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I have a female health-aide who is married and 60. I am a 62-year-old male. I feel somewhat uncomfortable about her helping me bathe because I need a total left-hip replacement and it is hard for me to stand up in the shower to bathe, she has no problem with it, I just feel uncomfortable about it. What should I do, should I let her help me anyways or what?

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Hello YOUNG man I am a 68 yr old survivor of 4th stage colon cancer, a 4 month coma with a constant 106 degree fever, sepsis... I am a Dr of Hypnotherapy , MS in Psychology & MA Education. I assist many people in need.
I have a great idea!!!! Wear a pair of basketball like shorts, No zippers...10bucks at Walmart. You do the washing of your privates as you sit on a stool!!!! I had to go through that stuff & learn to walk again, button my shirts, put on clothes, tie shoes LOL I am blessed ,Your new Buddy Jack Take care my Friend! God will Help You! & I will 2 IF u Want!
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Reply to DrJackGrenan
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I am surprised that the aide has not recommended a shower chair. Their are many types. If you have a combo tub/shower, there are chairs that go over the side of the tub. You sit on the chair and slide over and slide out. Then there are hand held showers heads (and u can purchase longer hoses than provided) to help you bathe. There are also suction bars you can place on the walls. There are tub bars that fit on the edge of the tub to help getting in and out.

I worked with Visiting Nurses and I was in charge of the durable loan closet. I helped my GF set up her apt bathroom to make things easier for her. Her apt was not handicapped accessible.

First thing I did was get her a shower chair, handheld shower head and a commode. With the commode I took off the back bracket and slid the commode over the toilet. Instead of a bucket, you use a splatter shield. The legs of the commode can be adjusted to fit over the bowl of the toilet. What is great is you have the arms of the commode to help you get up and down and stability with the legs. For her tub, I went to the dollar store and found a plastic cup/toothbrush holder that held her bottle of shampoo/body wash and razors. A soap dish and another cup holder. All with suction cups. I put them where she could reach them sitting down. There are holders for the handheld shower heads so you can have them within reach while sitting. But I took two of those 3M hooks shaped like candycanes, placing them side by side and layed the handle in them within her reach. Those hooks are good for placing wash cloths on. I have seen hooks inside hotel showers hung away from the shower spray so the towel is right there.

Its sounds to me you would have no problem washing yourself if you had a shower chair. Then all you would have to do is wrap a towel around you till you got into the shower. She leaves, you remove it, and bathe yourself. Hope my suggestions help.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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DrBenshir Dec 20, 2020
I am a little concerned that his aid has not suggested this to him. Is she a CNA or GNA? Or just a general household assistant?
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If the aide is a "professional" she will not object at all if you request a male for showering assistance. It is the rare woman indeed who would be comfortable with a male assisting them taking a shower and as such any woman who thinks you should just accept a female aide is applying a double standard. However, double standards is the norm within healthcare when it comes to male patient modesty & dignity vs female patient comfort and dignity. Do not be made to feel guilty. Female patients don't feel guilty asking for female staff for such things. Your comfort is just as valid and important as theirs.
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Reply to BikerBob
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I have worked in the medical field most of my life. I really understand how this is uncomfortable for you. Let me tell you the perspective of your aide. Each person an aide works with is an individual and that is respected. But when it comes to the person’s body one is just like another. I was not an aide, I was in Occupational therapy and helped many, many people with their personal hygiene. We look at the person’s body to do the job but a body is just that and we have to care for it. If you like your aide please try to become more comfortable with her helping you. Aides are paid very little and every person on her case load helps her keep her bills to be paid. And by all means if at all possible get a shower bench and grab bars.
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Reply to Harper121715
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DonnaF777 Dec 20, 2020
absolutely love your advice. Aides are paid very little and if you ask for someone else, there goes her income. All these medical field people are or should be professional. This is what they do... and we... I am one of them, and we think nothing of it actually... the bathing and everything else that needs to be done to "make you feel clean and wonderful". You can talk to your aide about how to best get this done. She just may have some great ideas for you.... shower chair.... grab bars......she may not want to lose this job so "ask her" please ??? Now... if you don't care for this aide, you do need to ask for someone else otherwise, be open to her....ask her advice. She most likely can give you some great advice! The thing is... people think differently and we cannot read your minds. What some people like us to do, others do not so..... speak. Tell her. When my patients have done that to me, I am so relieved because then I know what is on their mind and they are telling me what their needs are. Again... we can't read your minds and what someone likes, someone else does not.
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As caregiver to my 59y/o hubby for the last almost 8 years, I would say the same thing his IHSS rep told my hubby and me.."You (the one receiving the care) are the boss!" And she made sure I heard her too. You are the boss of your aid. Whatever helps your dignity is what matters. You don't feel comfortable with her bathing you, say so, she'll understand. If you want a male to bathe you, say so. If you want to do it yourself, say so. If you want her/him outside while you bathe/shower, say so. The aid is your employee. Not the other way around. Have a happy day!
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Reply to CrazyMamaBear
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John - I understand completely. As a woman, I always prefer female doctors to perform any intimate exams on me. I'd cringe if I had to have a male doctor work on me.

In your situation, your first choice would be to request a male aide on days that you need a bath.

If a male aide is not available, then you only have one choice left, let the female aide helps you bathe. She has no problem and is comfortable helping you. Maybe, after one or two times, you, too, will feel comfortable having her help.

Your choice should never be taking a bath on your own without help, or forgoing baths.

Also, you should really have a shower chair in the tub so you can sit. Don't risk falling, it's dangerous.

Wishing you a speedy recovery, so you can be independent again.
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Reply to polarbear
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Do you have a shower chair? You could sit on the shower chair with a washcloth draped over your lap. She can help you with washing as needed but you can wash your privates. Would that help?
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Reply to CarolineY
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Wear an apron. It works! Tell your aide you are uncomfortable and would prefer to wear an apron. You can wash well underneath it. You can use any apron - a fun one if you like humour, one with a duck on it say, or you can use a modesty apron which you can buy from bathing aids sites.
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Reply to HilaryHilary
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I was a medical assistant and I worked in a family practice. If you need help take it, trust me when I tell you that to the aide it is just part of her job.

I used to have to give injections and I had so many men uncomfortable about showing their rear end. I told them I don’t look at your rear as a whole, just the one upper quadrant I am injecting. They always felt better the next time around.

you will become more comfortable over time. My Dad used to hate getting bathed. He is almost 94 and now his favorite aid is female. If anyone else has to bathe him he will say they don’t give a bath like his regular aid.

good luck with your future surgery
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Reply to Grandmaofeight
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cherokeegrrl54 Dec 20, 2020
As a former MA in oncology and as xray tech and also did physical therapy for a chiropractor, you are so right. I have no qualms about helping someone who needs help. To me its just skin. Most people who have never worked in the medical field don’t understand that we dont look at a patient as a sexual being, but a human being who needs a littl help, bathing, injections, therapy or whatever. Hope you have a blessed holiday. Liz
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I don’t blame you as it’s a natural feeling. I had to care for my elderly father and he needed a great deal of assistance with everything including showers. I’m sure he wasn’t thrilled at first but we both came to accept it as something that had to be done. As his daughter I simply looked at him as the object of my care in the same way I do when I change my grandkids diapers. I think healthcare workers see so many bodies they loose their shyness about it quickly. It’s the object of their care and nothing more. If you understand how your helper looks at it, it may help you feel more comfortable. I think the suggestions about a privacy apron are a good idea too!
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Reply to Dizzerth
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