There can be a number of reasons that older people might ‘give up’ on their personal hygiene. Sometimes older people, especially those with dementia, may fear taking a shower. The person may be afraid of falling, or they may even think their carer is trying to hurt them.
8 Common Reasons Seniors Refuse To Shower: Dementia or Alzheimer’s – these diseases cause impeded memory and loss of judgement and reasoning. It’s uncomfortable – the shower chair or bench may not be comfortable or perhaps it’s too cold. Depression – a common sign of depression is not keeping up with personal hygiene.
For many seniors, good personal hygiene can be especially challenging due to a lack of mobility and sometimes a sheer lack of energy. Depression, isolation, dementia, a fear of falling, or medication side effects can all cause seniors to lose interest in or completely neglect their personal hygiene and grooming.
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.
Put soap on the washcloth or sponge and give it to the person. Let the person wash himself or herself. You can wash areas that he or she can’t reach. Gently remind the person you’re caring for that it’s best to start with the cleanest areas and finish with those that are less clean.
If they refuse to bathe and start to argue, drop the subject and move on to something pleasant. This avoids a fight that will create negative feelings that often linger. Wait and try again in a little while. During the entire bathing experience, it’s helpful to use a calm, soothing tone and say “we” instead of “you.”
if you don’t bathe enough flare-ups of skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis. skin infections. areas of dark or discolored skin. in extreme cases, dermatitis neglecta, thick patches of scaly skin.
It’s common for people to bathe less during stage 5 of dementia. During stage 6, they tend to stop bathing when they no longer understand the need.
This reason is most intuitive when it comes to older people being negligent with personal hygiene. Who can blame them, though? It’s not their fault that their body isn’t what it used to be. In cases like these, the caregiver must remain on the lookout for signs like body odor, soiled clothes, and bad breath.
Discuss bathing with the elderly person: Ask the individual if they have any preferences such as bathing in the morning or evening; a preference for showers or baths; particular soaps or cloth they like to use, and so on. If he/she prefers to bathe while being seated then using a shower chair can be useful.
Bathing can be a challenge because people living with Alzheimer’s may be uncomfortable receiving assistance with such an intimate activity. They may also have depth perception problems that make it scary to step into water. They may not perceive a need to bathe or may find it a cold, uncomfortable experience.
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.