokes anxiety therefore the ability to assist them whilst showering easily is helpful. Having half height bi-fold shower doors allows you to assist.
As with anyone, not just Dementia sufferers, putting them at ease in an embarrassing situation is the ethical way to help. Encourage independence where possible, chat to them reassuringly and use humour appropriately if you think it will put them at ease.
So hopefully the above will help you to assist when caring for someone with a disability such as dementia. But it is also worth bearing in mind certain safety features that will help the process run a bit more smoothly.
– Check that the floor is not slippy and use non-slip mats where possible.
– Don’t leave cleaning products where a person with dementia might get access to them, they might not recognise the dangers with them.
– You should also take into consideration your own safety by incorporating some mobility aids that will be able to assist both you and the person with dementia. Some helpful aids include, grab rails, shower and bath seats, non-slip mats, easy-access baths, level entry showers and half-height bi fold shower doors.