How To Encourage Your Elderly Loved One To Bathe

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Encourage elderly loved ones to bathe - portable shower bayMany senior citizens choose not to bathe on a daily basis. And while this may not be the biggest problem in the world, it can become an issue when there is an outright refusal to bathe at all. For many elderly individuals, the act of bathing is less about getting clean and more about avoiding a hassle. This is especially true if the elderly person requires assistance with bathing.

Needless to say, it’s an intrusive process to have someone else help you to bathe. It’s hard to blame anyone who would much rather bathe in private. When mobility issues prevent independent bathing from being possible, it’s important to offer solutions that will help your elderly loved one feel more comfortable with the bathing process.

Avoid the Power Struggle

Be kind about the issue. Many caregivers fall victim to their own frustrations surrounding their elderly parents not wanting to bathe. Getting into arguments, however, won’t help matters. It’s important to remember that the senior in your home once enjoyed a life where he/she was able to do everything independently. According to Becca Metoyer, the owner and founder of Second Family Home Care in Dallas, Texas, you should avoid the power struggle.

“Sometimes people respond to others directing them, especially family members, with resistance,” she writes, “They don’t want to be ‘told what to do.’ Try to avoid this power struggle. Look for other, more subtle ways, to encourage the senior to take a shower. Reverse psychology, such as telling them, ‘It doesn’t matter to me how you look or smell as long as you don’t mind it,’ could help.”

Be Informative About The Process

Dementia patients

For seniors who are willing to accept assistance with bathing, it’s important for them to understand what is happening. The idea is to replace their loss of independence with knowledge. Informing your elderly loved one about each step of the bathing process will eliminate surprises and help to make the experience more comfortable.

“At every step, let them know what’s going to happen and coach them through it so they can do as much as possible on their own,” encourages, “This gives them control and improves self-confidence. Plus, if they know what’s going to happen at every step, they won’t be as scared or anxious.”

Help to Restore Their Independence

Increase independence

One of the main reasons Forward Day came up with the unique Shower Bay concept is the struggle we knew many families were having with taking care of their elderly loved ones at home. Bathing complications are listed among the top greatest difficulties of senior care.

Shower Bay is a safe and portable shower designed for wheelchair users. It provides true showering experiences for those who would usually require bathing assistance. Shower Bay’s unique design allows for quick assembly in any room of the home. It offers wheelchair users full showers with running water while providing privacy and opportunities to bathe with greater independence.

Shower Bay makes it a lot easier for you to encourage your elderly loved one to bathe. If you have any questions about our Shower Bay portable showers, please don’t hesitate to contact Forward Day to ask them. Give us a call at 1-877-593-4461 or email us at

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