By Torie Temple
Sheila Carter, owner of Heartsong Memory Care, shares her top five secrets to success when it comes to bath time refusals.
- Find out why the person refuses to bathe. Is it fear of water? Fear of falling? Too cold?
- Don’t ask “Do you want to…” Instead, get their help doing something in the bathroom, engage them in positive conversation, and subtly move into “let’s clean up while we’re here.”
- Avoid words that trigger negative responses such as bath. Clean up may be a better phrase.
- If they refuse, try again later using a different approach or have a different person take on the task.
- Use an outside resource if you can. Let someone else take over with bathing so you can retain your caregiving/family relationship without that battle.
“When giving a bath, make sure the room has been warmed and the towels are warm,” says Connie Ray, owner of A Trusting Touch Cleaning Services. “Heated towel bars are fairly inexpensive and make bath time a comfortable experience.”
Dan Heins, Humana Director advises to make showering safe and convenient with a shower assist bar with suction cups. These bars provide a sturdy grip and can be moved anywhere in the shower where they are needed. Pick up one at most retail stores such as Home Depot, Walmart, or Bed, Bath, and Beyond.