It can be a stunning realization for you as your senior’s caregiver to notice that she’s stopped bathing or showering. Whatever the reason, you might not get a straight answer when you first ask. You might need to dig a little deeper and see if you can determine what is at play in this situation so you can find a solution that works.
She’s Depressed or Otherwise Upset
Depression takes a lot out of someone and it’s entirely possible that your elderly family member is experiencing some degree of depression. Her life is changing in ways that you may not fully understand and that takes a toll. Another aspect to consider is that some of those changes could have her so upset that refusing to bathe is a way to express some form of control over her life.
Her Senses Are Misleading Her
Many aging adults find that later in life their senses start to change. With cognitive changes, your elderly family member may lose whatever sense of time she had. Other senses, like her sense of smell, might convince her that she’s clean already, so why take a bath? These senses are lying to her, but she doesn’t quite realize that.
She Feels Unsafe
If your elderly family member is unsteady on her feet or if she’s developed a fear of falling in the shower, she’s going to start avoiding the shower. She may try bathing in other ways, but those can be equally unsafe for her. Bathing out of the sink could be just as dangerous if her balance is off. Look for ways to make the bathroom as safe as possible by installing grab bars and including devices such as shower chairs.
For almost her entire life, your elderly family member has been able to take care of these very personal tasks on her own. Now she’s having to rely on help from you and from other people and that can be incredibly embarrassing. It might also be embarrassing to need help from you, in particular.
Bathing is a vulnerable time for your aging family member. Make the experience as happy and as safe for her as you possibly can. Senior care providers can help you to learn how to do just that and, if your elderly family member is open to the idea, they can help her with bathing. Sometimes you’re too close to the situation for her.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care Tahoka, TX, please contact the caring staff at Best In-Home Care (806) 412-0723.
Excerpt: If your senior has sworn off bathing, that’s a big problem in terms of both personal hygiene and overall health.