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
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.
Keep the patient covered where possible to maintain their privacy.