ONLINE MEDIA PARTNER for World Alzheimer's Awareness Day / Month 2013 Mumbai Events

Saturday, December 24, 2011

How to Get An Alzheimer's Patient to Bathe

 Doctors recommend older adults shower or bathe a minimum of twice a week to reduce the chance of infection including urinary tract infection.

Many Alzheimer's caregivers face this common problem, how do you get a recalcitrant dementia patient to bathe or shower?

It is not uncommon for a caregiver to want to "pull their hair out over this one".

Here are a list of tips that might help the task of bathing go easier :
  • Doctors recommend older adults shower or bathe a minimum of twice a week to reduce the chance of infection (especially UTI’s in women). If you can get them to bathe more, kudos to you. If not, be satisfied with twice a week, unless another medical condition demands more frequent bathing.
  • To combat the “NO’s” try to make it seem as if the request is just a routine part of daily life as in, “It’s Tuesday morning. We always take our bath on Tuesday morning. Let’s go get cleaned up, and then I’ll make you a nice breakfast.”
  • Follow up on the positive reinforcement (as Bob calls it), so that your loved one does get rewarded for complying. Doing this over and over, as part of the regular routine, imbeds in your loved one the behavior you want to happen. Yes, it can be done with enough practice! ALWAYS PRAISE AND COMPLEMENT THEM AFTER THE BATHING IS DONE.
  • Have everything ready (soap, shampoo towels, washcloth, etc…) in advance, all laid out ready to go. The room temperature is warm, maybe soft music is playing. You say something on the order of “your bath is ready for you. Here, let me help you with your shirt (or shoes, or whatever). Start helping, turn the water on in the tub and temper it and say something like “madam (or sir) you spa awaits you.”
  • If there is no other way to get them to bathe. Ask their doctor to write on a prescription pad something like this: “Mr. So-and-so needs to bathe two times a week for infection control”. Make several copies of the prescription (in case they tear it up). Show the prescription to them and say “Doctor’s orders”.
  • The bathing should take place at the time and in the manner the person always used to bathe, meaning if they were a morning before breakfast bather, then you should have them bathe in the morning before breakfast. If they were a shower person, then they should have a shower, not a bath, unless medical or physical reasons preclude that.
  • Some persons with dementia actually grow afraid of the water, especially water coming out of a wall mounted shower head. It becomes threatening to them. If this is the case consider getting a flexible hand held shower head. That way you or your loved one can control where it sprays on them.
  • Allow your loved one to do as much as they possibly can to wash themselves while in the bath. If they can do a credible job on their own with just reminders from you to wash here and there, let them do that. Even if they don’t do a credible job and you have to redo the washing, I suggest you have them wash themselves first. It gives them “ownership” of the task and gives them something to be successful at Even if all they can do is hold a washcloth while you do everything else, let them do that. At least they are participating in the task as much as they can. The same goes for hair washing.
  • The same advice goes for drying themselves. Allow them to do as much as they can, even if you have to go back over what they have done. ALWAYS PRAISE AND COMPLEMENT THEM AFTER THE BATHING IS DONE.
  • Some people need to be distracted with something while you give them the bath or shower. Distractions that could be used are singing in the shower, giving them something colorful to hold and look at while in the shower (or several somethings to hold and look at) such as a squeeze ball or a shower scrub in the shape of an animal.
  • Some people are extremely modest, be aware that that may be the reason for saying “NO”. Respect their dignity by allowing them to cover up with something while in the shower. Perhaps a towel or a sheet or even a poncho. Just wash under whatever they use to cover up.
  • Safety comes first. There need to be grab bars positioned for them to hold on to while getting in and while bathing. Their needs to be appliqués on the shower or tub floor to give them traction under their feet.

Keep these additional tips in mind:

I’m not fond of bath mats. I’ve seen them lose suction and slide under the person’s feet too often.

If the person is unsteady, a shower chair is needed. I’m not a fan of using the bedside potty chair as a shower chair because using it in the shower tells that person that it is ok to go to the bathroom in the shower or bath.

If the person is scared to get into the tub because they have to step over the tub wall, try using a “transfer board”. It is a fairly long straight plastic board that you place in the tub with one set of legs outside the tub and the other set of legs inside the tub. Your loved one sits on the outside part and you help slide their behind to the inside part (and lifting their legs over the tub wall, of course). Poof fear of falling is gone.

Finally, after the bathing is completed and, your loved one is dressed PRAISE AND COMPLEMENT THEM and ask them to cross off that day on a year long calendar showing the year by months. Have them do this every time. Eventually you will have visual proof that they have taken their shower or bath every Tuesday and Friday (for example) for months and that it is a normal thing to do.

It also squashes the “I took a bath/shower earlier today or yesterday” protest. Nothing works like visual proof.

By Carole Larkin MA,CMC,CAEd,QDCS,EICS

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Pune Declaration on “Dementia- the need for a national strategy and a Call for Action”-2011

Whereas, the Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Society of India(ARDSI), is a national organization dedicated to the care, support and research of dementia in the country and is a full member of the Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI), which seeks to improve the quality of life of people with dementia and their caregivers and particularly to raise awareness about the disease.

We make this Declaration to increase awareness of the rapidly increasing prevalence of dementia in India, to support the rights of persons with dementia and their family members and caregivers, and to call for action. For the purpose of this Document, dementia is defined as a chronic, progressive and terminal disorder involving deterioration in multiple areas of cognitive functioning, and one often associated with behavioural, psychological and functional impairment;

We note the number of persons over the age of 60 years and older who suffer from dementia in India  is an estimated 3.7 million in the year 2010, with 2.1 million women and 1.5 million men affected by it.[1]

We observe and stress, the devastating and debilitating impact of dementia on the individuals suffering from it, the families and caregivers of these individuals and society in general, robbing the afflicted persons primarily of their Dignity and Self- Respect, of their memory, cognitive functioning, their ability to carry out their daily chores and participate in community life, burdening families and society with the intense costs, both direct and indirect,  of health and social care related to dementia;

We observe with concern that the healthcare needs of persons afflicted by dementia are not recognized separately from the other mental health care needs of older persons, that these are not accorded the priority in government planning and programmes, and that India does not have a separate national policy on dementia and neither a national strategy on the same;

We acknowledge the declaration adopted by the International Longevity Centers- Global Alliance (ILC-GA) partners at Cape Town in 2010 and the foresight of the governments that have implemented the National Plans for Alzheimer’s Related Disorders or the National Strategy for Dementia.

We affirm the human rights of all persons, within the context of this document, emphasise the human rights of the older persons with disabilities. We recall the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which recognizes the right to ‘the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.’ We also recall the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities which obligates State Parties to implement measures to promote and protect the rights of persons with disabilities including dementia;

We also note that the Planning Commission as well as the revised National Policy on Older Persons of India have taken cognizance of the issue of Dementia and have suggested concrete measures to address the issues and concerns of people affected by dementia;

We invite all the stakeholders of the cause of population ageing at the state and national levels to support and adopt this Pune Declaration on Dementia and strengthen cooperation in addressing dementia and its impact.

Now, therefore, the Alzheimer’s and  Related Disorders Society of India

Proclaims this  Pune Declaration on “Dementia- the need for a national strategy of India” to be a call for action from all levels of government, and for civil society, academia, communities and individuals to promote and protect the rights of persons with dementia as well as the rights of their family members and caregivers, by:

1.    Engaging in a multidisciplinary dialogue to establish a common framework of standards for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of dementia;
2.    Urging the government to develop and implement national integrated policies and plans of action dedicated to dementia, including a national strategy on dementia, as well as comprehensive policies and plans of action on ageing which incorporate dementia;
3.    Urging increased funding by governmental and non governmental sources of research on all aspects of dementia and associated caregiving;
4.    Requesting and urging pharmaceutical companies to supply affordable dementia medications;
5.    Urging the government to support the provisions for the training of healthcare professionals in geriatrics in general, and in dementia in particular and also to enhance the dementia screening and diagnostic skills;
6.    Supporting efforts of governmental and nongovernmental bodies to create awareness on healthy ageing, and measures to prevent or delay the onset of dementia;
7.    Urging the media to enhance qualitative advocacy of the cause of population ageing in general, and of dementia, in particular;
8.    Supporting the efforts of governmental and nongovernmental organizations to reduce the discrimination and isolation of people affected by dementia.
9.    Providing support, including training and respite care services, to informal caregivers of older persons with dementia.

ARDSI National and all State Chapters
Chaitanya Mental Health Care Centre, Pune
International Longevity Centre-India (ILC-I)
27th November 2011


[1] The Dementia India Report 2010 (Prevalence, Impact, Costs and Services for Dementia) of ARDSI.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Helping a dementia patient with activities of daily living : in Hindi

Excellent Information in Hindi for Dementia / Alzheimer's

HELP find Missing Senior Citizen : Missing Senior Citizen Alert Blog

This is blog is created by Silver Inning Foundation, an NGO that works with Senior Citizens to help find missing Senior Citizens in India and around Globe.

If your elders or parents or friends who are 60 yrs & above goes missing, we request you to first file police complaint and send us the copy of police complaint , their Passport size photograph with other details and contact number at .

You need to look for missing people at places such as Old Age Homes , Hospitals , Railway Stations, Bus Stations, Religious places , Mental asylum , Clinics , Morgues , Foot paths , Parks/Gardens etc........

People who are 60yrs and above might be suffering from Alzheimer's / Dementia , a memory loss diseases which makes it difficult but not impossible to find them. If any of them is suffering from such disease then request you to take precaution like - keep with them ID card , Telephone Diary , A name written wrist band etc .... you also need to have recent photo's of them , inform your relatives , friends and others.

We request government authorities and civil society to helps us to trace those Elders and help them to unite with their beloved.

Lets together we all join hands try to Find someone's missing Grandparents, Parent, Elders ......

Please note we are doing this in Good Faith and we are not liable with any wrong information provided by family and people.

This service is FREE OF COST for helping to find missing Elders. We will use Social Media tools and if possible ground work and help of Senior Citizens Associations, NGO's , Government , Media and Police/Law agency.

Click here : Missing Senior Citizen Alert Blog: HELP find Missing Senior Citizens