Bring the hair washing tray over the shoulders; the U shape opening placed against the neck and the alternate end in the sink. Scoop warm water and wet their hair. Apply shampoo lightly and wash the elderly person’s hair. Pour some more water on the hair and rinse meticulously until you’re pleased with the results.
Scoop warm water from the full bucket to wet their hair. Use a small amount of shampoo to wash their hair – using too much will make it difficult to rinse out. Scoop warm water to rinse hair completely. If hair is very dirty, shampoo and rinse again.
Generally speaking, older adults may only need to wash their hair around once per week. For seniors who are hesitant to wash with greater frequency, dry shampoos can be effective in the days between wet washing.
Here’s a list of some reasons the elderly may have for not bathing: They may experience pain while standing, bending or sitting. They may have a fear of water and/or its sound—this is especially true for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia. They may fear falling on hard bathroom due to poor balance.
Here are some tips on how to properly care for hair in the senior years.
Sponge bathing is most often used (you can use a sponge or a washcloth). Fill two basins, one with warm soapy water for washing and one with plain warm water for rinsing. Use a new washcloth for different areas. Remove clothes, wash and dry the area, and re-dress in sections to prevent your parent from getting cold.
Next, start the bathing process:
At a minimum, bathing once or twice a week helps most seniors avoid skin breakdown and infections. Using warm washcloths to wipe armpits, groin, genitals, feet, and any skin folds also helps minimize body odor in between full baths. However, some dementia caregivers say it’s actually easier to bathe every day.
Bathing once or twice a week is acceptable for older adults, as the purpose is to prevent the skin from breaking down and lower the risk of skin infections. Seniors also tend to be less active than younger adults, so they can get away with fewer baths. However, you don’t want your loved one to develop body odor.
So, what are the correct hair washing steps to follow?
Wet the person’s hair by pouring warm water from a container over the hair. Or you can attach a hose and nozzle to the sink faucet to spray water on the hair. Wash the person’s hair with no-tears shampoo. Rinse the hair.
If you can’t get professional help, try to find a simple style that pleases your loved one and is easy for you to maintain. In some cases, a short hair style may look best and be easier to care for. Try to wash the person’s hair as often as he or she wants, or at least twice a week.