If you’ve answered “yes” to the question posed by today’s blog, fear not – you’re not alone. Caregivers all over North America are finding it difficult to get the older adults in their lives to bathe more often than they do. You may have become frustrated by this situation, and that’s understandable. But, keep in mind that bathing, for your elderly loved one, is a much harder task than it once was.
This is an important tip to list first. Keep in mind that a hesitancy to bathe is usually more of an emotional issue than it is a physical one. Many seniors place their emotional well-being over their personal hygiene. Does bathing cause your elderly loved one fear? Does he/she require assistance to bathe that presents an embarrassing scenario? Being patient and coming to understand the true reason why your older adult doesn’t want to bathe will help you to resolve this issue.
“Most people don’t like being rushed, and as people age, they are more likely to want to do everything at their own pace,” says Tena Scallan on TheCaregiverSpace.org, “So, be advised—go slow and allow them to do things in their own time.”
Allow Your Elderly Loved One to Decide upon Bath Time
Keep in mind that, in many cases, an aversion to bathing is all about control. Restore your elderly loved one’s sense of control by allowing him/her to decide when bath time is. That way, it won’t feel like there is some rule that must be adhered to. Your older adult is doing things on his/her own terms. This can go a long way in making the bathing routine a more regular habit.
“If you don’t know the person’s typical routine, find out from the family if he liked to start his day out with a shower or enjoyed a bath before bed,” advises Esther Heerema on VeryWellHealth.com, “That’s an important routine for many people, so honoring that for a person with dementia can go a long way toward a good outcome for both the person and the caregiver.”
Be Sure to Stick to a Routine
Has your elderly loved one selected his/her preferred time of day to take a bath or a shower? Great – now all you need to do is ensure that the routine is kept. Without encouraging some regularity, your older adult may fall back into an “I don’t care to bathe” situation that won’t be beneficial for his/her personal hygiene and overall health. This is especially important for older individuals who suffer from dementia.
“As much as possible, stick to a routine, both as it relates to the time of day for a shower and the steps you use when helping the person bathe,” advises Heerema, “Using a consistent caregiver to maintain this routine can also be very helpful to both the caregiver and the person with dementia.”
Consider a Portable Shower
Is your elderly loved one wheelchair-bound? If so, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the obstacles that are presented by traditional bathrooms. With Forward Day’s Shower Bay portable shower, you can do away with the problematic bathroom situation. Shower Bay can be snapped together in any room of the home where there is a faucet nearby!