Home Care Talk: Bathing
I'm concerned that my mother/father has not bathed lately? How can I tell?
For the answer to this one, I went to a nurse here at Seniors Home Care, Alice Endy. Alice says that this question comes up frequently. Family members are concerned with the hygiene of their loved one, but sometimes feel uncomfortable asking the question.
Alice's SHC Bathing Tip:
Without your loved one knowing, slip into the shower/bath and turn the soap in a way such that when you return, you will know if it has been moved. When you go back the next following days, check to see if the soap has changed at all. If so, chances are, the shower has been used. If not, maybe a diologe on bathing needs to develop. If you need help with starting that discussion, give Alice a call 314-962-2666.
Many times there are other factors to also consider. For instance, is the main bathroom with the shower/tub on the the second floor? If so, and the person you are concerned about has become afraid of stairs, they probably are not making the walk upstairs to bathe. Another factor to consider may be that your loved one might be afraid of falling in the slippery shower and no one is around. This can be overcome by simply making sure someone is in the home during the shower time.
What is the most cost effective way of making a bathroom safe?
There are many bathroom modifications that can be made and ultimately the focus should be safety. Some changes may include moving walls, widening doorways and even a complete remodel of the bathroom. Larger scale projects like these may be required to stay home and can be costly. While these changes may ultimately be required, some smaller, cost effective, changes can come first.
Grab bars can range in price anywhere from $20.00 - $200.00. By installing grab bars in appropriate postitions, a bathroom can go from unusable to safe and secure. And yes, there are attractive options.
*Remember to always use an appropriate professional to install items such as grab bars. The last thing you want is a fall due to a grab bar falling out of the wall.
Keep the Bathroom Floor Clear
Clear the floor of obstacles. Replacing the vanity with a pedestal sink can be a great idea. This will help seniors avoid stubbing toes on the vanity and falling. Since space can be a premium, remove baskets of towels and other items from the floor. If the floor seems dark at night, adding a simple nightlight can allow a senior to properly orient themselves to turn on the light.
All seniors home care clients receive a complimentary in-home assessment. This assessment can highlight areas of improvement to the home and a seniors surroundings. To arrange for an assessment or additional tips on making bathing easier and safe, call the office at 314-962-2666.
Join the Discussion
Seniors Home Care reserves the right to remove anything deemed inappropriate, off-topic or otherwise questionable; however, we have no responsibility to do so.