It’s not that they don’t want to bathe. But, from time to time, older adults tend to forget about bath time. There are many reasons for this. As you might imagine, the onset of dementia is one of them. Memory loss certainly plays a role in a senior forgetting to take a shower every day. It’s important to note that one’s loss of independence can also be a factor. When an older adult requires assistance with bathing, it can often be the reason he/she wishes to avoid it.
Addressing this issue with sensitivity is vital. Here are three kind ways to remind seniors to bathe:
1. Showcase an encouraging attitude.
It’s understandable if you get frustrated. As a caregiver, you have the huge responsibility of ensuring both the physical and emotional well-being of your elderly loved one. It’s natural to sometimes wonder such things as “Why won’t she just listen to me?” Remaining calm and collected will do you much better than getting aggravated. When you get too demanding, says Lindsey Fancy of Winnipeg’s Home Care Assistance, it only makes things harder.
“Many caregivers react to a senior loved one’s refusal to bathe by getting demanding,” she points out, “They may insist their loved one has to take a bath, try to physically take him or her into the bathroom, or constantly nag about bathing. Instead of being demanding, try to maintain a positive and supportive tone whenever you’re talking to your loved one.”
2. Offer a choice between a bath or a shower.
In many cases, the problem with bath time is the lack of control felt by the senior. To help him/her feel like he/she hasn’t lost any independence, offer up the option of a bath or a shower. Whichever is chosen by your loved one is the way to go. That way, both the bathing process is commenced and the feeling of being bossed around is diminished.
“Some people might not have a strong preference, but for many, providing this choice (either to the person or to their family member who may be able to tell you what they have normally preferred) can improve the outcome,” says Esther Heerema on VerywellHealth.com, “A lot of water in a tub may cause fear for some, while the spraying of a shower can make others anxious.”
3. Upgrade your shower or bathtub.
“In many cases, seniors refuse to bathe because they are scared about falling or they experience pain and discomfort in the shower,” writes Fancy, “A few quick upgrades can make the bathroom a safe place for your loved one. If necessary, install a tub your loved one can walk into instead of climbing into. Things like grab bars and shower chairs can also address safety concerns and make it easier to shower.”
At LifeCare Mobility Solutions, we offer a wide range of high-quality home bathroom modifications. Grab bars, walk-in tubs, roll-in showers, bath lift chairs and shower chairs are among them. For more information, call us at 416-267-9800 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact us by filling out the form on our Contact page!