Tarek was doing a fine job in handling all the duties and responsibilities of being a family caregiver for his aging father. From finances and housekeeping to meal preparation and more, Tarek was definitely busy but seem to have things under control. However, when it came to personal care for his father, Tarek could not get him to comply when it was time for a bath. Tarek tried all kinds of approaches, but his father grew more stubborn. After several disastrous efforts, Tarek was at his wit’s end at how to encourage his elderly father to take regular baths.
Helping an elderly relative shower or bathe can be one of the biggest challenges that family caregivers face. Generational, cultural, societal and personal reasons often make it hard for aging loved ones to accept help from family members when it comes to doing personal care, and it can lead to fights and emotional outbursts that can cause tension in the relationship. However, it’s important for aging adults to have regular baths, so what can family caregivers do?
There are three approaches that family caregivers can take that may ease the troubles surrounding bathing.
1. Only Bathe When Necessary
Most family caregivers struggle to keep their aging relative on a traditional shower schedule that resembles a younger adult and not a sedentary senior. Experts agree that seniors only need to bathe around twice per week. If aging adults are fighting and resisting a daily shower, family caregivers can let that go and work with them on twice-weekly baths. In between, seniors can get a sponge bath to keep everything hygienic.
2. Create a Senior-Friendly Experience
Aging adults often have a hard time standing up on a slippery surface for long periods of time. Family caregivers can make the experience less frightening and more efficient when they create a senior-friendly experience. Examples include putting in a sturdy shower chair and installing a handheld shower head. Grab bars installed in the shower or tub gives seniors stability, too. Lightweight modesty robes keep seniors covered when in the shower and can be quickly pulled aside as needed then replaced. To eliminate cold tiles, family caregivers can run a space heater to make things more comfortable.
3. Use Elderly Care Providers to Help
Often, the best solution is to remove family caregivers completely from the bathing schedule and hire elderly care providers. These professional and experienced assistants know how to work with aging adults in a number of ways, including personal care. Efficient and trained in the fastest and most thorough techniques, elderly care providers can help seniors feel at ease during this personal time. Many aging adults are more comfortable with outsiders than family members, so if the family caregivers and their elderly relatives are not able to make things work, elderly care providers are a fine solution.
When you are in need of care for a senior loved one, consider caregivers provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.