Have you started to notice that your elderly family member is putting off bathing? If you have, you might be wondering if you or their elderly care aides need to step in and encourage her to bathe more often. There are a lot of reasons your senior might put off bathing, ranging from fear of falling to forgetting when she last had a shower. She may also really believe that she doesn’t need to bathe, especially if her sense of smell isn’t functioning as well as it used to.
Maybe Not as Often as You Think
If you’re insisting that your elderly family member should bathe every single day, you might be a little off. As your senior gets older, baths and showers are not as necessary as they once might have been. Your senior’s skin is a little different now than in the past, especially as oil production slows down.
What Does She Do During a Typical Day?
The big question is what is your senior doing during a typical day? If she’s engaging in strenuous, active tasks, like gardening for hours, that cause her to sweat a lot, she might need a bath or shower more often. On the other hand, if she’s not quite that active, she maybe doesn’t have as much to worry about.
She May Resist Bathing Because it’s Difficult
There’s definitely a concern about hygiene, especially if your elderly family member has incontinence issues, but that can easily be resolved with sponge bathing. What you really need to know is whether your senior is finding it difficult, painful, or otherwise problematic to bathe on her own. If so, there are solutions, including hiring elderly care providers to help her to bathe.
Weigh Whether the Issue Is Worth a Fight
In the end, you need to ask yourself whether you need to really make this a battle with your senior or not. If she’s particularly resistant to bathing at all, you may need to talk to her doctor. That can help both of you to determine how big an issue this is. But if her doctor feels this isn’t that big a concern, you may need to be prepared to take a wait and see approach.
Elderly care providers can help with other tasks beyond bathing, too. To help your senior to get accustomed to the idea of having help, they may want to assist with other things before you introduce bathing into the mix.