June 2020 Newsletter

Sending you strength and calm as we all endure the situations brought to each of
us by COVID-19.

“Dementia Mini Series” Part 5
The Challenges of Personal Hygiene!

Welcome to the fifth in the series focusing on living with a loved one who has dementia. Learning communication tips will help you meet the challenges that can make your time together successful.


Personal hygiene issues are a part of everyday life. “I don’t need a bath; I wiped; my hair is fine and my nails don’t need anything.” But what if there is an offensive body odor…now what? Telling them that they smell bad will only make matters go off track. Following is a list of possible interventions you might consider:

  • Warm water in a squirt bottle as an alternative to toilet paper
  • Adult Wet Wipes (To flush? Even flushable ones make for clogs!)
  • Warm bathroom before they enter
  • Warm towels (throw in the dryer & put unfolded in plastic bag)
  • Rinseless body soap (check your local drug store)
  • Waterless dry shampoo
  • Disposable oral swabs (flavored or unflavored)

How about fingernails? Think about activities such as potting a plant or painting a picture with pudding…anything that gets their fingernails dirty can encourage them to want to wash their hands. Of course there is always the use of nail polish after the soaking and cleaning steps!

None of us want to feel we’re in trouble and these thoughts might just give you a chance to create a win-win personal hygiene situation. Make allowances for those days we all have when we just don’t want to!

Our Thanks

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Diana and her Mom Iona