On behalf of the entire Advantage Home Health Solutions team, we hope you’re enjoying an amazing summer so far! Yes, the season is still in its infancy stages. But the warmth and sunshine are definitely making their presences known. With that said, you may find that it’s necessary to bathe more often. No one likes going to bed feeling sweaty and sticky. If you live with a senior, you may find that it’s necessary to bathe him/her more often too.
Does the older adult in your home need assistance with bathing? If so, you’ll have to put more efforts into ensuring his/her safety during those additional bath times. Here are three tips for helping seniors during bath time:
1. Be communicative.
Don’t assume that you need to do all the work. In many cases, seniors can bathe themselves but just need a little assistance getting in and out of the tub. Remember that a person’s loss of independence often breeds senses of embarrassment, despair and anger. As a result, your calm and understanding approach to providing care is necessary. Be sure to communicate clearly. As San Diego Compassionate Caregivers advises, don’t give your elderly loved ones more assistance than they really need.
“All seniors don’t require the same level of bathing assistance,” stresses their website, “Maybe they can still shampoo their hair, but they need help rinsing it out. Maybe they can still reach some areas of their body, but not others. When bathing an elderly person for the first time, don’t take them at their word about the level of help they need. Instead, talk with a family member or someone else who has already been providing their care.”
2. Use delicate cleansing products.
As San Diego Compassionate Caregivers reminds us, seniors are prone to thin, dry skin. Therefore, it’s best to avoid soaps and shampoos that contain perfumes. Instead, opt for gentle body cleansers that are both hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.
“Never use a cleanser that contains alcohol since it further dries out skin,” insists their site, “Instead, choose one that is moisture rich.”
3. Install grab bars.
It’s one of our favourite pieces of advice! It’s one we’ve given often and we’re committed to continuing to dole it out. Grab bars ensure that your elderly loved one has some stability in the bathroom and in the shower. There is literally no better way to help keep a person with mobility issues upright when he/she is in the bathroom. Don’t expect your towel racks to support anyone’s weight. If the senior in your home needs help with balance, grab bars are practically a must.
“Avoid using towel bars, soap dishes or toilet paper holders to support your loved one’s weight while helping them in and out of the tub,” insists Florida’s 1st In Care, “Instead, purchase some high-quality grab bars from your local durable medical equipment store and install those on the wall in or around the shower or tub. Find a spot for the grab bar(s) that will deliver the most functionality when bathing an elderly parent, and always anchor the grab bars securely into wall studs.”
At Advantage Home Health Solutions, we don’t just offer grab bars, but transfer benches, bath chairs and numerous other bath safety products as well! To learn all about them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!