The Art of Sweetly Reminding Older Adults About Bath Time
For many older adults, bathing is an unwanted chore. In some cases, the undesirable nature of showering is due to the loss of privacy that comes with it. Seniors that require the assistance of caregivers may not be comfortable disrobing. As you can imagine, the loss of independence that comes with needing a caregiver can also result in elderly individuals putting up a fight at bath time.
Sensibly showing empathy toward seniors struggling with showering each day pays dividends. Let’s take a look at how to sweetly remind older adults about bath time.
Stick to a Routine
Sticking to a routine is especially important for older individuals who are battling with dementia. It can significantly help with a senior’s memory when they bathe at the same time each day. Create a schedule, inform your care recipient of it, and be sure to offer gentle reminders in advance of that time each day.
“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,” encourages Esther Heerema on VerywellHealth.com, “Using a consistent caregiver to maintain this routine can also be very helpful to both the caregiver and the person with dementia.”
Consult a Medical Professional
In some cases, it’s best to contact the pros. Remember that physical limitations and emotional stresses can make a senior want to avoid bathing. With a physician’s help, you may be able to uncover some ways to address these issues directly. Of course, helping your loved one with the physical labor of bathing is important. However, it’s also important to address the depression the senior in your life is contending with.
“If a loved one who used to wear makeup, bathe regularly, or insist on crisply pressed clothes suddenly stops taking care of themselves, it’s wise to rule out depression first,” advises Carol Bradley Bursack on AgingCare.com, “A simple checkup with a doctor is a good idea, especially if low energy or lack of interest seems to be part of this change in behavior. Depression isn’t always obvious to an observer, so keep an eye out for the warning signs.”
Honor Your Loved One’s Preferred Time of Day
Some people love taking showers after they wake up in the morning. It helps them to feel refreshed after a long night’s sleep. For others, a bath before bed is much preferred. It gives them a fresh and clean feeling that makes sleep much more comfortable. Which time of day does your elderly loved one prefer? It’s a good idea to give them the option to choose.
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 Heerema, “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.
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