Exploring Home Health Care Benefits

Helpful Tips for Elderly Personal Care and Bathing

When it comes to elderly personal care, the most challenging tasks for caregivers are often bathing and personal hygiene. Not only are these tasks physically demanding for everyone involved, but they also tend to be embarrassing for the elderly person being cared for. This is often the case whether the caregiver is a family member or a professional caregiver. 

Thankfully, there are many ways you can make personal hygiene and bathing easier for everyone involved, including following these tips:

Tip: Promote a Maximum Amount of Independence for as Long as Possible

While it may be hard for the patient to bathe themselves and it may take a lot longer than you might like, preserving as much independence as possible is always desirable. Anything the patient can safely do for themselves, they should be encouraged to do for as long as possible.

Sometimes, this is as simple as gathering up all of the necessary bathing supplies, towels, and clothing and then giving the patient plenty of time to care for themselves.

Other times, you can utilize some assistive tools to help with independence, including:

  • electric razors
  • shower chairs
  • walk-in bathtubs
  • grab bars

In addition, if burns are a concern, then you should also lower the hot water heater's temperature. 

Tip: Find a Balance Between Desired Bathing and Necessary Bathing

Although your life is very busy and you need to bathe every day or every other day, this typically isn't necessary for someone who is homebound or has limited mobility. Since they aren't moving around too much, they just don't need to bathe as often and might need some encouragement in this area.

Sit down with the person in your care and ask them how often they would like to bathe and what form they want that to take. For example, do they want to bathe a couple of days each week in a walk-in tub or shower, or are they fine with a sponge bath between more comprehensive showers or baths?

By setting a flexible schedule, you can make everyone's life a bit easier.

Tip: Distract the Patient by Encouraging Them to Talk About Something That Has Nothing to Do with Caregiving, Disability, or Illness

When an elderly person becomes homebound and requires bathing assistance, their life is typically very small. This means they often don't have a lot to talk about or think about other than their medical condition and all of the things they can no longer do. And, this leads to depression.

To lift the mood and avoid focusing on all of the things the patient can no longer do, encourage them to talk about something that interests them such as politics, current events, or their grandkids.

If you can't care for your loved one yourself, find elderly home care services that will do these things for your loved one.

About Me

Exploring Home Health Care Benefits

Hey there, I'm Jesse Sutherland. When I learned that my child would be born with severe disabilities, I worried about how I would perform all of the healthcare procedures on my own. My child needed mucus sucked out of both lungs around the clock at first. Furthermore, bathing and feeding often required two people to complete without messing up all of the tubes and monitors. Luckily, I was able to receive help from a home healthcare professional, which took a lot of pressure off my shoulders. I want to share all of the assistance I received from these professionals. I will also discuss the benefits of having help with difficult procedures. Thank you for visiting.