"If you could just get mom to take a bath."
My friend from church had been visiting her sister in another state, and her sister was exhausted. Their once fastidious mother, now overwhelmed by dementia and age, resisted bathtime with the same sternness that she had once reserved for finding her daughters jumping on the bed. After her sister left for a day to herself, my friend brought up the subject. "Mama, I think it's time for your bath." "No." Her voice was sweet, but firm. "I don't need a bath." Battle was on. By the end of the day, the task had been accomplished. Mom was fresh and clean, and sister was almost tearful with relief. My friend's eyes were opened to the enormous task, which had involved getting her husband's help lifting her mother out of the tub, who was adamant that "He will NOT come in here!" As I listened to my friend's story, I wished for all their sakes that her mom and sister could have had a resource like Cura. At Cura for Care, we understand that taking a bath can be a daunting experience with safety and privacy concerns. Suddenly the parent who was so concerned with how clean your ears were is determined you shall not talk her into bathing by any means. At Cura for Care, we equip our care partners with proven methods to assist seniors and individuals living with memory loss who develop a fear of the unknown or fall-hazardous situations including bathing. Here are a few of our recommendations for conquering bathtime and personal hygiene:
1. Make use of every convenience you can to get the job done.
In case you've not equipped the bathroom with safety bars, non-slip mats, and even replaced the bathtub with a walk-in version, there's no better time than now. The sooner you can eliminate fear of falling, the more likely you are to avoid building tension between you and your loved one. Cura for Care provides no cost safe-home inspections.
2. Make bathtime a pleasure & plan ahead.
A set routine and planning ahead is your best ally. Let your loved one look forward to beautiful sights and smells, maybe some relaxing music, appropriate lighting, and a bath chair. Start with the water running, they can hear, feel, and sense the shower from a distance. Tell them what you plan to do, include every detail. Finish with a luxurious lotion rub and gentle foot rub, followed by warm socks. Try to condition your loved one to expect a wonderful feeling to come as a result, so next bathtime won't be so difficult.
3. Enlist help.
Most of us would cringe at the idea of a friend or loved one giving us a bath, especially if it were a difficult task requiring heavy lifting (which it probably will). Few of us, however, are averse to the idea of a professional assisting us when we're weak.
4. A Case Study
Cura received a call from (we'll call her Patty) Patty’s daughter. She mentioned that her mother was fighting with her caregiver, locked her arms and said, “I'm not doing anything you say." She had not showered in over a week. Everyone was stressed and the tension in the home was high. The next day Rhonda, a caregiver from Cura for Care, visited with Patty. That evening we received a call from the daughter. “Mom was showered, her hair was washed and set, clean clothes, her nails were freshly painted and most of all, Mom was happy and cheerful.”
What's so beautiful about living at home is that, with the occasional assistance of a professional caregiver like Cura for Care provides, aging adults can enjoy their golden years at home, under the oversight of their children or loved ones, and only enlist professional help for specific times like bathtime. From a few hours a day, to 24x7 care, Cura for Care is here to provide assistance when needed. There is never a charge for a free consultation.
If you'd like more information how we could help you or your loved one with this or a host of other services, please contact us here. We are happy to provide a no-cost, no obligation consultation with a Cura for Care supervisor, trained and skilled in assisting seniors, individuals and families recovering from hospitalization, or living with memory loss.
At Cura for Care, our care partners are trained in overcoming resistance and creating a healthy, happy, safe, and active lifestyle at home. You can watch our videos online or call for a no-cost, no obligation consultation with our CEO, Moises at 615 522-5265. Call us today!