Bathing is often a difficult activity for caregivers. This is mainly because of how intimate it is. Certain disorders such as dementia can also make a person more resistant to bathing. Bathing is important for overall health, especially if there are skin problems or incontinence issues involved. Here are some tips for making the task less stressful:

• Respect modesty as much as possible: For example, you can cover the person with a bath blanket while undressing.

• Coach the person through each step, if needed: Verbal and visual cues can help jog memory on what to do.

• Set a bathing routine: Figure out the best time of day to give a bath and stick with it. Routine helps make the task easier to accept.

• Have bathing supplies ready before bath time: These include shampoo, soap, and towels large enough to completely wrap around a person.

• Let loved ones do as much for themselves as possible: For example, if loved ones can lather up or run the water themselves, let them. Though, if they do run their own water, check the temperature before they get in.

• Make the bathroom comfortable: Bath chairs and towels placed on cold surfaces may help make bath time feel cozy.

Also, be aware that sponge baths can be great to give in-between regular baths. There are non-rinse soap products out there that can be used with warm towels. Depending on the situation, sponge baths may have to become the norm.

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