Bathing can be a huge battle between you and your senior, especially if she’s dealing with dementia. Convincing her that bathing is both safe and necessary could mean assessing what you’re doing and what small changes you can make.
Do What You Can to Make the Bathroom Comfortable for Her
When the bathroom is as comfortable for your senior as you can possibly make it, then bathing is more likely to be an enjoyable experience for her. Look at things like what the temperature is like and what types of bath products she enjoys. Consider whether little details could make a difference. For instance, the cozier her towels are, the more welcoming they are after a bath or a shower. Seek out big and small ways to make comfort a major focus.
Break the Entire Task Down
When you look at bathing as just one big task, you’re missing some things that may make a difference to your senior. Break it down and look at bathing as smaller steps. For instance, you’ve got the pre-bathing steps, like gathering your senior’s fresh clothing and all of the items you need for a successful bath or shower. Once you’re ready to tackle the actual bath or shower, there’s undressing comfortably followed by each smaller step in bathing.
Talk to Your Senior about What Could Make Bathing Easier
It’s easy to overlook this answer but talk to your senior. Even if she does have dementia, that doesn’t mean she can’t communicate at least some of her preferences and wants regarding bathing and even other situations. Give her choices when you can. If there are any steps or stages where you find yourself deciding for her, ask yourself first if this is something that you can give her the chance to choose. For example, you might ask her to choose between two towels or two outfits of fresh clothing. Avoid overwhelming her with too much choice but allow her to participate if she’s willing.
Step Aside if You Need To
You may find that you and your senior just can’t see eye to eye about bathing or that she’s still resistant, no matter how many choices you offer. For some seniors, it’s just too difficult to accept help from family members with something as personal as bathing. It might be time to let a caregiver take over for a while. This can reduce stress between you and your senior, which can be incredibly important for both of you.
Bathing doesn’t have to be a fight between you and your senior. Making a few small changes can help to correct that.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in South River, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care today. Call (732) 607-8870.