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Why Isn't Your Elderly Loved One Bathing Anymore?

By Ketan Shah

It can be very disturbing to have your loved one seem to give up bathing completely. Understanding why she's making that choice can help you to find a solution that works for her.

She's Depressed

Depression can steal your elderly loved one's desire to engage in her normal activities. Your loved one might experience depression for a wide range of reasons, so it's best to talk with her doctor to help her. She may require medication or other treatments in order to help her through this difficult condition.

She's Afraid of the Tub or Shower

It's not uncommon for elderly loved ones to find that they are afraid of the tub or shower, which causes them to forego bathing. Your loved one might not want your help, either, making the situation even more difficult. Using assistive devices for bathing, such as a shower bench, can make the task much easier and eliminate fear for your loved one. Another option, especially if your loved one is uncomfortable with your help during bathing, is to hire experienced elderly care providers.

She Doesn't Realize She Needs to Bathe

As your loved one ages, she can also start to lose some of her senses. One of these, her sense of smell, might fool her into believing that she really doesn't need to take a bath at all. Other people around her might have a different point of view, however. Convincing your loved one that she does need to bathe can be extremely difficult if she doesn't believe you, however. One trick you can use is to keep a calendar where you track bath days for her so she can easily spot when she last bathed.

She's Exerting Some Control of Her Own

Bathing, or not bathing, may be one of the only ways that your loved one feels that she can exert some control of her own over her life. If that's the case, you're not likely to be able to convince her that it's time to take a bath or a shower. The best that you can do is to offer to help her and to keep trying.

Your loved one likely isn't giving up bathing for no reason at all, even if it's not one of these. Work with her doctor to figure out what is actually going on.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring elderly care in Mountain View, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.