Helping Your Loved One To Shower: 5 Steps
Your loved one is aging and needs more help than ever. One of the most difficult tasks for older adults to do on their own is showering. It can be a scary experience for them, and they must be comfortable with the process. If you’re wondering how you can help your aging loved one take a shower, read on!
Before You Begin
Before you begin, set up a shower chair. If your loved one cannot sit on a regular chair, they will need an adjustable shower chair that can be raised so they can quickly get into the shower. Remove any obstacles in the bathroom and ensure it’s warm and dry. A wet floor can be slippery and challenging for your loved one to maneuver independently.
Set up a shower curtain or door to protect against water splashing out of the tub or onto the floor when your loved one showers. Also, ensure there is some step stool or other device to help them step into the battery if needed, such as handrails or grab bars arranged along both walls near where they enter and exit from their bathtub/shower area.
Getting Started With The Shower Routine
As you begin to make the shower routine more comfortable, setting the mood is essential. You want your loved one’s experience in the bathroom to be relaxed and calm, so keep things simple. Make sure the water temperature is comfortable, and there are towels available for drying off. If your loved one needs help washing their hair or body, be sure that a bath bench or stool is handy—that way, they can sit while someone else washes them.
Washing The Body
Once you’ve turned on the water, make sure the shower head is at a comfortable height for your loved one. If it’s too high or too low, they may not be able to reach it with their hand—which could mean no showering until you can adjust the settings (or having to get down on hands and knees behind/in front of them).
If you’re helping your elderly loved one wash their face, neck, and chest area in the shower, use a washcloth or sponge instead of trying to do so with their bare hands—it’ll keep them from slipping off of wet surfaces and hurting themselves. A loofah can also be used for exfoliating areas like elbows or knees that are prone to dryness due to lack of movement throughout life.
Preparing To Step Out Of The Shower
Before you step out of the shower, make sure that you have a towel and a change of clothes ready. You should also check to ensure the bathroom is warm enough and that there is no water on the floor.
Ensure your loved one has all the tools they need to finish their showering experience. This includes things like shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap (if your loved one prefers bar soap instead), and toothpaste/toothbrush. If they don’t feel confident using these items independently yet—and sometimes it takes time for people to get used to certain new tasks or routines—then please help them with these items!
After you have helped your loved one get in and out of the shower, it’s time to dry off and dress.
- Give them a hand towel or bath towel to dry their body with. Make sure you don’t use a washcloth or loofah because they can be dangerous if dropped onto the floor.
- Help them put on clothes that are easy for them to put on themselves—such as underwear and pants—and then leave their shirts loose so it is easier for them to button up later in the day if needed.
While showering can be scary for an aging loved one, it doesn’t have to be like this. Taking the right steps when helping someone shower can make it easier for both of you.
We hope these tips help you in caring for your aging loved ones! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. We would love to hear from you!