What is the link between Nuns’ Bathing Habits and Dignity for people in the later stages of Dementia?
Posted on 18 August 2020
The Story of the NeverNaked™ Shower and Drying Draprons®
One of the most difficult times when caring for someone living with dementia is when helping them to shower/bathe. They must feel vulnerable at the best of times but even more so without their clothes. This can cause great distress, agitation and struggling.
Professor Julia Twigg, in her book ‘Bathing - the Body and Community Care’, talks about there being an unequal power dynamic during assisted bathing - "Being naked in front of someone who is not contains a powerful dynamic of domination and vulnerability, and is often used in situations of interrogations and torture as a means of subjugating the individual." Imagine also having dementia with all the confusion and vulnerability that goes with it, not recognising the person assisting you and not being able to reason it out.
Whilst caring for our Mum, my sister and I tried all sorts of things to maintain her dignity and reduce her agitation – putting towels round her shoulders and over her knees but, of course, she had to hang on to them and it made showering quite difficult and Mum could still become quite agitated. We actually took to wearing a bobble hat as she had started pulling our hair when we were washing her feet.
One day our other sister said, ‘Mum needs one of those things that nuns bathe in’. Well, although we had all been educated at a convent school, we were not exactly sure what one of these things were or what they might look like. Not to be defeated, we used our imagination and came up with the NeverNaked™ Shower Drapron®. It was like magic. Showering time was transformed from a stressful and agitated time to a much calmer process where all concerned were a lot more comfortable. Mum retained her dignity, feeling that she was dressed and could relax when being helped to shower.
The NeverNaked™ Shower Drapron®is a very simple garment that just drapes over the person in your care and covers everything, during showering, that it needs to cover whilst being light enough for water to go through and easy to lift to wash under. It comes down to the knees at the front and part way down the back. It is designed for seated showering or bathing.
The NeverNaked™ Shower Drapron®system is not only suitable for people with dementia – we have found that an ever-increasing number of people with other mobility issues, for example Motor Neurone Disease, have been buying them so they can retain their dignity whilst being helped to shower.
We have had some really heart-warming feedback from customers
“… her dignity and privacy have been restored by your product.” (Gwen from Antrim)
“… they really preserved her dignity.” (Laura from Poole)
“… she got to keep her privacy.” (Ruth from Arizona)
“… I couldn’t face anyone washing me without one.” (Instagram customer)
“… the ladies using the Shower Drapron® are more settled/less agitated when having a shower.” (Karen Johnson – Director of Clinical Services, Heathlands Village, Prestwich)
We needed an easy way to dry Mum after showering so we added the NeverNaked™ Shower Drapron® – this gives a dignified yet quick and easy way to dry the person in your care after bathing or showering. The NeverNaked™ Drying Drapron® is simply slipped over their shoulders, fastened with the easy fasten magnet, and the NeverNaked™ Shower Drapron®is undone and slipped out from underneath with no need to expose any of their body. Dignity is maintained.
The NeverNaked™ Shower Drapron®fastens easily with one magnetic fastening at the back neck. These are so simple – just place the two parts close together and they fasten themselves – no pressure required. We have made sure that the metal parts are not near the skin in case of any metal allergy and that they wash as well as the Drapron®.
We believe the magnet is far enough away from where a pacemaker would be fitted not to interfere with its working but if you or the person in your care have a pacemaker fitted and you have doubts about the magnet please consult your doctor before it is worn.
Never leave the person in your care sitting around in a wet Shower Drapron® – they will get cold.