While forgetting to bathe can be a sign of cognitive difficulties, it can have several causes. Aging adults often experience a diminished sense of smell, for instance, which can lead them to believe that a bath isn’t necessary. Here are some ways to help remind your elderly family member that baths are important.
Make a Bath Calendar
Calendars can be extremely helpful in keeping your senior aware of time and what day it is. You can set up a specific calendar just for bathing, too. Make sure that you mark days that she’s had a bath or shower and map out an “ideal” schedule for bathing. For your elderly family member that might be an every other day scenario rather than every day.
Setting alarms can be helpful when your elderly family member knows that it’s time to bathe, but isn’t excited about the prospect. Let her know that she has until a certain time to mentally prepare and then when the alarm goes off, then it’s bath time. This can help her to get into the right frame of mind, especially if you let her pick the time for the alarm.
Give Her Choices
Giving your senior choices in these sorts of situations can be extremely helpful because they let her feel a little bit more in control of what is happening around her. Your senior family member feels more a part of the discussion and decision-making process rather than having all sorts of decisions made around her.
One tactic that you do want to avoid is nagging your elderly family member. If she starts to feel as if you’re endlessly nagging her, she might just dig in her heels even more. Since that’s the last response you want to inspire, try to make sure that you’re approaching the topic gently and giving her time to come to the right decision.
Get Some Help with Bathing
Something that you might not have considered is how embarrassing your elderly family member might find it if she needs help while she’s in the tub. This fact alone can make bathing feel intrusive and like something that she never wants to do. Home care providers are adept at helping your senior to feel at ease, even during a situation that feels so exposed.
You might find that you need a combination of different solutions to help your senior to stay on track with regular bathing. Give a few possible options a try and then stick with what seems to work for her.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care services in Toms River, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.