Your mom or dad was probably the one who taught you how to take baths and exercise proper hygiene, so it can be upsetting to realize that your elderly parent isn't bathing properly. This can be an embarrassing and upsetting situation to discuss, but it is important that your parent exercises good hygiene for proper health. Before you get too upset, however, you should consider the many reasons why this could be an issue.
1. Dementia If your parent is suffering from signs of dementia, there is a chance that he or she might forget to take baths. Although it might seem silly, people with dementia often forget even some of the most normal and important things. If you fear that this might be a concern, consider looking for other signs of forgetfulness. This is also something that you can mention to your loved one's doctor.
2. Inability to Purchase Hygiene Products A quick shop to the grocery store might be difficult for your elderly parent. He or she might not feel comfortable driving anymore, for example, or could be afraid to take public transportation. Plus, if your loved one is on a fixed income, he or she might not have the extra money to spend on soap, deodorant and other personal care products. Consider bringing these items to your parent regularly or signing up for an automatic delivery service that will deliver these products right to your loved one's door.
3. Fear of Falling Some seniors become particularly afraid of falling, and the bathroom can become a major source of these fears. If you parent seems to be in physically good condition but is simply afraid, there are a few steps that you can take. For example, installing grab bars and placing non-slip mats in the bath and shower area can help your parent feel more confident. You can also hire a home health care aide to help your parent take a bath a few times a week.
4. Difficulty in Bathing Alone Although it can be sad to think about, there is a chance that your loved one is physically unable to bathe alone. It can be hard to see your parent's disabilities, but this is something to talk to your loved one's physician about. Luckily, there is one great solution -- a home health care aide from a place like ComForcare Home Care - Montgomery County, PA can come out and help your parent take a bath thoroughly and safely.
If you have found that your elderly parent is not bathing like he or she normally would, it's important to look for the source of the problem. These are just a few common reasons why many senior citizens stop bathing as frequently as they used to.