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Bathing Assistance

The mental and physical ability to wash one’s face in a sink and body in the bath or shower is a basic Activity of Living Living (ADLs).

Our Service

Our caregivers are trained and experienced in bathing in a shower, in the bathtub, with a basin bath, and giving a bed bath, as required by the situation.

We encourage our clients to bathe themselves as much as possible and help where help is needed.

Our caregivers develop a bathing routine with your loved one making the process a systematic and professional endeavor.

Signs Bathing Help Is Needed

You may know your loved one needs assistance bathing or have noticed the signs.

When elders have difficulties with bathing the issue is usually caused by one of three issues:

• Injury

• Illness

• Cognitive Decline

These issues can be temporary or long-term.

Family Caregiver Bathing Tips

Our caregivers are professionals with the training and experience to safely bathe your loved one.

These are our tips for the family caregiver bathing their loved one.

Types of Baths

Each individual’s abilities and issues are unique as is the physical layout of each bathroom.

Determine the best method to bathe your loved one based on your situation:

• The Shower

• The Bathtub

• A Basin Bath

• In Bed Bath

Bath Giving Safety

When assisting a person with bathing is vital to ensure their safety and your safety prior to bathing.

The bathroom surfaces, the floor, the tub and tile walls are slippery for someone not stable on their feet and become dangerous once they are wet.

• Test the hot water temperature with a thermometer to ensure it is below 120 degrees. If it is hotter, turn down the hot water heater.

• If there are no grab bars think about having grab bars professionally installed. A professional will make sure the bars can hold the weight of an adult.

• Safety mats and vinyl strips on the shower floor or tub bottom help to prevent slipping.

• A handheld shower hose is very useful and improves the ease and safety of bathing.

• A bath bench aids a person that has difficulty sitting down into the bath or getting up from the bottom of a bathtub.

• Bathtub safety rails can be installed to provide support for getting into and out of the tub.

• A bathtub transfer bench is a bench that goes across the side of the tub and into the tub allowing a person to get into and out of the tub easily.

• Use rubber floor mats to help to prevent slipping.

Shower Bath

• Make sure the room is a comfortable temperature.

• Gather all supplies: mild soap, mild shampoo if shampooing, lotions, washcloth, washbasin, towels, and a robe prior to bathing.

• Explain to the person what you are going to do before doing it.

• Provide a shower stool so they can sit.

• Test and adjust the water temperature before the person gets into the shower.

• Use gentle water pressure.

• For safety ask the person to hold on to the grab bar and sit on the shower stool.

• First, spray and clean the less sensitive parts of the body such as the feet.

• Move the shower hose around the person versus asking the person to move around for their safety.

• Ask the person to bathe themselves as much as possible and help where help is needed.

• Guide the person out of the shower and wrap them in a towel.

• Put a towel on a stool or the toilet lid and have the person sit on the stool or the toilet lid to dry off assisting as needed.

• Turn the water off.

• Apply lotion to dry skin as needed.

• Comb/brush their hair as needed.

• Assist with dressing as needed.

In The Bathtub

• Make sure the room is a comfortable temperature.

• Gather all supplies: mild soap, mild shampoo, lotions, washcloth, washbasin, towels, and robe prior to bathing.

• Explain to the person what you are going to do before you do it.

• Have the person go to the toilet prior to the bath.

• Check the water temperature before the person gets into the bath.

• Use a bathtub transfer bench or bath stool as needed.

• For safety ask the person to hold on to the grab bar. Do not let the person grab you and pull you down.

• Ask the person to bathe themselves as much as possible and help where help is needed.

• Empty the tub and wrap them in a towel.

• Guide the person out of the tub using the grab bars/bath bench. Or have the person stand up and then sit on a bath transfer bench, swinging one leg out and then the other.

• Put a towel on a stool or the toilet lid and have the person sit on the stool or the toilet lid to dry off assisting as needed.

• Apply lotion to dry skin as needed.

• Comb/brush their hair as needed.

• Assist with dressing as needed.

The Basin Bath

If the person in your care is unable to be bathed in a shower or bathtub, but can sit in a chair or wheelchair, they can be given a sponge bath at the sink.

• Make sure the room is a comfortable temperature.

• Gather all supplies: disposable gloves, mild soap, mild shampoo, lotions, washcloth, sponge, washbasin, towels, and robe prior to bathing.

• Put a towel on the chair or wheelchair.

• Assist them with going to the toilet prior to the bath.

• Explain to the person what you are going to do.

• Undress the person wrapping them in a towel.

• Using correct body mechanics – keeping your feet separate, standing form, bending your knees and keeping your back in neutral, transfer them to the chair or wheelchair they will be bathed in.

• Ask the person to bathe themselves as much as possible and help where help is needed.

• Wash the face first.

• Wash the rest of the upper body.

• Wash the feet and the legs.

• If the person can stand, wash the genitals, buttocks and anal area if they can not do it themselves. If the person is too weak to stand, wash the lower body in a bed.

• Apply lotion to dry skin as needed.

• Comb/brush their hair as needed.

• Assist with them with dressing.

The Bed Bath

Bed baths are needed by those that are confined to bed.

Baths clean and also stimulate the skin increasing blood flow.

However, baths can dry out the skin. Depending on the individual’s situation, a decision must be made on how often a bed bath is necessary.

If there is urinary incontinence (leakage), bowel issues or heavy perspiration, a daily bath may be necessary. If not, bathing two or three times a week may be enough.

While bathing, look for pressure sores, swelling, bruising, rashes, dry skin and other unusual conditions.

Skin wipes can be used in between baths to clean and moisturize the skin. To prevent further drying the skin, use the wipes only in the are that need cleaning.

• To avoid spreading germs, always wash your hands before and after giving a bath.

• At each step, tell the person what you are going to do and ask for their help if they are able.

• Make sure the room is a comfortable temperature.

• Gather all supplies: disposable gloves, mild soap, lotions, washcloth, washbasin, towels, and prior to bathing.

• Remember to use correct body mechanics – keeping your feet separate, standing form, bending your knees and keeping your back in neutral, when moving the person.

• Offer the bedpan or urinal before the bath.

• If you have a hospital bed, raise the bed to its highest position and bring the head to an upright position.

• Add warm water to a washbasin testing the temperature of the water with your hand.

• Remove the blanket, top sheet and person’s clothes.

• Cover the person with towels and keep all of their body covered during the bath other then the area you are washing at that time.

• Use one washcloth for soap, one washcloth for rinsing, and a dry towel for drying.

• The washcloths should be damp to wet, but not dripping wet.

• Very gently wash the face and pat dry.

• Wash the front of the neck and pat dry.

• Wash the chest and for females under the breasts and pat dry.

• Wash the stomach and upper thighs and pat dry.

• Clean the navel with lotion and a cotton swab.

• Wash the person’s hands looking if their nails need trimming and pat dry.

• Wash upward from the wrist to the upper arm to increase circulation and pat dry.

• Place towel under the person’s buttocks.

• Flex to bend the person’s knees.

• Wash their legs and pat dry.

• Wash the feet and in between the toes and drying well. Look for fungal infections and if their nails need trimming. Use lotion on dry feet but not in between toes to prevent fungal infections.

• Wash the pubic area and if possible, have the person wash their own genitals. If it is not possible, you will have to wash them yourself. Wash from the top down to the anus to prevent infection and dry well.

• Switch to new clean washcloths and new clean washbasin.

• Roll the person over in the direction away from you.

• Tuck a rolled towel under the person.

• Wash the back from the neck to the buttocks and dry well.

• Give a back rub with lotion to improve circulation.

• Dress the person using the correct technique for a person in bed.

• Change the bed linens using the correct technique with a person in bed.

• Trim the finger and toenails if needed.

Additional Family Caregiver Resources

For additional Family Caregiver tips please see our directory of Online Resources.

About Unique HomeCare Services

Unique HomeCare Services provides private in-home care for elders, those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and people who are recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery.

We provide both short-term and long-term in-home care needs from as little as one 4 hour day a week to 24 Hour Care and Live-In Care.

We offer a full range of in-home personal care services including Bathing, Personal Hygiene and Grooming, Dressing Assistance, Toileting and Incontinence, Feeding, and Medication Reminders.

We also provide support services such as Case Management, Accompaniment to Appointments, Nutrition and Meal Management, Light Housekeeping and Laundry Services, Bed and Wheel Chair Transfers, and Shopping and Running Errands.

Unique HomeCare Services is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts and serves the surrounding communities.

It is our pleasure to assist our veteran clients with VA Aid and Attendance Benefit approval at no cost.

We have an extensive Directory of Online Senior and Caregiver Resources for the information you need.

To schedule a no cost and no obligation In-Home Assessment to determine the home care needs and get a quote, please call us to speak to a Case Manager at (800) 296-9962 or fill out our Free Quote Contact Form.