The Art of Maintaining the Cleanliness of Your Aging Parent

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The art of maintaining the cleanliness of your aging parent

Bathing isn’t such an easy task for everyone. For many of us, the act of jumping in the shower is one we take for granted. We perform it regularly and with great ease. For many seniors, however, bathing can be pretty difficult. A combination of muscle aches and mobility issues can make it so that the supposedly-simple act of stepping into a shower stall is a scary undertaking. What steps can you take in order to maintain the cleanliness of your aging parent?

Be Mindful of Your Loved One’s Skin Conditions

Be mindful of elderly loved ones skin conditions

Some seniors are hesitant to bathe because of issues with their skin. Remember that older adults have more sensitive skin than their younger counterparts. As a result, they get cold or hot quicker than most of us. Also, if your elderly loved one has a particular skin condition, you must be aware of the ingredients of the cleansing products you use. 

“Your loved one may not like to bathe frequently due to poor bone health or skin conditions,” notes Zareena Khan of Edmonton, Alberta’s Home Care Assistance, “Therefore, you should consider these health issues when creating a bathing routine. Schedule full baths every other day to prevent aches and pains or skin irritation and dryness. If your loved one’s health worsens, you may need to reduce bathing to once or twice per week, which can still prevent skin breakdown and infections.”

Assist With Shaving

Assist with shaving and proper grooming

The act of keeping clean isn’t all about soap and body wash. Proper grooming is a significant part of maintaining good personal hygiene. Your elderly loved one, however, may forget to shave. Perhaps, they just don’t have the energy to perform regular shaving routines. As Angie Kunnath of Waterloo, Ontario’s Home Care Assistance notes, the act of shaving can become more difficult as we age. 

“While shaving doesn’t necessarily offer health benefits, it can help your loved one maintain positive self-esteem, feel more groomed, and make other personal hygiene tasks easier to manage,” she notes, “Consider having your loved one switch to an electric razor if he/she doesn’t already use one. Electric razors are larger and easier for many seniors to manage, and they also reduce the risk of accidental cuts due to unsteady hands.” 

Use Scented Hygiene Products

Scented hygiene products

A person’s sense of smell can diminish with age. It can be related to a loss of nerve endings and a slowing down of mucus production in the nose. This is why older adults can benefit from using cleansing products with fresh scents. We’re talking soaps, body washes, and shampoos that help to make people feel particularly clean and fresh. Look for your loved one’s favorite scents, but remember to be conscious of the ingredients so that they do not irritate the skin.

“When choosing scented products, make sure the items won’t irritate your loved one’s skin or make him or her feel nauseated,” warns Khan, “Keep the products handy, so your loved one doesn’t need to step out of the shower to reach them and increase the risk of falling. When applying lotions and skin moisturizers, using a gentle touch to make the process more pleasant could ease your loved one’s mind when it comes to grooming.”

Take Advantage of Shower Bay

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When Forward Day came up with the Shower Bay portable shower, we knew it would help seniors to restore their independence. Shower Bay can be snapped together in any room of the home, enabling shower wheelchair users to enter for safe and comfortable shower experiences easily. For more information about these revolutionary portable showers, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-877-593-4461 or email us at

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