Peter was 13 when he had his first dog, 18 when he worked in the lumber camps, and 20 when he married. Peter, now 74, is pacing up and down the hallways of Tick Tock Manor where he is a resident. Peter always paces on this day, because today is Peter’s bath day.
Things are done right on schedule at Tick Tock Manor. The caregivers never forget Peter’s bath day. Even more amazing, is that, although Peter has dementia, he never forgets the bath day either.
“Bathing Sparky” is a true story of the challenges faced in bathing persons with dementia. I worked with Peter and his family for several months. I always admired and respected the flexibility and resourcefulness of the caregivers in dealing with challenging behaviors. In this particular case study, Peter’s dog, Sparky, actually provides the solution.
The caregiver interview following the story, illustrates many useful coping strategies that worked in this situation, and may prove useful for others dealing with similar challenges. (Chapter 18, The Living Dementia Case–Study Approach, deGeest, 2007)