As seniors age, their skin dries out and many of them bath less frequently, like twice a week. Then, add in physical disability, the fear of falling and some mental decline the twice a week may turn into never. If a simple solution existed to get your loved one in the shower, it would have been invented by now.
Middle-aged children, including myself, live a different life from their aging parents. We manage our hectic lives with our daily planner mapping out each hour of the day. Compare that to our parents. They spend their days processing their lives, still trying to find meaning out of their experiences and anticipating what time they have left.
Their children intrude on these reflections with a whirlwind of demands: take a shower, go to the doctor, take your medication, eat the right diet, exercise. The first step to the bathing dilemma is to carve out some time to spend with your parents. Hang out, talk about your lives together. While at the house check the showers to make sure it is equipped with a handheld showerhead, a shower bench, sturdy grab bars, and the water heater turned down to prevent burns. Segue into some detective work, finding out the reason shower taking is a chore: are they able to step over the bottom lip, are they scared of falling, do they just not care anymore, are they embarrassed or do they have dementia and forget. For the first two problems talk to their physician about ordering physical therapy, enlist family to be nearby, or hire an agency with certified caregivers, like Care Plus Home Care, to assists with baths. For the last two problems talk to their doctor. Many elderly may have undiagnosed depression or dementia issues that need to be resolved.