Elder Care Kirkland WA
Bathing is something that everyone must do to keep themselves healthy and comfortable. Maintaining good regular hygiene is essential for protecting the health of the skin, reducing the risk for illness and infection, and supporting good self-esteem and self-confidence. For many elderly adults, however, physical and cognitive limitations can make it difficult or even impossible for them to handle this task on their own. When this happens they will need your help or the help of an elder care provider to ensure that they avoid serious dangers, including falls that could be detrimental to their health and quality of life.
Despite the importance of maintaining a regular course of personal hygiene, bathing can still be a challenging time for you and your parent. This is especially true if your parent is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia and has developed an aversion to water or bathing.
Use these tips to help make assisting your parent with bathing less stressful for both of you:
- Set a schedule. Challenging tasks often seem more unpleasant when they are spur of the moment. If you schedule your parent’s baths for specific times during the week, knowing that it is coming can make it easier to handle. In this situation it becomes simply something that they are doing rather than something that you have decided that they need to do.
- Be flexible. Scheduling may not always work. If your parent shows signs of nervousness or aggression when it is time to bathe, it may be better to put it off until another time rather than trying to force the issue and possibly making it much more difficult, and even dangerous. When you put it off, however, make sure that your parent understands this does not mean that it will not happen, that it will simply happen at a different time.
- Bathe one part at a time. Help your parent to preserve their modesty by allowing then to remain wrapped in a towel during the bathing process. They can sit on a shower bench and you can help them bathe one body part at a time while they remain covered with the towel.
- Choose familiar products. Appealing to your parent’s senses can be an exceptional way to calm them and help them to feel more comfortable throughout the bathing experience. Even if your elder loved one is not suffering from any form of cognitive limitation, sensory stimulation during the bathing process can be extremely helpful. Choose bath products in familiar scents that they enjoy and utilize tools such as washcloths, loofahs, or sponges that give a familiar sensation.
Accepting help with bathing from an adult child can be difficult for many elderly adults, and for their family caregivers. If your parent is not comfortable with you helping them with this task, or you have physical or emotional limitations that make it so that you would not be able to do so effectively and safely, elder care may be the ideal solution. An elderly home care services provider can provide personalized, attentive, and respectful assistance for your aging parent that will ensure that they stay clean, fresh, comfortable, and healthy while also maintaining their sense of dignity and privacy.