Does anyone have advice on safety for bathing and showering seniors who are frail or do not have the strength for thorough cleansing?

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Bathing/Showering safety. Does anyone have expert advice on safety for bathing and showering seniors who are frail or do not have the strength for thorough cleansing. Chairs and grab bars are good to have but is there more?

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These are all good ideas. One thing I would add is making sure the air temperature is warm enough and don't startle the person with quick changes or movements. Mention what you are going to do, softly (or with humor if that is the right approach for this particular person), before following through with the motion.

When someone is vulnerable, extra attention needs to be paid to making them feel safe. It's so easy to just want to get the job done. Most of us have done that. I know I have.

Knowing the personality of the person we are helping makes it easier. Thanks for all the wonderful tips.
Carol
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..bathing safety is very important in seniors life.. As u mentioned chairs and grab bars are big help.., also I think we need to make sure there is no throw rug on the bathroom floor, cause, they slide around easily and could cause a fall.., and another good idea, I think, to make sure that the bottom of the bathtub has nonskid runner or strips to prevent falls from the slippery surface of the wet tub.. , also we might think of putting a phone in the bathroom, or some kind of an emergency call button, so they can call 911 in case of fall...
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ABLEDATA has a great collection of bathing aids listed under Daily Living at http://www.abledata.com/abledata.cfm?pageid=19327&top=11860&deep=2&trail=22

These include stools, chairs, lifts, safety items, washing aids, and other accessories.

---Jess
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Hi Kassie,
From what you have mentioned, I would think that a shower bench, some assistance and a hand held shower attachment from any hardware store should be just what you need at this point. However, maybe you should contact the senior's doctor to see if he can order a homecare evaluation done. Then a therapist could come to the home and access the situation and be able to identify what aids would be needed for safe showering. Good luck to you. ~Sooz~
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All of the advise you received is great, but if you are concerned about their safety (and you should be) HIRE an expert to come in and help them.

Tell them it was ordered by the doctor to help their sore back, sore feet, anything that they can believe.

DON'T rely on them to take care of their sanitary needs, or even know how to use all the safety devices you put in place.

There is NO substitute for having someone who is reliable and reputable to help them!
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Our occupational therapist handled all that for us. The DR. ordered it along with Visiting Nurse. They were fantastic. Today, I finally found the brush I have been searching for 98 cents!!!! It is a bottle brush made up of sponges that looks like a flower. It is made of many pieces of sponge put together like a pom pom. I found it in the grocery store. It is very light and mom can handle it. The ones I bought for her in the drugstore are too heavy and she could not use them even though they were made for people such as she is. The hand held shower from the catalog has an off and on switch which the regular ones in the hardware store don't have. We put rubber bath mats on her shower floor. We use a rug to step out onto so that she does not slip, but remove it as soon as she sits on the toilet to dry herself. We put a towel on the toilet seat so that she doesn't slip off!! She finds shower gel is easier than a bar of soap. We also hung a shower cady on the wall nest to her in the shower. We used those hooks that can be removed with no damage. I think they are called Command???? Hope this helps.
Linda
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Yes, Carol is right. We have a ceiling heater in the bathroom and a space heater by the entrance to the bathroom. Just don't put one in the bathroom since you could have an unsafe condition. We heat the bathroom for about 20 minutes before she gets in the shower, It really helps.
Linda
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Good question mmersky,

I work for a nationwide caregiver network with more than 150 offices in the US. This is a big problem that we see. A lot of seniors also just don't want to bathe. If the senior is too frail or weak to bathe on their own, than they need some aid. Beyond just a chair, maybe adding a seated stall area to the tub/shower can be helpful.

Often this is an excuse for someone who does not want to bathe, we run into that a lot and recommend that: 1. Ensure as much privacy as possible and provide adequate lighting and safety measures (grab bars, shower bench, non-skid surfaces, hand-held shower head etc.);

2. Experiment with times of day that are mutually agreeable - include the person in the decision making;

3. Prepare the bathroom so that it is cozy, warm and provides a distraction-free environment that is pleasing;

4. Be positive and upbeat and use a calm voice at all times;

5. Separate hair-washing from bathing so that the bathing session doesn’t take a long time;

6. Be willing to negotiate how often the full shower or bath is taken - three times a week is adequate with sponge bathing in-between; and,

7. Be aware if pain, balance or fear of falling is an issue and address the remedy for each BEFORE beginning the bathing process.

Good luck,
Bill
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If a loved one is weak and frail, think about a chair at the sink and doing a sponge bath. A bed bath can work also when a loved one is frail. Be sure to keep them covered and warm no matter how you do it... Protect their dignity as well as keeping them warm... Warm a towel (in the dryer)to wrap around your loved one. warm some lotion and apply it to arms legs, feet and back... this can be very comforting but also good for skin.
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Grab bars are a simple fix and can prevent a fall in installed right. There are grab bars that don't look like grab bars, for example a towel bar or toilet paper dispenser that acts as a grab bar too.
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