Is it OK to take sponge baths over showering?

Asked by

My MIL, 94, lives alone, we just found out is not taking showers but is giving her self some kind of spong baths. I'm not sure if she is washing her hair any longer. I have to say she doesn't smell bad. She has both a tub and a walk in shower. She does have hammer toes and we are a bit worried that she is really not taking care of her feet. Mind you this is the MIL who will not take the meds for her breast cancer. I'm wondering if I should be concerned that she is only doing spong baths and not taking showers?

Answers 1 to 5 of 5
Yes, Sponge baths are not showers or baths. She needs many ways.
My mother-in-law hadn't taken a shower in a LONG time, she did what we called the p.t.a. method (pits, tits, a**) and she didn't smell bad either. Found out, for her at least, she was afraid she'd fall in the bathtub. So my husband and I removed the shower door, put up a shower curtain, put in the shower wand and got her a shower chair. The chair straddled the tub rim so she could sit on the toilet and slide herself right into the bathtub. Oh my gosh she dug her heels in and wouldn't try it at first. I had to really talk to her about trying it fully clothed at first to get used to the idea, which she did. She told me later how much she loved taking a shower again, so the fighting with her was way worth it. She still didn't wash her hair in the shower cause she didn't like the water and shampoo in her eyes though. So I started going to her house once a week and washing her hair in the kitchen sink. My father-in-law used to wash her hair in the sink all the time, so she was used to it. Her feet are also gnarly and needed attention too, so before she started with the showering, my sister-in-law would go over and soak m-i-l's feet in a foot bath thing and wash them. I did her head, but sis did the feet. I wasn't brave enough to have to look at those gnarly old feet!! ha
It sounds to me as if your MIL needs a female aide to come in 3 hours a day, not only to help with the showering but the meds! Once your MIL gets attached to the aide, if she is like my Mother, she will take the meds given to her. Good luck!!!
I'm asking a question for myself. I have Parkinsons (12 yrs) and my balance and walking are not good !! I would feel more secure with a walk-in shower instead of stepping over the side of the tub, of which I have fallen a couple of times due to not getting my foot high enough. However,, where can I find financial aid to help with thiis project? My resources won't accomodate a major remodeling like this. Where can I find some help?????????

First, I do want to say to anyone reading this that some aids can be obtained through Medicare or supplemental insurance. So, I would always start with them if we were talking about just something like a bath chair. But I wonder if they could recommend ways to get remodeling help.

However, I wonder if checking with your state for a state program might provide more results.

But the more I think about this, I think you should contact your closest senior center. See if anyone there deals with local programs for your city or county. Or, if they have any discount program through local businesses for this. Even if the program does end up being for the state or country, they might still be able to give you some direction.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support