The Importance of Warm Water for Elderly Bathing

warm water running out of a tap

It goes without saying that regular bathing is a necessary part of maintaining proper hygiene. Being clean helps you to avoid the onset of illnesses as it keeps germs and unhealthy bacteria at bay. Furthermore, it just feels good to be clean, doesn’t it? With that said, it’s important to point out that temperature matters. For the most part, no one likes icy cold showers. But the water that is too hot isn’t so great either.

Why Is Water Temperature Especially Concerning for Seniors?

If water is too hot, an elderly person’s sensitive skin can be easily scalded. As Carefect Home Health Care Services explains, “hot water can cause blood vessels near the surface of the skin to dilate, which causes a rush of blood to infiltrate the upper layers of the skin.” However, if it’s too cold, it can exacerbate or bring on health issues.

“Cold water can cause the blood vessels near the surface of the skin to constrict, which is the opposite of what happens in hot water,” informs the Carefect website, “This will reduce the amount of blood that flows to a person’s skin, internal organs and their heart. This reduction in blood volume can also cause cardiac strain and heart issues. Coldwater can also cause hypothermia in the elderly.”

What Water Temperature Is Ideal for Bathing?

Electric water heater or boiler inside the house

When bath water is not too hot or not too cold – the very definition of “just right” – it provides a comfortable bathing experience. Of course, “just right” is different for everyone. But it’s important to be mindful of what is considered a safe temperature. Carefect insists that, as a rule of thumb, bath temperature should be only a few degrees higher than normal body temperature. They point out that any temperature above 102 degrees can affect a person’s health.

What Benefits Does Warm Bath Water Provide?

According to Gregg Balbera of Long Island Weekly, there are several benefits to warm bathwater. Among them is the reduction of inflammation. According to his article, a British study in the Journal of Applied Physiology corroborates Carefect’s contention that 102 degrees is an ideal temperature for bathwater. The same study found that individuals who bathe in such water for an hour can combat chronic low-grade inflammation.

Warm baths also help to lower blood sugar. A separate study, conducted at Loughborough University in England, found that the same one-hour warm bath soak lowers blood sugar better than exercise. It also found that warm bathing burns calories nearly as effective as taking a 30-minute walk.

Balbera also lists soothed muscles and joints, improved skin health, lower blood pressure, and better circulation as warm bath benefits. He cites a 2016 study by University of Oregon physiology researchers that found that a warm bath elevates nitric oxide in the blood. This allows blood vessels to relax. “Flexible blood vessels decrease blood pressure and promote better circulation and vascular function throughout the body,” he writes.

How Does Shower Bay Help Seniors Enjoy Warm Bathing Experiences?

portable handicap shower

Designed for wheelchair users, Shower Bay provides a true shower experience in any room of the home. Just snap the unit together, connect to a standard faucet, turn on the pump, set your temperature and you’re ready to enjoy a relaxing shower. If you have any questions about Forward Day’s Shower Bay portable showers, please don’t hesitate to contact us to ask them. Give us a call at 1-877-593-4461 or email us at info@showerbay.com.

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