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Senior Care: Tips to Make Bath Time Less Stressful

Alzheimer’s Care Tips Salisbury NC

Alzheimer's CareIt is common for elderly adults to forget or refuse to take regular baths or showers, especially if they have behavioral issues or a diagnosis that may interfere with memory. Regular cleaning is important for a number of reasons, including social comfort and personal comfort. While it can be extremely stressful when attempting to encourage bathing, there are some helpful tips family caregivers and/or home care providers can do to make bathing easier.

Preparing to Bathe When it comes to senior care and bathing, pre-planning is essential to establishing a calm bathing routine. Whenever possible, it is helpful to involve the senior in the planning process, which may help to encourage cooperation.

  • Scheduled Bathing-whether a family member or an elder care provider will be helping with the bathing, it is important to have a schedule time and day for bathing. It will help your aging parent be emotionally prepared when they know ahead of time and routine is essential, so make sure that the bathing day and time are always the same. It may help to mark it on a calendar.
  • Make sure the area is safe-safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to senior care. There a several devices you can use to help ensure the bathroom is safe for your elderly parent. For example, installing handrails will make getting in and out of the bathtub easier and will help to reduce the risk of falling. Make sure there is ample lighting and avoid using area rugs to prevent slipping. If the flooring is slippery, consider taping a bath mat to the floor. You can also talk with your home care provider for other suggestions to ensure the bathroom is safe.
  • Use simple products-avoid switching the bath products from the items your parent is used to. In most situations, using mild soap with moisturizer will help keep their skin from drying out. If they tend to get a lot of skin infections, talk with the doctor for suggestions on the best antibacterial soaps to use.
  • Help reduce embarrassment-one of the most common reasons many elderly people avoid bathing is because they are embarrassed to undress in front of others and/or be bathed with assistance. It may help to request an in-home care provider that is of the same sex as your parent.

Bathing Your Elderly Parent Although it depends on the degree of independence, it is typically necessary to supervise during bathing. If independent bathing is acceptable, make sure they do not lock the bathroom door, in case anything goes wrong, you will have quick access. Some tips to make the bathing process easier includes:

  • Limit distractions-turn off outside noises, such as the television and cell phones.
  • Have everything ready. Get all of the items you will need ready and in one place, before starting. If necessary, heat the room and have a large warm towel or blanket ready for when they get out.
  • Maintain a good attitude. It is essential that you or the in-home care provider maintains a calm and happy attitude, which will help ease the embarrassment, tension and fear. Try to have friendly, fun conversations to prevent distractions.
  • Test the water-Make sure to have your parent test the water to ensure it is a comfortable temperature.
  • Explain steps-explain each step before you begin and as you do it. For example, let them know when you are going to wash their face, so they aren’t startled.
  • Check for problems-during bath time is the perfect opportunity to check for skin problems, such as a bacterial infections or skin breakdown.
  • Perfect ending-make sure to dry them off completely and dress them in clean, comfortable clothing. It is sometimes helpful to offer a small snack or suggest a nap after a bath.

The most important things to remember before, during and after bath time is to stay calm, not lose your patience and encourage a happy environment. Bath time can be stressful for you, your parent and/or the in-home care provider, but helping to maintain their dignity will go a long way in easing the stress of bathing.

For more information about how TenderHearted Home Care can help your aging parents remain in their own homes, call 704-207-0265

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Renee Gray

Founder, Owner, President at TenderHearted Home Care
As Founder, Owner & President of TenderHearted Home Care, I have always had a heart for helping others. I started with babysitting while a teenager, assisting the mentally disabled in a work environment for 10 years, homeschooling my two sons, serving others for 9 years while employed through the local hospital and since 2011 have been focused on helping seniors to maintain their independence in the comfort of their own home. I am a Certified Senior Care Manager (CSCM) as designated by the Association of Care Services At Home (www.acsah.org).

I have enjoyed volunteering my time as the President of the Rowan County Home School Association, assisting with the Parkinson’s Support Group, Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Pregnancy Support Center, MOPS International, Capstone Recovery Center, Kairos Outside, Celebrate Recovery, various church committees and going on a mission trip to Moldova. I am a member of the Rowan County Council on Aging, Meals on Wheels board member, REACH of Rowan County, HIPSS of Davidson County, Second Tuesday Business Group and several Christian Business Life Groups.

I am passionate about serving others and providing the most compassionate care possible, as I would want for my own family. I love relaxing with my husband, Peter, and my two dogs, Yoyo and Terra Cotta.