Bathing Persons with Dementia
When people require assistance with bathing the process is complicated by the culture, values, and expectations of people who assist with the bath. Seemingly simple concepts such as what is clean versus what is dirty and how one responds to what they perceive can trigger conflicts. If the person requiring assistance resides in an institutional setting there are policies, rules, and traditions of care that might trump individual needs and beliefs. There are also regulatory standards which must be followed and issues related to economies of scale.
There is a large body of research and literature regarding all aspects of bathing practices including assessment, risk, practices for staff, training, antecedents to negative behaviors, environment, and administrative policies. The purpose of this evidence-based practice guideline is to provide strategies for minimizing fear, agitation, combative behavior, and development of secondary behavioral symptoms during and/or after personal hygiene. The goal is to reduce frequency and severity of negative bathing episodes in patients with chronic dementing illness. Includes guides for personal hygiene standards for people with dementia and helpful communication techniques along with instructions for thermal bathing and towel or bed baths. Written 1995; Revised 2004; 2013.
Toolkit Included in Guideline:
- Bathing Option Decision Tree
- Helpful Communication Techniques
- Procedure for Thermal Bathing Method
- Towel or Bed Baths
- Bathing Knowledge Assessment Test
- Process Evaluation Monitor
- Bathing Persons with Dementia Outcomes Monitor
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