Leesburg Senior Home Care Blog

FAQs on Assisting Seniors with Bathing and Showering

By Kaltoon Essa

Are you struggling with convincing your aging loved one that it is time for them to take a bath or shower? If so, you aren’t alone as many family caregiver report difficulties in getting their elderly relatives to do this routine task. Showering or bathing is important to personal hygiene, and seniors who don’t do it run the risk of getting sick and dealing with hygiene issues. However, if there’s a power struggle happening between you and your aging relative, you may be at your wits end on how to overcome it.

Here are some frequently asked questions on assisting seniors with bathing and showering, including some ideas on how to make the task simple, smooth and positive for everyone:

Q: Why do some seniors resist bathing and showering?

A: There are multiple reasons why this resistance is happening and one of the first things you should do is talk to your aging loved one about it when you both are well-rested and in a good mood. Try to find out what the obstacles are, and you might be surprised at how simple the solution is.

Q: How often should seniors bathe or shower each week?

A: As adults, we are used to showering or bathing every day. However, aging adults often don’t need to do so because their oil and sweat glands are not as productive. Unless there are incontinence issues, seniors can get away with showering a few times per week. If you schedule these times for certain days and let your elderly relative know it, they are more likely to view it as part of their weekly routine instead of spontaneous sessions.

Q: How can I make my elderly relative safer during baths and showers?

A: Fear of falling is a big deterrent for seniors who won’t shower or bathe. They may worry too much about slipping and falling when bathing or showering. You can do a lot to make them feel safer, such as putting in a shower or tub chair for stability, installing grab bars by the tub or in the shower and having a chair just outside the tub or shower that they can sit in while drying off. Going out of your way to focus on safety can alleviate many fears that seniors might have about bathing and showering.

Q: Can I do anything to make my aging loved one more comfortable?

A: Many family members simply don’t want to have a family member bathe or shower them, especially members of the opposite sex. Seniors may prefer home care providers, hired professionals with experience in caring or aging adults. Home care providers can efficiently and compassionately assist seniors in bathing or showering. Their businesslike attitude and unemotional attachment to the aging adult may make the senior feel more comfortable about the whole process. If you and your loved one simply can’t make showering and bathing work, it’s a good idea to consider a home care provider to take over.

If you are considering caregivers in Leesburg, VA, for an elderly loved one, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers Home Care in Leesburg. (703) 297-4642.