Unless you have ever experienced a loss of independence yourself, you may not realise just how difficult it can be to have to start relying on people for things that you would have done by yourself in the past. Taking a bath or shower is one of those things, and lots of people would much prefer to do it on their own if at all possible. The great news is that this is absolutely doable, and this article will take you through ways in which you can improve the bathing experience of your loved one.
Have a walk in bath installed
One of the most difficult things to deal with can be getting in and out of the bath, and this is largely because as we age we lose the agility that once enabled us to climb over the sides of a bath. A walk in bath is a good solution for this, as it means that they would just be able to step into the bath without having to lift their leg to any kind of height in order to get into the water, which is incredibly helpful.
Give access to an emergency cord
If your loved one wants to be independent at bathing time, it can often be quite difficult to relax, if you are worried that they may injure themselves or become distressed while in the bath. A good solution for this is to give them access to an emergency cord, which should be placed near to their walk in bath so that they are able to pull it if they need any kind of assistance with their bathing. This means that you will be able to let them be independent as far as possible, but you will also know that they have something there to help them if they need it at any point.
Put a towel in easy reach
If you have a walk in bath, then one of the problems with it is that the person inside will have to wait for it to drain before they are able to get out. Although the majority of them are able to drain quickly, this can still seem to take quite a long time, particularly in winter when the weather is cold. To help make sure that they don’t feel the chill, you should place a towel near to the bath so that they are able to wrap it round them while the bath is emptying, and this should help to keep them warm until they are able to open the door and get out again. Underfloor heating is a safe alternative keeping the room toasty as all times.
Provide some kind of entertainment
Bathing can take longer for older people than others thanks to the fact that they are a little slower, and there is the risk that this could make them irritable and frustrated. To help with this, you should give them something that they can do while they are in the bath. Having a radio in the bathroom is a good thing to do, as they will be able to listen to the music. If your elderly relative struggles with cognitive function or suffers with dementia you may find that they respond well to bath toys and games, and may enjoy playing with these while having a wash.
There is no doubt that getting a walk in bath installed into your home could make a huge difference to the quality of life of your loved one. The only thing that you need to do is to ensure that everything is set up properly, as this means that bath times will be something to look forward to, rather than to be endured.