9 Strategies to Get Grandma to Take a Bath - Senior Alert Medical

9 Strategies to Get Grandma to Take a Bath

by Charlie Kimball · 0 comments

From when we’re very young until we’re very old, bathing and self-care is important.  Many of our elderly loved ones take pause before they enter the bathtub or the shower.  There are a number of reasons for this hesitance, including the fear of falling, forgetfulness, and pain.

Washing ourselves off is vital to staying a healthy member of society.  It’s one of the indications that our loved ones can remain independent, rather than having to enter into another living arrangement.  Here are some solutions to encourage our elderly loved ones to bathe once more.

Not Bathing Because of Fear

The elderly fear falling more than the younger because they know that not only do more of their numbers fall, but those falls are more traumatic to the body.  In other words, there is more to lose or break as one becomes older.

That fear can be alleviated by the installation of a few pieces of equipment, such as an elderly medical alert system, hand rails, transfer boards, and more.  Standing up and sitting down can be quite painful sometimes, and there are some folks out there who fear that pain.

Medical Alert System for the Elderly

A medical alert system can be installed for our elderly loved ones as a safety net to help them get into and out of the tub. It’s a communication system, and while it cannot prevent the fall altogether, it can immediately put our loved ones in contact with someone who is able to help.

Installation of Grab Barsgrab bars

Grab bars provide just a bit of help for our loved ones to get into and out of the shower.  By having bars installed in the bathroom, those feared falls can be prevented.

Shower Seating

Shower seating is exactly that: a seat in the shower.  If the elderly person is sitting, there is less of a likelihood that they will fall from moving around in the different positions.  Combine that with a detachable shower head, and the safety increases exponentially.

Not Bathing Because of Forgetfulness

Some of our loved ones might simply be forgetting to bathe, as they might perceive that every day is the same.  They might also see the world as going by in a blur, so one day is as good as a week, or even more.  Time plays funny tricks on people, and sometimes bathing is forgotten in the process.

Write Notes

Notes, when used sparingly, are incredibly effective tools to remind our loved ones that they need to bathe and take care of themselves.  Notes can, however, become completely overused, leading both your elderly charge and you ignoring them because they’re constantly seen.

Bring in a Home Health Provider

This is a more drastic measure, but it might be something to use for a few occasions.  In some cases, the insurance that your elderly loved ones has will provide for a home health provider to give basic services like bathing and other measures.  Having someone called in can trigger a newfound need to bathe.

Ask a Friend

Hopefully, your loved one still has a very strong social network.  With that network, you can ask them to place little subtle hints to your parent to bathe.  This might be seen as embarrassing, but it might also provide a dynamite trigger to your loved one, maybe spur them to do it on their own.

Not Bathing Because of Pain

Our elderly parents might fear the pain just as much as they fear falling, so they avoid the situation altogether.  They might also react to it in the way that they’ll forget about something that they wish to avoid.

Bring the Doctor In On It

Doctors have an incredible amount of knowledge at their disposal, especially ones who have been in geriatric care for a long while.  They might have a series of exercises, medications, or something similar to offer to prevent the pain that happens when bathing.  Bring it to a medical professional’s opinion and see what they say.

Bathe Slowly

While there may be a chance that the entire process is excruciating, there’s also the chance that there are some parts of bathing which aren’t so bad. By pinpointing those, you can reassure your elderly loved one that it’s not so bad, and that bathing is beneficial.  In some cases, the warm water even alleviates the pain.

Look for Alternatives

There might be alternative motions that can be done which still get the work done.  If you’re able to find things which don’t hurt, or you’re able to help in some way, those alternatives might get mom or grandma in touch with her hygiene once more.

The key in all of these solutions is to make sure that your elderly loved one is comfortable enough.  Keep them informed in all of the steps and tell them why you’re doing it.  Fear not only exacerbates pain, but it can trigger accidents and other mishaps that might call for the use of an elderly alert system.  A waterproof fall detection button can also be beneficial.  Take care, and happy bathing.

 For additional information on bathroom fall prevention view our helpful infographic

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