It’s a weird sensation to be on the other side of the bath time argument with your aging adult. There may have been a time when she was the one insisting that you needed to get into the tub. So why is it a problem for her now?
Determine the Cause for This Shift in Thinking
This type of shift doesn’t happen overnight usually and it also doesn’t happen without some reason. Sit down with your elderly family member and see if she can articulate what makes her uncomfortable now about bathing. She may be able to give you some information that you can use to formulate a solution right then.
Talk to Her Doctor, if Necessary
Sometimes your senior may not understand what it is about bathing that is making her uncomfortable. At that point, you might need to talk with her doctor about what types of situations could be causing the issue. You can go from there with an attempt to resolve the problem.
Set up Some Workarounds
The most common concern for your senior is most likely safety in general. Being naked in the tub or the shower is an incredibly vulnerable feeling and it might be too much for your elderly family member at this stage of her life. If she’s worried about falling, install grab bars and non-slip tub grips. If her balance is not so good lately, try a shower chair. Showers may be scarier than baths, so it could be time to switch to baths.
Get Some Help in Place
Your senior may have waited to tell you how she was feeling because she is nervous about you seeing her this vulnerable. Oddly enough, hiring elderly care providers to help with bathing and dressing can actually make the situation better because they’re not you. Your elderly family member can relax and get through the process with a little less embarrassment.
Set up a Schedule for Bathing and Stick to It
If your elderly family member hates bathing now, she’s likely avoiding it as much as possible. This is why having a schedule helps. When it’s a bath or shower day, your senior knows it has to happen. Days that aren’t a bath or shower day are days that she doesn’t have to worry about facing up to her discomfort. Having a routine can make the situation so much easier for both of you.
The fact that bathing is becoming a problem for your elderly family member is a sign that other changes may also be taking place. Make sure that you’re paying attention to what your senior is telling you as well as what she’s not mentioning out loud. Her doctor can help you decode what’s going on.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Plainsboro, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.