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AJN, American Journal of Nursing:
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The Bathing Of Older Adults with Dementia: Easing the unnecessarily unpleasant aspects of assisted bathing.

Rader, Joanne MN, RN; Barrick, Ann Louise PhD; Hoeffer, Beverly DNSc, RN, FAAN; Sloane, Philip D. MD, MPH; McKenzie, Darlene PhD, RN; Talerico, Karen Amann PhD, RN; Glover, Johanna Uriri PhD, RN

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Abstract

OVERVIEW: Older adults who need assistance with bathing often find the activity to be both physically and emotionally demanding, as do their caregivers. Research has identified several contributing factors, including pain; fatigue and weakness; confusion; anxiety resulting from being naked in front of strangers, being afraid of falling, and being in a noisy or unfamiliar place; and discomfort from cold or drafty bathing areas or harsh water sprays. The authors of this article make the case for the elimination of forced bathing. Research supports this change in philosophy and practice, whereby bathing is not a task to be performed but rather a human interaction. Inexpensive, practical, and evidence-based alternatives are discussed.

© 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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