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Caregiver Tips: Helping Disabled Seniors Bathe

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Bathing is a basic process that helps ensure optimal health and physical wellbeing. While the majority of people adopt a regular cleansing routine, the process often becomes a problem for an elderly person living with physical or mental disabilities. For someone living with these limitations, bathing can become dangerous if certain precautions are not taken. Here’s how family caregivers in Nashville can better assist their loved ones during bath time.

Because of physical movement or visual limitations experienced by seniors who need post-stroke care in Nashville, older people might be intimidated by the bathing process due to the possibility of falling. To reduce this risk, ensure that the bathing area is equipped with:

  • Plenty of space around the tub or shower
  • Adequate lighting
  • Adequate heating
  • Preventative devices to minimize slippery floors in the bathroom, shower or tub
  • Strategically placed grab bars
  • Seats in showers
  • Reliable devices for safe transferring
  • Low shelving that enables bathers to access bathing items
  • Sufficient storage space to keep bathing rooms tidy and free from obstructions

Other Considerations

Elderly people with arthritic hands may have difficulty turning faucets and adjusting water temperatures, which could lead to accidental burning. Under these circumstances, caregivers should offer assistance.

Reluctant Bathers

When individuals feel that they are losing more control over their lives, they often exercise dominance in unusual situations that may include when and how often they need to bathe. By ensuring that elderly residents have as much say as possible throughout the day, they are less likely to become resistant to bathing. Allow older bathers to choose their clothing and bathing products, and perhaps decide upon their bathing schedule.

Dementia patients might also become resistant for many reasons that include confusion and inability to recall what the bathing process entails. Make the task as pleasant as possible by playing their favorite music during a bath and using bath products that contain their favorite scents. Be compassionate and patient. Offer reassurance and plenty of praise.

For more information regarding bathing tips for disabled seniors, reach out to Nashville, TN Home Care Assistance. We are a leading home care agency that provides flexible live-in and hourly services to help seniors with varying levels physical and cognitive abilities with daily tasks such as bathing, grooming, and dressing. Contact an experienced Care Manager today at (615) 656-4999 to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.