Bathing is a necessity for all of us. But when we enter our elderly years, the formerly easy daily routine can become a cumbersome chore. Naturally, we tend to lose strength and balance as we age. As a result, many seniors fear they will injure themselves in the shower by slipping and falling. It’s well known that slips and falls account for a large portion of hospitalizations of seniors.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Protection report that “each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.” These statistics are among the top reasons why many seniors refuse to bathe at all. Caregivers, therefore, must take certain steps to assist their elderly loved ones with the process.
A Little Help Goes A Long Way
Firstly, it’s important to have conversations with the elderly loved one in your life to get to the root cause of his/her refusal to bathe. Addressing the fear of falling may be the first step in helping him/her regain a sense of confidence. Even if you haven’t been able to help the fear subside, it’s important that you go through the bathing process delicately. After all, helping someone to bathe is quite the intrusive process.
Before the bath even begins, you’ll want to make sure that you have all of the necessary supplies. This includes ample soap or body wash, a washcloth, shampoo, conditioner, and at least three towels. On her Sharing The Sunset blog, Ruth recommends one towel to dry your loved one’s hair, a second for his/her back and a third for the front. Once the bathing process begins, it’s imperative you get the right water temperature.
“Test the temperature of the water on your inner wrist, prior to having them step into the shower, or pivot onto the shower bench,” writes Ruth, “NEVER have an elder step into a shower stream which has not been well tested. I love hand-held showers and have been fortunate to have them everywhere I have worked. The exception to this made it very awkward to assist with a shower.”
Start From The Top Down
Ruth goes on to explain that it’s important to wash your elderly loved one’s face first. Be sure that his/her eyes are closed! “You will want to use water, only, or very mild face wash,” she explains, “Dry their face, then let them hold that hand towel over their eyes while you wash their hair. Encourage them to tip their head back as you do this. Work quickly, but don’t forget how wonderful a scalp massage feels.”
With Forward Day’s Shower Bay portable shower, shower wheelchair users are given the option of bathing themselves independently. When one is seated in a wheelchair, it helps to eliminate the fear of slipping and falling. And with running water, the bathing process is made a lot easy to complete on one’s own.
If you have any questions about our Shower Bay portable showers, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask them. Give us a call at 1-877-223-8999 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org