Many elderly adults struggle with challenges and limitations that can make it more difficult for them to bathe independently. Issues such as mobility problems, balance difficulties, lack of range of motion, and even cognitive function decline and can reduce your parents independence while bathing.
This can be challenging for both of you, but fortunately there are ways you can help your parent maintain more independence while bathing. Simply utilizing some basic tools can boost independence and help your parent to stay safer, healthier, and more comfortable while bathing.
Some tools that help your senior maintain independence while bathing include:
A walk-in shower and bath. If possible, consider replacing your senior’s conventional shower or bath with a walk-in version. These allow even those seniors who have difficulty with balance and range of motion to easily enter and exit the bath or shower. Not only does this eliminate the need for them to have physical support, but it also reduces the chances of falls and other injuries.
Bath steps. If it is not possible to replace their bath or shower, consider installing bath steps. These are simple sets of stairs positioned on the outside and inside of a bathtub that allow a senior to walk up and down into and out of the bath or shower. This reduces the distance your senior needs to step up and down, which can be very beneficial for those dealing with arthritis, joint pain, lack of range of motion, or balance problems.
Shower bench. Being able to sit down while showering can be extremely helpful in reducing the risk of slips and falls. When a senior is able to sit, they don’t need to bend, twist, or lift their feet while also trying to balance. This can be very helpful in allowing your parent to wash and rinse without assistance.
Maintaining independence is one of the most important things you can do for your senior as their family caregiver. While there are many ways you can do this, one of the most meaningful is to start homecare for them. A homecare services provider can help your parent to maintain a higher level of independence in a variety of ways.
This homecare provider can help your senior to manage their daily tasks such as taking care of their home, doing dishes and laundry, helping with personal care needs such as bathing, meal preparation, errands, and more. They can also provide transportation that allows your parent to participate in more activities, volunteer, go on outings, and do more without having to rely on you. This produces a sense of independence that boosts mental and emotional health and supports overall well-being as your parent ages in place.