Open Accessibility Menu

Home Care Profile: Confronting a Fear of Bathing

Home Care in Framingham, MA

White themed bathroomAngela worried that her mother may be lonely after her next door neighbor and best friend died. She started to notice her mom was having a little bit of difficulty taking care of her house and running errands, so she decided to hire a non-medical in-home caregiver through a referral service. She expected the caregiver to be with her mother for a few hours each week, accompany her to events, and help her with some light housekeeping responsibilities. Soon, however, the caregiver approached Angela and told her that her mother was having problems with some of her personal care. She indicated that the elderly woman was not bathing properly and had worn the same clothing several days in a row.

Angela asked that the caregiver begin helping her mother bathe and dress, hoping that the assistance would help her mother feel better about herself, stay more comfortable, and be healthier. After several days she asked how this new arrangement was working, and was surprised to hear that her mother was extremely resistant to bathing and was showing agitation, anxiety, and even fear when the caregiver mentioned it was time to bathe.

Agreeing that this was a serious issue they needed to resolve, Angela and the referred non-medical caregiver sat down together to discuss the possible problem and what solutions may help them ease Sally’s concerns so that she could get back into a safe and healthy personal hygiene routine. They decided to ask Sally about the situation and learned that not only did the sound of the water frighten her, but the bathtub looked very deep and the aging woman worried that she was going to fall and get hurt or drown.

Angela brought this response to the attention of her mother’s doctors and found out that her mother was dealing with both low vision that made the water seem deeper than it really was, and mild dementia symptoms that were causing the water to sound loud and frightening. The caregiver developed a routine to address Angela’s mother’s fear by running the bath before bringing her in, using a shower bench so she did not have to lower herself as far, and playing music she enjoyed to distract her during the bath.

Fear of bathing is a relatively common issue among seniors. There could be many reasons why an aging adult is resistant to assistance bathing, and in some situations that reason is that they have developed a fear of the sound, sight, or actual process of bathing. Addressing these fears helps your parents feel more comfortable so they can maintain the hygiene that is essential for their personal health and safety. One way you can achieve this is by hiring a non-medical in-home caregiver through a referral service. They have experience handling a wide variety of issues with seniors and can create a personalized approach to ensure your seniors’ needs are met in the way that is right for them. Get in touch with the elder care agency in your area to find out more about referral agencies and get started finding the caregiver who is right for your seniors.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073