How to Make the Bathing Process a Fun One for Seniors
Most adults just love bath time. Whether it’s relaxing in a tub or enjoying a warm, soothing shower, the act of bathing is one we often look forward to. This isn’t necessarily the case, however, for many older adults. It’s not that seniors don’t like to be clean. In many cases, they simply fear the process of having to undress and get assistance with something they used to do themselves. As well, some elderly people contend with dementia and simply forget to bathe.
What can you do to make the bathing process fun for seniors?
Check the Water Temperature
Older adults are more susceptible to burns. This is because the sensitivity of their skin picks up the heat – and cold, for that matter – a lot quicker than their younger counterparts. Ensure that extreme water temperatures never deter your elderly loved one from wanting to bathe. Secure a warm water temperature before they climb into the tub. On behalf of Senior Safety Advice, Robin Schiltz suggests that you simply use your hand to check the water’s temperature.
“Normally warm water is a good temperature for most people,” she writes, “If the water is too hot, make sure you balance it with cold. An anti-scald valve that we mentioned above will help prevent the water temperature from getting too hot. Don’t crank the cold knob too far in one direction, though, as a freezing shower isn’t very comfortable, either.”
Organize All Bathing Supplies
Make it so that your elderly loved one doesn’t have to bend over or stretch for any bathing necessity. All soaps, body washes, shampoos, conditioners, and wash rags must be placed within reach. Consider how the senior in your life like to bathe. Do they prefer sitting or standing? This will determine exactly where to place all of the bathing supplies.
“Oftentimes, soap and shampoo reside in a basket hanging from the showerhead or high up on a shower wall shelf,” notes Nebraska’s Home Instead, “That might be convenient for a person who can safely stand up in the tub or shower, but it’s out of reach for the seated senior, and it poses a potential danger to a family caregiver who must take her attention off the senior relative being bathed in order to reach these supplies.”
Allow Your Loved One to Bathe Independently
Keep in mind that one of the top emotional issues that seniors battle with is the loss of independence. Imagine requiring help for everyday tasks that you take for granted you can do alone. Help to restore some confidence in your elderly loved ones by offering them the opportunity to wash. Offer to help with some more difficult tasks, such as washing hair.
“You can start with either washing their hair or cleaning their body,” suggests Schiltz, “Assuming they want to begin by cleaning the body, a soft sponge or washcloth will be ideal. Get the sponge soapy. The senior could possibly do this themselves, but maybe they can’t get to every part of their body.”
Switch to Shower Bay
When Forward Day came up with the Shower Bay portable shower, we knew it would help seniors 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.