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Personal hygiene and grooming: What are your recommendations to help a loved one?

As your loved one's Alzheimer's progresses, you may find that certain tasks become more challenging for them to accomplish. Bathing, showering, and brushing their teeth are just a few examples.

Help other community members who may be struggling with their loved one's hygiene. What has worked for you and your loved one?

  1. get an eclectic toothbush for them

    1. it made a big differance for my mom. She uses it longer than regular

    2. We use that and a water pic as well. It gets under the gum line pretty well if flossing is not an option. Scott Team Member

  2. yes i do

    1. It is probably easier if you are the husband (as I am) and the loved one is your wife. She is 78 now. I shower every morning with my wife because she will otherwise stay in for a long time and not remember what part of her body she has or has not washed. While I finish up, she gets out and dries off...but I have to complete the task before helping her dress. She wraps the towel around herself, holding it with one hand, and then tries to put on her brassiere with one hand. She struggles with that until I can get out, dry off, and help her. I can give her instructions to hang up the towel and then put on the brassiere but she doesn't seem to understand that. Brushing her teeth: she has an electric toothbrush but doesn't use it correctly. She will turn it on for maybe 10 to 15 seconds, put it to her teeth, and then when asked, say she has used it for several minutes. She doesn't clean the inside surfaces of either the top or bottom. She will only use mouthwash and floss if I remind her and then not correctly. I talked to our wonderful dentist about it and he understands. We decided that at her age, it isn't worth the fight to do a thorough job. Every week or so I will help her do a more thorough job. She also doesn't clean the brush after using it, and when she goes to bed, I clean it for her. As the loved one declines, you have to adjust your behavior to allow for it. It is sometimes very hard for me to change my habits but then I tell myself there is only so much I can do and I don't have to be perfect. That helps a little. Having someone to complain to also helps.

      1. Thank you for sharing with us. It can certainly be challenging to change your habits, as you said, or to summon up the patience to help your loved one with these seemingly basic tasks, but it sounds like you do so with grace and gentleness. And I think that is all one can really ask for - perfection is not something anyone should strive for along this journey! We're here for you for any venting and complaints at any time! Warmly, Patty, Team Member

      2. I care for my mom. I got her a battery operated toothbrush and a dental flossed. She was already using one. It’s a long handle with disposable u-shaped Flossed heads. Once she gets started, she does ok. And we do mouthwash together and dance. I get worried she will try to s

    2. battery operated toothbrush and flosser rather than just the string.

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