Steps to Take If a Parent Refuses to Bathe

What to Do If Your Loved One Refuses to Bathe

By , 9:00 am on

Many seniors refuse to bathe due to the onset of dementia, fears about safety, a lack of interest, or other issues. Bathing is an important part of personal hygiene, so it’s important to find a way to help your senior loved one overcome this issue. If your loved one is refusing to bathe, consider taking the following steps.

Discuss the Situation

The first thing you need to do is sit down and have a talk with your loved one. Try to discover the underlying cause of the refusal to bathe and see if there is anything you can do to fix it. If your loved one’s reasons for not bathing seem illogical or irrational, it may be a sign something is wrong. Your loved one may be feeling depressed, or he or she may be in the early stages of dementia. It’s a good idea to discuss going to the doctor for a quick checkup.

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Winnipeg seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Be Encouraging Instead of Demanding

Many caregivers react to a senior loved one’s refusal to bathe by getting demanding. They may insist their loved one has to take a bath, try to physically take him or her into the bathroom, or constantly nag about bathing. Instead of being demanding, try to maintain a positive and supportive tone whenever you’re talking to your loved one.

Upgrade the Shower or Tub

In many cases, seniors refuse to bathe because they are scared about falling or they experience pain and discomfort in the shower. A few quick upgrades can make the bathroom a safe place for your loved one. If necessary, install a tub your loved one can walk into instead of climbing into. Things like grab bars and shower chairs can also address safety concerns and make it easier to shower.

Provide Privacy and Independence

Many seniors still need privacy regardless of mental or physical issues. Try to be understanding and help your loved one use a towel or gown to remain covered in the bath. Seniors with mental health conditions tend to do better when you provide them with some independence. Being able to make the choice between a bath and a shower or choose when to bathe may help your loved one feel like he or she still has power.

Aging adults who need help managing daily tasks independently should consider professional in-home care. In Winnipeg, senior home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Find Alternatives

If all else fails, it’s still important for your loved one to remain clean. You can try a sponge bath alternative instead, which involves your loved one sitting or lying down while you clean him or her up with a bowl of water and a sponge. A sponge bath may be effective at promoting cleanliness without upsetting your loved one.

From bathing to preparing meals, seniors may need help with an array of activities. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Winnipeg, MB, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging parent, give us a call at (204) 489 6000 today.

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