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How Can You Help Your Senior Maintain Independence with Bathing?Losing independence can be extremely difficult for an aging adult. No matter what challenges are leading them to have difficulty managing their own needs, when they feel as though they are not as independent as they once were, your senior is likely to experience depression, anxiety, and loss of motivation. This can greatly diminish their quality of life. This is particularly true when it comes to their personal care needs, such as bathing. Your senior is accustomed to taking care of themselves and their body on their own, and when they are dealing with challenges these sensitive and previously private needs can become too difficult for them to handle on their own. This can lead to embarrassment and discomfort. As their family caregiver, you can help them to feel more independent and maintain a better sense of self as they age.

Some ways you can help your parent maintain independence with bathing include:

  • Equip their bathroom for safety. This includes making sure there are grab bars positioned throughout the space and putting down towels to reduce slipperiness as your parent moves through the room
  • Use bath steps to help your parent get into and out of the bath more comfortably and easily
  • Install a handheld shower head so your parent can wet their body and rinse it without having to reach, bend, or twist
  • Wash body parts they cannot reach for them, and then allow them to rinse themselves
  • Talk them through washing themselves if they are dealing with cognitive functioning decline and might not remember the process. Give them clear instructions for what to wash and how, and then how to rinse
  • Make sure they have tools that make the bathing process easier, such as a sponge with a long handle to wash their back
  • Don’t rush them. Set aside as much time as your parent needs so they can take their time and bathe at the pace they can manage

Starting home care for your aging parent is not about taking away their independence, or trying to overly manage their life. Instead, introducing an in-home senior care services provider as a part of your parent’s care routine is actually a way to help them maintain more independence, and enjoy a higher quality of life. This type of care provider offers support and assistance is specifically tailored to your aging loved one. This means they are able to receive the exact services that are right for their challenges and needs on a schedule that fits them, and you. With this type of care, your aging parent doesn’t always have to rely on you to do the things they need and want to do. Instead, they can take on more of their own errands, handle task throughout their home on their own pace, take care of themselves, and enjoy a more active lifestyle on their own terms.