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How to Make Bathing Safer for Your Elderly Loved One

Though keeping the body clean is important for people of all ages, it can become more difficult to manage in the senior years. Many elderly people have limited mobility or other health conditions that prevent them from performing this task safely. Luckily, there are some simple adjustments that can reduce the risk of falls or other accidents in the tub. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care Anchorage families trust, has a few suggestions to help increase your loved one’s safety when bathing.

Provide Assistance

Even if your loved one is mobile, it is important to have someone nearby in case an accident does occur. Consider hiring an hourly caregiver in Anchorage or setting a schedule with your loved one to ensure he or she isn’t home alone while bathing. In addition, you should help your loved one gather the items needed for bathing so he or she doesn’t have to get in and out of the tub. For instance, place towels near the bathtub and make sure soaps and other grooming supplies are also within reach.

Install Grab Bars

Grab bars are designed to provide support while stepping in and out of the bathtub and are particularly helpful for seniors with good upper body strength. Install grab bars both inside and outside the bath to help prevent falls, or install a tub-mounted grab bar for assistance in standing after a bath. Opt for a grab bar with a nonslip finish and install it over a wall stud to ensure it is sturdy and safe.

Try a Removable Showerhead

A removable showerhead is a simple way to increase safety in the bathroom because it simply twists onto the existing shower connection. With a removable showerhead and the help of other safety devices such as shower chairs, your loved one can remain seated throughout his or her bathing routine. These showerheads are also more convenient if your loved one needs assistance while bathing, as the water spray is easily directed and controlled.

Purchase a Walk-In Tub

Walk-in tubs do require an initial investment, but are an excellent option when caring for a loved one with limited mobility. These safety accessories eliminate the need to step over the side of a tub and have nonslip surfaces to reduce the risk of falling. Newer models also feature a faster drainage system.

In addition to bathing, there are a number of daily tasks that can become more challenging with age. If your loved one needs help with cooking, exercise, or light housekeeping, for instance, a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s home care in Anchorage for seniors who need more extensive assistance. For more information on our senior care services, please call one of our experienced Care Managers at (907) 770-0907 today.