Community Blog

Why Is Your Loved One Resistant to Bathing and Other Daily Activities?

By Denise Roskamp

Home Care in Weston MA

If your elderly loved one is suddenly having difficulty following her regular bathing and grooming routine, one or more of these reasons could be contributing factors.

She Feels Confused about What Is Going On

Your loved one may become confused or even afraid about the grooming process and that can cause her to freeze up or to resist bathing. This is especially true if your loved one is in the early stages of dementia. She may suddenly find herself unable to understand what it is that you're doing. Try letting her know before you do something what you're doing and break the even down into steps. For example, "Now we're going to brush your teeth. Let's grab the toothbrush."

She Feels Rushed through the Routine

If your loved one feels that she's being hurried at all, she may develop a "deer in headlights" response. This can happen even if you're not trying to rush your loved one. The best way to handle this response is to make sure that you allow your loved one plenty of time for each task. You can prompt your loved one if she seems to have forgotten what she's doing, but try to avoid any sense that you're trying to hurry her up.

She Feels Out of Control in General

A feeling of being out of control in most areas of her life can prompt your loved one to strive for control in other areas of life. One of the easiest things for your loved one to exert control over is her own grooming and bathing habits. Even if she really does want to bathe, she may resist simply because it gives her that feeling of being in charge of something. If control is an issue for your loved one, find other ways for her to be in charge. Help her to have choices and decisions, even if they're smaller ones throughout the day.

She's Uncomfortable Accepting Help

Another reason your loved one might resist grooming and bathing could come down to the fact that she's uncomfortable accepting help with such personal activities. Adapting how you approach bathing and grooming activities can help somewhat. Try using a towel or large washcloth in the shower or tub, for example, as a covering. Try different ideas to find a combination that works for your loved one.

Talk to your loved one about what can help her to move past these issues. It's possible that having home care providers helping with personal care tasks is what she needs.

IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOME CARE IN WESTON, MA, PLEASE CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT HOME HELPERS TODAY. CALL NOW (508) 545-0164.