Share this Post:

In caring for a loved one it can be extremely stressful when they begin to have behavioral issues and refuse to bath. There are practical tips that caregivers can use when this happens:

    1. Try to determine why they won’t bath. Is it a fear of falling? It it because they get too cold when bathing? Is it due to memory loss and they think they have already bathed?
    2. Even if you are unable to determine the “why” of not bathing you can follow these tips to help;
    • Establish a routine, same day of the week, same time of the day. Post signs as reminder of bath day throughout the house. Don’t worry about the frequency of bathing. Once or twice a week can be fine for most individuals unless there is incontinence issues.
    • Make sure the bathroom is warm enough for the person. Put towels in the dryer prior to bath time to warm them for your loved one.
    • Use a shower chair in the bath area. Consult with a professional nurse or therapist as to the right kind of chair to use. There are many different kinds of tub or shower chairs on the market.
    • Try to have the bathroom completely prepared prior to bathing. Have all supplies ready and in arms length for safety purposes. Never leave your loved one alone. One of highest area for falls in the elderly is in the bathroom.
    • Stay positive and never reprimand your loved one. It is important not to humiliate and yell at them to bathe. Instead just run the water and let them know it’s time to get their day started. Lead them into the bathroom and give them step by step instructions of what to do.
    • Sometimes it is easier to hire a professional aide to bath your loved one instead of having family do it. This reduces stress in the home and professionals have other techniques they can use.
    • For families who are unsure of how to bath a love done, come into our direct care lab and one of our staff can instruct you on the right way to bath your loved one. For more information about care for a love one call Family Caregivers Network at 215-541-9030