Why Do Some Seniors Stop Bathing?
It’s not unusual for a family caregiver to suddenly realize that their elderly family member is going much longer between showers than usual. The key to resolving this problem is to figure out why your elderly family member avoids bathing, so that you can put the right solution in place.
Changes to Senses
Your senior’s senses change over time, but it happens gradually. Your elderly family member may not even notice that some of her senses work differently than they used to. The biggest sense that makes a difference with bathing habits is often her sense of smell. Your elderly family member may not smell anything different and feel as if that means she doesn’t need to bathe yet.
Depression or Anxiety
If your elderly family member has been feeling more anxious lately or she’s been experiencing depression, she may not feel up to bathing. This can be especially true if your senior recently had a loss or is anticipating a loss. Sometimes episodes of depression may only last a few days, but often depression can last for months.
Your senior’s brain may start to work differently as she ages, causing her to have memory issues and other cognitive challenges. That might look like her forgetting to bathe or forgetting when she last bathed. Home care providers can help your senior stay on schedule with her hygiene tasks, so that she’s not having to rely on her memory.
Bathing Is Uncomfortable
Your elderly family member might start to feel as if bathing is uncomfortable for her now. This involves changes to some of her senses, like touch. Water from her shower head may feel different now, or the bath tools she uses, like a scratchy loofah, might be uncomfortable for her. These changes can be subconscious ones that she doesn’t notice, but that make her less likely to bathe as often as she used to.
Bathing Is Scary
There can be many reasons that bathing can suddenly become scary for your elderly family member. If she’s gotten physically weaker than she was in the past, she might be afraid of falling. She might be afraid that other things could happen when she’s in the bath or shower. This is especially true if she has health issues that might change quickly. Dementia can cause your elderly family member to fear situations that were no problem.
She Wants to Feel in Control
With age come more situations that can make your senior feel as if she has no control. Being told to bathe or when she should bathe could trip that switch for your elderly family member. There’s a fine line between helping her and making her feel as if she’s being told what to do. Home care can help bridge that gap.
Most of these issues can feel like big challenges for you and your senior. Finding ways to manage those difficulties is important. But you might feel as if you just can’t see a way through. Home care can use their experience to make this situation easier for you both.
If you or someone you know needs Home Care in Bay Minette, AL, please contact the friendly caregivers at Hughes Home Care. We provide quality and affordable care for your elderly loved ones in our community. Call Us Today at 251-517-9901. Serving Mobile & Baldwin County.
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