Making Bath Time Safe and Stress-Free

If you have to help a loved one with a bathing routine, you know this is an intensely private experience. It may be difficult for your loved one to accept help, and he or she may feel frustrated or embarrassed that help is even needed in the first place. It also can be a very physically demanding process. Here are a few tricks to make bath time a smooth and stress-free experience for you and your loved one:

Before

-Get your supplies ready: soap, shampoo, towels, washcloths

-Get the bathroom as warm as possible.

-Playing soft music may relax your loved one.

-Make sure the bath water is warm. Be sure to test the water before your loved one gets in.

-Have the water ready before bringing your loved one into the bathroom.

During

-Be gentle and respectful. Tell your loved one what you are going to do, step by step.

-Allow your loved one to do as much as possible. This can protect the person’s dignity and sense of control.

-Place a towel over your loved one’s shoulders or lap to make him or her feel less exposed. Use a sponge or washcloth to clean underneath the towel.

-If your loved one begins to get upset, distract him or her with conversation. Natural and relaxed conversation can redirect your loved one’s attention.

-Giving your loved one a wash cloth to hold during the bath will lessen the likelihood of him or her trying to hit you.

After

-Have a towel waiting and ready for when your loved one comes out of the tub. This will help keep them from getting cold and will protect their modesty.

-Completely dry your loved one by patting them with a towel to prevent rashes or infections. Pay special attention to areas that need extra help getting completely dry, such as between the toes and genitals.

General Tips

-Never leave a frail or confused loved one alone in the tub or shower.

-Equip your tub with a rubber bath mat and safety rails.

-Stick with lifelong routines as much as possible: if your loved one always took a shower at night, continue with the nightly personal care routine.

-A shower chair can help provide support and prevent falls if your loved one is unsteady.

-Don’t use bath oil. It can make the tub slippery and cause urinary tract infections.

-A sponge bath may be more appropriate if bathing becomes too dangerous for your loved one.

-Get professional help if bathing becomes too hard for you to do on your own. Care to Continue® helps clients with bathing routines all the time!