What feels more soothing than sinking into a warm, relaxing bath at the end of a lengthy, demanding day? While most of us relish the wonderful comfort that a bath brings, for seniors, especially those struggling with the challenges of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, personal care is certainly not blissful.
For a number of reasons, such as memory issues, feelings of vulnerability, or physical discomfort from the pressure or temperature associated with the water, assisting a senior with washing can feel more like entering a battleground.
Regency Home Care in Atlanta wants to help restore the joy of bath time for both the senior and his or her caregiver with these personal care tips:
- Ensure safety. Keeping the bath area free from hazards is crucial. Make sure 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 a senior with dementia unsupervised in the bathroom
- Be innovative. Who says one person’s bath time experience has to be like everybody else’s? Try thinking outside of the box to find what works best for your senior loved one:
- In the event that the senior delights in music, try singing or playing some favorite 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
- Helping the older person with both toileting and cleaning simultaneously can be effective for those experiencing a high level of anxiety or agitation
- Allow control. One of the most difficult aspects of being cared for is losing independence. Assist the older adult to regain a sense of control through:
- Offering choices
- Enlisting his or her support (i.e., holding the washcloth or bottle of shampoo)
It could take some trial and error to find out what makes your elderly loved one most comfortable. Additionally, she or he will detect any frustrations you’re feeling, which could escalate the level of agitation for both of you. A healthy dose of persistence and a sense of humor can go a long way towards helping the older adult relax.
For more personal care tips on how to turn tears to smiles during bath time, contact Regency Home Care. Our professional in-home senior care experts can assist with a complete range of personal care services, including washing, toileting, dressing, hair and skin care, and much more. Partnering with Regency Home Care gives family members the freedom to spend more quality time with their senior loved one, and also to take a much-needed break to rest and recharge. Contact our Atlanta senior care experts today at (678) 999-2446 to learn more.