Showers and baths

It is important to respect the dementia patient’s dignity when helping with washing and personal hygiene.  People with dementia may neglect to wash themselves, or may have forgotten how to, or they may not see the need. 

Helpful tips

  • Try to encourage them – associate it if possible with an enjoyable activity.
  • Do not force them. Try to make the activity a relaxing one.
  • Praise and encourage. 
  • Generally speaking, showering is easier than taking a bath.
  • Let the person do as much as they can by themselves, reminding them tactfully what to do.
  • If there are always problems, ask someone else for help.
  • Think about safety: in a wet, slippery bathroom, it is all too easy for accidents to occur.
  • Non-skid mats, rails or a shower chair can be a great help.

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