For many aging adults, one of the first serious difficulties they face involves mobility. Arthritis, loss of flexibility and range of motion, dizziness, and other problems can make it more difficult for your aging parent to navigate their home and manage daily tasks. One such daily task is bathing. Difficulty bathing independently often occurs even among elderly adults who do not have other challenges, or are largely independent. This can lead to stress, anxiety, and embarrassment, which can be difficult for both your aging parent and for you. As their family caregiver, it is important to find ways to help your parent cope with these challenges and manage their needs properly. Helping them to maintain their modesty while you help them bathe can be a fantastic way to reduce stress and preserve your senior’s sense of independence and self-esteem. This is particularly important for an elderly adult who has always been very modest, or who may be uncomfortable accepting this type of help from their adult child.
Some ways you can help your parent maintain their modesty while helping them bathe include:
- Provide a bathrobe so your parent can undress on their own and put on a robe. If they are unable to undress themselves, encourage them to put the robe on over their clothes, then remove their clothing from underneath.
- Encourage your parent to wrap themselves in a towel and remain wrapped during their bath or shower. This allows them to reveal one body part at a time for bathing, and still feel covered.
- Allow your parent to wear a bathing suit top for the majority of the bath or shower.
- Wear a scrub glove or rubber gloves rather than touching your parent with your bare hand.
- Go as quickly as you can while still bathing them as thoroughly as they need. Avoid lingering or getting distracted.
- Help your parent bathe themselves as much as they can.
- Consider reaching around the shower curtain to bathe your parent so they feel shielded.
- Tell your parent each thing you are going to do so they can feel prepared.
Making home care a part of your senior’s life is not just about fulfilling their needs and enhancing their quality of life. While the personalized services of this type of care provider will certainly accomplish this, you should not overlook the benefits it can have for you. An in-home senior care services provider can be there for your parent to ensure they always have access to the care they need. This means giving you flexibility and time in your schedule, and reducing the stress you might feel when thinking about filling all of your parent’s care needs while also managing your other obligations and responsibilities. This enables you to focus your energy, attention, and resources in the most effective and meaningful ways both for your aging parent and for you.