What do you do when an elderly person refuses to bathe or shower?
Older people sometimes become reluctant to bathe or take a shower. This is just something that many people who work in aged care have learned to deal with in many ways. Even those who were once very conscious of their appearance can become lax about bathing.
How do I get my elderly relative to bathe or shower?
There can be any number of reasons that older people might ‘give up’ on their personal hygiene. often older people, especially those with dementia, may be afraid of taking a shower. Seniors may be afraid of falling, or they may think their care taker is trying to hurt them. Care takers can try to alleviate this by creating a relaxing, warm atmosphere in the bathroom. It is important to make showering as easy and safe as possible. We recommend bathing in a walk-in tub using a hand-held shower head. Additionally, make sure there are grab bars in place, and non-slip surfaces on the floor.
The elderly person’s senses can become dull.
If they are beginning to smell, they may not notice. Often older people may forget they haven’t showered recently. Mark on a calendar when showers or baths should be taken. Seniors may be reluctant to take a shower because of modesty or shyness. Older people might feel uncomfortable about undressing in front of another person. Bathing does have health benefits. It helps older people avoid skin tears and infections. As long as the person is hygienic enough that they remain healthy, it may be okay to let showering slip from time to time. It is recommended to shower at least twice a week.