How to Turn Bathtime Personal Care Battles into Bliss
What feels finer than sinking into a warm, relaxing bath at the conclusion of a long, busy day? While most of us relish the luxurious comfort that bathtime brings, for seniors, especially those struggling with the challenges of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, it’s certainly not blissful.
For many different reasons, such as memory issues, feelings of vulnerability, or physical distress from the pressure or temperature of the water, helping a senior with the personal care tasks of bathing can feel a lot more like entering a battleground.
Hired Hands Homecare of California wants to help restore the joy of bathtime for both the senior and his or her caregiver with these ideas:
- Ensure safety. Keeping the bath area free from hazards is critical. 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 innovative. Who says one person’s bathtime experience has to end up like everyone else’s? Try thinking outside of the box discover what works best for your senior loved one:
- If the senior appreciates music, try singing or playing some of his or her favorite music as a distraction
- Try a “dry” bed bath using no-rinse soap, dry shampoo, and a warm, moist towel
- Incorporate a seven-day bath, which involves cleaning just a percentage of the body each day throughout the period of a week
- Helping the senior with both toileting and cleaning simultaneously can be successful for those experiencing a high degree of anxiety or agitation
- Allow control. One of the most difficult aspects of being cared for is losing independence. Assist the older person to regain a sense of control through:
- Offering choices
- Enlisting his or her support (i.e., holding the washcloth or bottle of shampoo)
It might take several attempts to uncover what makes your senior loved one most secure. A healthy dose of persistence and a sense of humor can go a long way towards helping the senior relax. She or he will pick up on any frustrations you’re feeling, which could escalate the level of agitation for the two of you.
For more tips on changing tears to smiles during bathtime, contact Hired Hands Homecare. Our professional California in-home senior care specialists can assist with a complete range of personal care services, including bathing, toileting, dressing, hair and skin care, plus much more. Partnering with Hired Hands Homecare, serving Marin, Sonoma, Napa counties and the Tri-Valley, enables family to spend more quality time with their senior family member, and to take a much-needed break to rest and recharge. Call us at 866-940-4343 to learn more.