As a family caregiver it is likely that you have considered the potential risks and dangers that your elderly parent might face when handling personal care tasks or activities of daily living such as bathing. While you might immediately think of the risks of slipping and falling, it is important that you do not overlook the potential for another serious danger, which is burns. The water in the average home can result in scalding, and for many elderly adults, limitations and challenges such as neuropathy and cognitive functioning decline can result in burns that put your parent at increased risk for infection and other damage.
Use these tips to help protect your parent from burns during baths:
- Lower the setting on their hot water heater. Experts recommend setting the water at 120 degrees to not only protect against burns, but also to reduce energy usage.
- Clearly mark which handle will produce hot water from the faucet. This will help reduce the chances your parent will accidentally turn the hot water on by accident.
- Check the water temperature carefully before your parent gets into the bath or shower. Remember that the water on the top will be warmer than the water on the bottom, so measure the temperature close to the top of the tub.
- Pay close attention to your parent’s skin while they are bathing. If it appears to be reddened or otherwise changed, the water is likely too hot and needs to be lowered.
- Consider using a faucet cover for while your parent bathes. Once the tub is full, placing a faucet cover over the faucet will reduce the flow of the water to a very small stream, reducing the risk that your parent will experience a serious burn before the water can be turned off.
Starting senior care for your aging parent can be one of the best decisions that you make for them throughout the course of your caregiver journey with them. A senior home care services provider can be with your aging loved one on a fully customized schedule that ensures that they have access to the care, support, assistance, and companionship that they need to manage their individual challenges, needs, and limitations. This not only helps your senior manage these issues in the way that is right for them, but also supports a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, fulfilling, and independent as possible as they age in place. This can include safe and reliable transportation to where your parent needs and wants to go, physical assistance for mobility issues, help with personal care needs and the fulfillment of activities of daily living, medication reminders to help them stay compliant, and companionship to boost mental and emotional health and help them enjoy this chapter of their life as much as possible.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Ewing, 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.
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