Everyday care tips for bathing, dressing, and grooming

As a caregiver to a person with Alzheimer’s disease or another illness, you may find they need help with personal care. This can include bathing, combing their hair, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed. Because these are private activities, people may feel embarrassed or angry and not want help. These suggestions may help with everyday care:

Bathing

  • Never leave a confused or frail person alone in the tub or shower.

  • Make sure the water temperature is comfortable.

  • Distract the person by talking about something else if he or she becomes upset.

 

Dressing

  • Lay out clothes in the order the person should put them on.

  • Hand the person one thing at a time or give step-by-step dressing instructions.

  • Buy three or four sets of the same clothes if the person wants to wear the same clothing every day.

 

Grooming

  • Try brushing your teeth at the same time.

  • Help the person clean his or her dentures.

  • Take the person to see the dentist. Some dentists specialize in treating people with Alzheimer’s.

 

Visit NIH's website to find more information and safety tips for bathing, dressing, and grooming.

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