Help! My Aging Parent Won’t Bathe

One common frustration with many family caregivers is having to fight with their elderly relative about regular bathing. There are plenty of reasons why some aging adults refuse to bathe or shower regularly. Once the family member finds out what the obstacles are, they can gently and patiently assist their elderly mom or dad in finding a solution.


Home Care Services in Orinda CA: Senior Bathing Difficulties

Home Care Services in Orinda CA: Senior Bathing Difficulties


Often, the fights come because one or both sides have set expectations about showering and bathing. Adult children may feel like the aging adult needs to shower or bathe every morning, while the senior thinks every few days is fine. For the most part, studies show that seniors don’t necessarily need to bathe every day if their bathroom hygiene is good. Setting a schedule for a shower or bath every few days can reduce tensions.


Sometimes, seniors are uncomfortable or afraid to bathe or shower. Many worry about a slip and fall accident, while others don’t trust themselves balancing on slippery tiles. Family caregivers can provide the right equipment so that seniors feel safe. Common items include grab bars, non-slip rugs, shower or bath chairs and hands-free soap dispensers. When elderly adults feel more safe and secure in the bathroom, they may be more likely to bathe or shower.


Mental health issues are a little harder to overcome. As seniors become more dependent on family caregivers and elderly care providers, they struggle to control some aspects of their life. Showering and bathing can become a power struggle with frightened seniors who dislike the reversal of roles from parent to child. Other times, seniors are simply embarrassed that their grown children will be helping them in such an intimate and vulnerable way. The solution is to hire an elderly care provider to come in a few times per week to help the senior with bathing and showering.


Another way to get elderly adults to regularly bathe or shower is to break up the two separate issues of washing hair and washing the body.
Many elderly adults don’t like twisting and bending in the shower or bath to get their hair wet, lathered and rinsed. Instead, an elderly care provider can help the senior wash their body only, which should go quickly. Then on a different day, they can help with only washing the hair in the sink or a portable hair washing station. This makes two short sessions rather than a long and uncomfortable one.


How Can Home Care Services Help?

Hiring an elderly care provider can make almost every issue surrounding showers and baths for seniors to disappear. These trained assistants know how to do the job quickly, carefully and professionally. They know how to preserve an elderly person’s comfort and dignity when it comes to showers and baths, providing quick and respectful service. Any family caregiver that is ready to give up the fight with their elderly mom or dad about showers or baths should get in touch with an elderly care provider.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Orinda, CA, call the caring staff at Aviva In-Home Care. Call today: (415) 795-2203

Evan Loevner, CEO

As a former hospital administrator, I launched Aviva with the goal of having a more focused, direct impact on the delivery of care than I could ever accomplish within a hospital setting. For me, the joy of running an organization like Aviva In-Home Care is having the ability to positively improve the lives of individuals needing customized care. As a passionate San Francisco resident, I know that many local seniors can benefit from new approaches to in-home care, that will bring them more connection to the community, and provide families with a greater sense of comfort that their loved one is indeed matched with an ideal caregiver. This starts by including the family throughout the care planning process, a key component of the concept of “family-centered care,” which has been adopted by top medical centers. A strong communication loop between family, the caregiver, Aviva management, and community healthcare practitioners is essential for ensuring that all the needs of the client are met. While this may not sound like a novel concept, it is not commonly practiced within the home care community.

At Aviva, we also use the latest in health technology to maximize opportunities for communication between all members of our client’s care circles. We utilize nursing oversight to ensure that we are in compliance with physician orders, and that our careplans are being properly administered. Lastly, Aviva is a proud member of The Senior’s Choice, a national network of leading home care agencies that share best practices and focus on continual improvement.

As owner of the business, I also promise to you my direct involvement in your loved ones care, and will always make myself available for feedback and improvements in our service. I look forward to working with you and your loved one on creating a care plan that is perfectly suited to the family's needs. Thank you for considering Aviva as your care partner.