What to Do if a Senior Loved One Won’t Bathe

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Providing care for an aging loved one comes with many responsibilities. While some of these are enjoyable, such as sharing mealtimes, others can be a little more challenging. If bathing has become a difficult topic in your family, here are some strategies to get your senior relative comfortable with his or her personal hygiene routine. 

Ask Open-Ended Questions

One of the first steps toward getting your loved one to bathe is identifying the underlying reasons for the sudden refusal. Begin by choosing a time when your parent is comfortable and ask questions about the experience. For example, you might ask what your loved one liked or didn’t like about the last bath. Often, this conversation will yield clues about how to further proceed. 

Avoid Trying to Take Control

Seniors sometimes fear losing their independence, and it’s possible your loved one is using this daily task as a way to assert control. When your parent refuses to bathe, try to remain calm and present alternatives. Having a third party talk about the importance of bathing could help. For example, a doctor could explain the importance of keeping your loved one’s skin clean to avoid infections. 

Some older adults may require assistance with daily tasks such as bathing. If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Green Valley, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Embrace In-Home Care, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more.

Make Bathing Comfortable

Seniors frequently encounter challenges with bathing and may worry about slipping and falling. Installing grab bars and other accessibility devices can make it easier to get in and out of the tub. Creating a relaxing ambience can also help. Make sure to set the water temperature to a comfortable level, and play your loved one’s favorite music at bath time to make it feel more like a spa experience. 

Some seniors need encouragement to maintain their personal hygiene. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Embrace In-Home Care, a leading provider of homecare services. Embrace In-Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Offer Options

Instead of focusing on trying to get your loved one to bathe, present choices for the next bath time. If your loved one needs assistance, you could ask if he or she would prefer you to do it or get help from someone else, such as a professional caregiver, so he or she has more privacy. Offering a choice of soaps, favorite towels, and other bath luxuries can also make bathing more enticing for your loved one. 

If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Embrace In-Home Care, a trusted provider of Green Valley senior care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your parent, give us a call at (520) 625-2050 today. 


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