newcomer Asked June 2012

What happens when a female caregiver is required to bathe a male elder?

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does a female caregiver required to give baths to male clients that are amblitory curious of guidelins of bathing clients of opposite sex and is able to get around when clients are drinking

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EXPERT Cindy Laverty Jun 2012
Like with many things in caregiving, you do this delicately and respectfully. You have to disassociate any gender role and explain that you are just going to assist with the bath. In the hospital baths are generally given by females and thus it is in a home setting. There is no male/female dynamic. It's a bath and part of the daily routine. It's the same thing with assisting a male to the bathroom. It has to be done and therefore you just do it. Taking of personal hygiene issues is part of the job and as long as you do it with dignity, there should be no problem.
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aberry Jun 2012
I had to do this with my father in law...I just explained that at the time I was doing anythiing like this to him, that I was a nurse/caregiver..not his daughter in law. (I am a nurse). Once he agreed, we had no problem..I would announce that nurse alice was got to do this or that.....it kinda became a game with him since he had dementia, it made it fun for us both
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As a nurse, I cath, bath, give enemas to males paients all the time. As a daughter and one of my dad's caregivers I do the same for him. No matter th sex of my patient or the relationship with them (daughter or nurse assigned to a patient) I always show eash person the dignity and respect that. Hope would be afforded to me.
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Female doctors, nurses , techs, nursing aides, and others who care for males should treat them no differently than a female. As a woman, I have been cared for by male doctors, nurses, techs, and nursing aides who have tended my genitals in some way. I tended my own father and grandfather and I helped my husband tend to his mother. I remember how sweetly she told him one day that he should not be nervous or ashamed doing it because he was helping her when she needed him just as she did for him when he was little and he was fine with it.

If the person is drinking, talk to your supervisor about this (I presume when you say client that this is not a relative) if the client is inappropriate with you in any way. You do not deserve to be mistreated. If the person is ambulatory, you can supervise him in the shower or tub to be sure he washes properly without touching him and maybe soap up the washcloth saying "It's time to clean off your privates."
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marg716 Jun 2012
It's difficult to maintain a therapeutic rapport at first. But a nurse/ caregiver/ daughter/ wife will do what needs to be done. I have recently had to begin assisting my father with his bathing. He has always been a very private person, so it is still awkward. But we are getting there, and I think he appreciates the help. And then he doesn't remember afterwards. You do what you have to. You see a need and meet it.
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Careful Jun 2012
I told my dad that he would do the same for me if need be and that this is what women do...we caretake!
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nailnelly Jun 2012
If the caregiver is experience their should not be a problem with bathing, or showering..
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momsie Jun 2012
It's good to plan, maybe even write out the steps of bathing, explain the process to the patient, keep him/her as covered as possible, for modesty as well as warmth, during the procedure. The patient can be encouraged to wash his/her own face and own genitals. Keep explaining, include the patient in planning clothing to wear, need for lotion on dry skin , etc.
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nailnelly Jun 2012
Sometimes you have client's that are unable to bathe them selves.If they are unable to do so help them much as possible if needed...
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lildeb Jun 2012
I understand that you need to do what needs to be done however, if someone is having a nip or two or three I say forget it! Not having no lawsuit on my hands if he falls because he was too rum-dumb from the kool-aide. Even if it was my dad n if he was drinking too for it is just too dangerous n especially if they have trouble with stablizing themselves. You r a lot better than I.
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