5 Strategies for Convincing an Elderly Loved One to Bathe


Avoid Being at Odds with Your Elderly Loved One Over Personal Hygiene Issues

Being a caregiver for an elderly loved one is going to pose a number of unique challenges in your life. One of those challenges that some family members face is convincing their loved one to bathe.

There could be a wide range of reasons why a senior refuses to take a shower or get into the bathtub. It could be related to feelings of insecurity or a loss of balance, being uncomfortable receiving assistance in this personal and intimate matter, or a long list of other potential reasons. For those who want to provide the best type of senior care, they know that good personal hygiene is essential.

There are steps you can take to help your aging loved one do the right thing and bathe on a regular basis. Below are five specific strategies that may be able to help in these situations. If the family member doesn’t feel comfortable in providing direct physical assistance to their loved one getting into and out of the shower, or even bathing itself, they may want to consider hiring home care to help out.

  1. Avoid the power struggle. Sometimes people respond to others directing them , especially family members, with resistance. They don’t want to be ‘told what to do.’ Try to avoid this power struggle. Look for other, more subtle ways, to encourage the senior to take a shower. Reverse psychology, such as telling them, “I doesn’t matter to me how you look or smell as long as you don’t mind it,” could help.

  2. Call on help from friends. This means calling on the senior’s friends to either stop by or call them to arrange lunch out. Having the friend suggest that the senior wash up and get ready because they’re going out for lunch or dinner could have the desired effect.

  3. Consider comfort in the shower or tub surround. Using a shower seat or installing grab bars could help to make the elderly individual more comfortable getting into and out of the shower.

  4. Consider lowering your standards. As an active adult you may have significantly higher standards about personal hygiene than the elderly family member at this time. Some seniors may not see the reason to bathe or shower on a daily basis any longer. You might have to accept this, as long as it’s not affecting their personal health and well-being right now.

  5. Consider professional outside assistance. While point number two was talking about relying on a friend of the senior, this one is talking about professional senior care. Experienced caregivers can often provide a comfortable and relaxed environment for the elderly client that will encourage him or her to take a shower when necessary.

If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Home Care in Dallas, TX, Please Call The Caring Staff At Second Family Home Care At (972) 347-0700.

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Owner/Administrator:
Becca Metoyer, Certified Senior Advisor, CSA