Safe Bathing Tips for Seniors
Safe Bathing Tips for Seniors
Happy New Year! January is National Bath Safety Awareness Month, and the staff at Greystone Health is here to help you start off 2019 in the right way so you can stay safe in your home all year long.
If you are living at home without the assistance of a home health care aide, there are several ways to maintain your independence while still being able to attend to your hygiene. We strongly recommend installing a safer tub, such as a walk-in tub with side handles and bench seating. While these tubs can be expensive to have installed, you cannot put a price on the peace of mind it will bring you in the long run. You may be able to receive insurance coverage if the tub is deemed medically necessary, which will help offset the cost. While it’s possible to order everything you need online, we would suggest visiting a local showroom so you can try out the tubs for yourself. You should be able to maneuver yourself in and out of the tub easily, without assistance and with only the side rails for balance. The tub should have grooves on its floor to prevent slippage, as well as a water stopper to prevent leaks onto the bathroom floor itself. A thick bath mat that’s been secured to the floor is also essential for additional traction entering and exiting the tub.
If you are living at home with assistance, make sure you have followed the above steps, but with additional caveats. We recommend using a transfer bench or even a shower chair for your bathing needs, to minimize the chance for falls. Never attempt to bathe alone, even if you’re having a day where you’re feeling strong enough to do so. Relying on assistance for something so basic may feel unusual at first, but your home healthcare aide will make things easier for everyone involved. It’s all about keeping you as comfortable and clean as possible.
Once you have the tub installed in your home and have your bathing schedule set, you must also take steps to protect your skin. As we age, our skin’s needs change, just like the rest of our body, and keeping your skin moisturized takes a little extra effort. Avoid harsh soaps and body scrubs; instead use a body wash with Vitamin E and keep the water temperature warm, but not too hot. When drying yourself off, pat gently with a thick towel instead of rubbing the skin harshly for a quick dry. Apply a body oil, followed by a body lotion. Once those have dried, liberally apply sunscreen to all exposed skin. You may want to get a special sunscreen for your face and one for your body, as some sunscreens can be too heavy for facial skin. Choose a sunscreen with an SPF of 45 or higher, and make sure you carry it with you to reapply throughout your day as necessary.
Being proactive with your personal care will keep you active and in your home as long as possible. At Greystone Health, we pride ourselves on being a source for all questions and concerns regarding how to best take care of yourself or your aging loved one. We offer many personal home care services, including housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and assistance with hygiene. For more information on these services and more, please visit us at https://www.greystonehealth.com/services_home-health/.