What I failed to consider is that nothing is easy when Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia are involved. Personal hygiene was a continuing issue, both during our seven-week RV trip and throughout the many years I cared for Mom and Dad. Caregivers learn to take into consideration the limitations of their loved ones, we learn to choose our battles, and sometimes we learn to rely on wet wipes and lots of deodorant.
A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A Caregiver’s Tale of Life, Love, and Chaos
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Personal hygiene is a major issue for caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients. One of the first symptoms I noticed when Mom and Dad’s memories began to fail was their lack of attention to cleanliness. Their little house that was usually thoroughly cleaned once a week was instead neglected and filled with the odor of unwashed bodies.
It didn’t take much interaction with other caregivers to discover that lack of hygiene is a common topic of conversation in the dementia community. Many support group meetings were devoted to the reasons behind and the solutions to the problem, and many posts on the Memory People support group on Facebook are also devoted to the subject. (more…)