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Getting an older patient to bathe can be a struggle for many family caregivers. The biggest concerns are if they do not bathe, they could develop infections, produce a strong odor, or become aggravatingly itchy. Here are a few bathing tips to keep aging adults healthy and clean while minimizing stress. 

Make sure the environment is safe

  • Use a handheld shower device to avoid spraying them in the face. 
  • Make sure the bath water is at a comfortable temperature. 
  • Make sure these are grab bars in the tub. Next Day Access offers an assortment of grab bars and can install them in the correct areas to help older adults feel steadier when they enter the bathroom. 
  • Use a shower chair to help aging adults that have trouble sitting in the tub. 
  • Keep the bathroom floor clean and dry to help avoid falls. 
  • If your patient does not already have a walk-in tub speak to the family about the importance of installing one. Next Day Access has a conversion kit that can be installed quickly and makes it easier for aging adults to enter the tub.

Set up a portable shower for patients

There are several new ways to get a patient to bathe even if that means installing a portable shower in a room. With a portable shower, they can stay in their wheelchair and easily roll into the shower area. The portable shower has its own drain and an easy set-up process. A portable shower could ease patients’ concern over bathroom safety, and they will likely be glad they do not have to leave their wheelchairs.

Consider opting for a sponge bath

Bathing and showering are the best ways to clean the body, but if this is not possible, a sponge bath is a good alternative solution. Here’s a helpful step-by-step guide on how to give a sponge bath. 

  • Gather all the supplies you will need and make sure your older adult is nice and warm. 
  • Start from the face and head and move down the body. Clean the private areas last. 
  • For privacy and warmth uncover only the body part that is being washed. 
  • Be sure to use gentle strokes. Remind yourself their skin is far more sensitive. 
  • Use a different washcloth for each area so you do not transfer dirt by using dirty washcloths. Remember, the goal is to get them as clean as they would get from an actual shower or bath. 

We hope these tips will help you have an easier time bathing your loved one or patient. At Next Day Access, we have everything you need to ensure aging adults living in place will feel safe not only in their bathroom but throughout the house. Contact us today for a complimentary in-home consultation. 

Serving as a caregiver for a loved one from a long distance is not easy. Despite the distance, you want to ensure your loved one receives the best care. Here is some advice on how to ensure your loved one is receiving quality care despite the distance.

Get as much information as possible.

Experienced caregivers encourage you to learn as much as you can about your friend or family member’s diagnosis, the medicine they need, and the available resources. This information can aid you in understanding what they are dealing with, their prognosis, anticipating the length of the illness, preventing any crisis, and assisting in their healthcare management. Knowing all their healthcare needs will make talking to their doctor easier. Written permission to receive your loved one’s medical and financial information is vital. 

Once gathered, keep all the information organized in an online spreadsheet or folder. The information you will need includes all the essential information about medical care, contact numbers, social services, and their financial situation. Make sure to keep the information up to date and share copies with other trusted caregivers.

Set time aside to visit your loved one.

While you are in town, use this time wisely to gather any needed documents or things your loved one may need. It is a good idea to make a list of what they need before you come to town. For example, does your loved one need new winter clothes? Is their television on the fritz? Create an agenda for your trip and a list of what you need to bring. Remember your loved one likely misses you and would like to spend time with you when you are in town. You can take them to a worship service, play a game of cards, or watch a movie. Overall, just spending quality time together is sure to delight and revive your loved one.

Stay in touch with caregivers and doctors.

The needs of aging parents vary depending on their mobility levels. Once you have an established caregiver, stay in touch with them. You should also keep in touch with your loved one’s doctor. Make it clear to the doctor you would like a report after every doctor’s visit. You can also request occasional teleconferences with your loved one’s healthcare team. Your loved one can also be assigned a social worker who will help you stay abreast of any situations that require decisions on your part. 

Make sure your loved one knows how to get in touch with you.

If your loved one is in a nursing home, make sure they have a personal line for calls. It is a good idea to have your name and phone number written in big and bold letters on their dry erase board. If your loved one is aging at home, you may consider purchasing a cell phone. Spend time teaching them how to use it and make sure they know how to reach you by either writing your number on a large board or saving it on their phone. Also, give them detailed instructions on how to find your contact information on their phone. 

Find resources for your loved ones in their community.

You can find local senior centers by doing an internet search. Check with the Area Agency on Aging or the Eldercare Locator in their communities. These groups can recommend several helpful resources.  

Make sure your loved one’s home is safely set up.

Whether they need a walk-in tub or a wheelchair ramp, we at Next Day Access have an assortment of mobility products to help those with accessibility concerns. We offer many different products to keep your loved ones safe and comfortable. Our goals are to help those with accessibility concerns and to give peace of mind to caregivers that their loved one’s homes are safe. 

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