Effective Solutions for Bathing Battles.


What feels finer than sinking into a warm, relaxing bath at the conclusion of a lengthy, frantic day? While most of us relish the luxurious comfort that a bath brings, for the elderly, especially those struggling with the challenges of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s anything but blissful.

For a variety of reasons, such as memory dilemmas, feelings of vulnerability, or physical distress from the pressure or temperature of the water, assisting a senior with bathing can feel more like entering a battleground.

Aaging Better In-Home Care wants to help restore the pleasure of bathtime for both the senior and his or her caregiver with these helpful bath tips:

  • Ensure safety. Keeping the shower area clear of hazards is crucial. Make certain that:

  • Grab bars and mats that are slip-resistant are strategically placed in and around the tub

  • The water temperature is comfortable (around 100 – 101 degrees is best)

  • By no means should you ever leave an older adult with dementia unsupervised in the bathroom

  • Be creative. Who says one person’s bathtime experience has to end up like everyone else’s? Try thinking outside of the box to discover what works best for your senior family member:

  • In the event that the senior enjoys music, try singing or playing some songs as a distraction

  • Try a “dry” bed bath using no-rinse soap, dry shampoo, and a warm, moist towel

  • Each day over the period of a week, incorporate a seven-day bath, which involves cleaning just a portion of the body

  • Assisting the older adult with both toileting and cleaning at the same time can be effective for those experiencing a high amount of anxiety or agitation

  • Allow control. One of the most challenging aspects of being cared for is losing independence. Help the older adult regain a sense of control through:

  • Offering choices

  • Enlisting his/her support (i.e., holding the washcloth or bottle of shampoo)

It could take some trial and error to discover what makes your elderly loved one most content when it comes to taking a bath or shower. A healthy dose of persistence and a sense of humor can go a long way towards helping the senior relax. He/she will detect any frustrations you’re feeling, which could intensify the degree of agitation for the two of you.

For more bathing tips on changing tears to smiles during bathtime, our professionally trained caregivers can assist with a complete range of personal care services, including assistance with bathing, using the restroom, dressing, hair and skin care, and a lot more. Partnering with an agency such as ours enables relatives to spend more quality time with their senior loved one, and to take a much-needed break to rest and recharge. Call us at 208-777-0308 to learn more.

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