How to Get Your Elderly Parent to Shower

December 30, 2018
Janelle Thomas MSN, RN
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Dealing with elderly resistance to bathing? Your loved one may have been bathing on their own for quite some time now, but suddenly it’s an issue for them. The problem then becomes how do you help them to resolve it.

5 Tips for Getting Elderly Parents to Bathe

Here are some ideas about ways to make bathing easier for your loved one and you.

1. Establish a Bathing Routine

When you have a bathing routine already established, it can be easier to keep your loved one in the groove. A routine can be extremely relaxing for your loved ones, too, so it becomes a way to reassure them that everything is okay. If you need to make changes to your loved one’s bathing routine, keep in mind that might make them agitated.

2. Stay Calm

If your loved one has started having an aversion to bathing, you’re likely going to tense up and feel angsty when you start talking about bathing with them. Do what you can to approach the conversation calmly and with as little anxiety as you can. The more awkward it feels for you, the more awkward the conversation will feel for your loved one, too.

3. Avoid Arguing

When you do talk about bathing, do your best to avoid arguing with your loved one. Start with a simple explanation of the plan for bath time and then start gently walking your loved one through the routine. If they balk or start to argue with you, do your best to get them gently back on track. Arguing is only going to make the situation worse.

4. Offer Alternatives

Try to determine what’s causing your loved one to back away from bathing. Is it the water from the shower making them anxious? Do they feel unsafe in the tub? Offer alternatives, such as a bath instead of a shower. If your loved one does feel unsafe, do what you can to make the shower and the bathroom a safer environment for them, whether that’s adding handrails to the tub or putting down non-slip rugs.

Related Articles: 4 Bathroom Safety Tips to Prevent Falls in the Elderly

5. Get Help from Others

In some cases, the problem is that your loved one doesn’t want to bathe with someone they’re close to. It’s embarrassing and it can cause your loved one great distress. In that case, think about hiring experienced home care providers who can help your loved one with those personal care situations that they aren’t comfortable sharing with you. It can make an incredible difference for your loved one.

How you approach the bathing dilemma can make all the difference in the world.

Contact Care Options for Kids for Home Care Services

If you or an aging loved one are considering home health care services, contact the caring staff at Care Options for Kids. Call today (888) 592-5855.