Bathing and Grooming
Grooming and hygiene

Bed Baths

Bathing is one of the most pleasant parts of the day, but for the elderly, it can also feel dehumanizing.

If you care for someone that needs help with bathing and hygiene, staying relaxed will help them feel at ease.

While you may think giving a bed bath requires medical assistance, any family carer can do this. The patient may feel more comfortable with you than a nurse.

Nurses and aides are available to bathe the patient or train you how to do it. Medicare might help to cover costs. Just ask the patient's physician.


Give the patient enough time to do as much as s/he is able to on their own. This will build trust.

Let the patient decide what they want to wear. If they are easily confused, feel free to lay out different choices.

Shoes and slippers must always be well-fitting. They shouldn't have gum soles or laces as both can lead to accidents.

Grooming and hygiene

Make sure all grooming supplies (brush, comb) are within reach

Try to encourage the use of electric items when possible (toothbrush, shaver)

Instruct them to sit at or rest on the counter or sink to make doing things easier

FAQ - Bathing, Grooming and Dressing

Within reason.
Encourage them to bathe themselves as much as they can manage. If s/he finds it hard, allow her to hold the cloth while you do the washing.

Bathing isn't necessary to do every day, but you should always make sure to wash the face and genitals on a daily basis to maintain good hygiene.
Respect is key.
Keep the patient covered where possible to maintain their privacy.