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they are 87 and 92, both are mentally OK but it is getting harder for them to navigate the tub/shower safely.

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A thorough sponge bath should be a cleansing as getting in a tub or under a shower. All of the skin should be cleaned well. As was mentioned, there are no- rinse products and large wipes available if you want to go that route, but a bowl of warm water and a soft cloth would work. Just dry the areas quickly and keep the person warm as you move along.
Carol
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As everyone has pointed out sponge baths are fine if that is all you they can manage, but being able to really rinse off in a warm shower can be so beneficial if at all possible. Have you installed sturdy grab bars, bought a shower chair (get one with a back), converted to a hand held shower, added no slip strips and bought a gfi bathroom heater? At their age a bath aide once a week might also be helpful and make them less fearful.
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Yes; use the no rinse products if you have to. They're used in hospitals (at least in Michigan) and in some SNFs (in my experience). Immersion baths are nice, and soothing, but without the proper assistive devices can be too dangerous.
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My folks are mid eighties and baths are very difficult. They do washcloth baths and seem to do pretty well. It's especially hard for elders in the winter to undress when it's cold. I had thought about a bath remodel, elder tub etc., but it would cost big bucks and they still wouldn't use it. Not to mention spending their money. OMG!
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All excellent points Cwillie. I did all this stuff when my mom came home from a hospitalization a couple years ago. It was great for awhile, But as her mobility has worsened it's so hard for her to bathe even with all the bars, chair etc. She needs a bath aid at least once per week but of course she'll never agree to that.

A word to anyone looking to install grab bars in the bathroom:

Go online or talk to an expert about how to properly place the bars in a shower or bath. My mom had a visiting therapist who gave me some great tips. Usually around and in the bath/ shower area your dealing with tile or a composite surface. You only want to drill and anchor the bars once.

Don't use the suction type devices. Very dangerous.

If your not handy with tools, fasteners etc. hire someone who is. Nothing could be worse than a grab bar coming loose and an er trip with an elder.
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Windy, I can't understand why they are even allowed to sell those suction grab bars. I know some people say they work fine, but even the best of them will eventually lose their grip, and probably at the worst time. I wouldn't even trust them as a short term solution.
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When my Mom was no longer able to get up the stairs to the full bathroom (her bedroom was on the first floor with the LR, kitchen and half-bath), and even when she was in a wheelchair, we went to the gym. Her Medicare allowed a membership to a 'Silver Sneakers' gym where we used the handicap shower room. It was private, roomy and warm. After dressing and drying her hair, we'd go into the workout room and I'd use the treadmill, etc., and she'd spend 40 minutes in the company of healthy, vibrant, active people who didn't just sit around watching TV. I think it did a lot for her mental health. Of course, this would only work with a loved one of the same sex, but it sure made life easy for us up until just about the very end. I got a 'senior' membership even though I wasn't on Medicare yet, and even without that, members can often get guest passes or pay $5-10 for a day pass. At that rate, it was cheaper than paying an aide $25 an hour with a minimum of 4 hours to just bathe Mom (which I did do once or twice to see how it was supposed to be done).
When we couldn't get out because of weather, etc., I sponged Mom down in the half bath with her standing in a large plastic storage tub where I could rinse her off properly. I'd sometimes alternate days/top and bottom because of varying strength levels (hers and mine), and wash her hair in the sink. Truly, where there's a will, there's a creative solution. My mother's skin was smooth, clear and supple, and I only used pure Dr. Bronner's pH liquid soap.
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Another suggestion is finding a baby wipe or adult bathroom wipes that they could use inbetween the "bird baths". Just make sure they don't throw these wipes down the toilet. Experiment with the scents to find one they really like using which would make it more enjoyable.

I use those wipes like a washcloth, without the soap, when I just don't feel like diving into the shower.
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Hi. I give a loved one (LO) bed baths all the time. After watching a lot of home health aides, I have a few suggestions. Use towels like a spa would and only uncover the area you are washing. The other areas stay covered up and warmer. The good aides would always soap once and rinse twice. I like the idea of the no rinse wash, but I use soap and warm water to really get my LO clean. A doctor told me not to use soap on private parts. So, I use baby oil to remove caked on Calmoseptine and Inzo, and then just clean those areas using war, wet wash clothes. There are products out there to make bed bathes easier. My best investment was buying an item that protects the bed from shampoo soap. You can find it on eBay if you search "Inflatable Shampoo Basin." The one I bought was under $20. There are also tubs you can inflate around your LO w/o getting them out of bed. I haven't splurged on that yet. I hope some of this helps. p.s. It's wonderful you are helping your parents.
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If they are doing it regularly and are thorough, I'd say they should be fine. Could a family member offer to help with a shower once in a while when they visit? That might be very refreshing for them.

(If either of them is incontinent, that raises additional concerns.)
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