As a family caregiver, it is likely that one of the personal care tasks that you help your aging parent with is bathing. Whether you give them reminders so that they bathed independently or provide physical support and assistance, ensuring that your parent bathe regularly and effectively is an important part of keeping them physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy and well. It is important, however, to recognize that bathing can also lead to skin irritation because elderly adults tend to have skin that is thinner, more fragile, and more sensitive. Taking the proper steps to protect your parent’s skin from irritation can reduce the risk of damage, discomfort, pain, and infection.
Some ways that you can help your parents prevent skin irritation while bathing include:
-Avoid excessive bathing. Unless it is very hot outside, they are especially active, or there are other extenuating circumstances, most elderly adults do not need to bathe more than once a day, or even every day. Bathing too frequently dries out the skin and leaves it vulnerable and uncomfortable.
-Make sure that your aging parent does not bathe or shower in water that is too hot. Hot water is irritating and drying, and elderly adults are more prone to scalding. This is especially important if your aging parent suffers from diabetes and neuropathy which can lead them to not be able to feel pain or extreme temperatures.
-Choose cleansers that do not contain irritating colors, fragrances, chemicals, or other additives. Avoid exfoliators that are rough or coarse, as these can actually tear your parent’s skin.
-Encourage your parent to apply a high-quality moisturizer to their skin after bathing. Pat their skin dry and apply the moisturizer when the skin is still warm and damp for maximum absorption. Look for moisturizers that do not have water or alcohol listed as a first ingredient, that do not contain irritating colors or fragrances, and that contain natural emollients such as shea butter, cocoa butter, or olive oil.
-Discourage the use of very rough textured bathing tools such as natural sponges, loofahs, and exfoliating mitts as these can be too rough for elderly skin.
If you have been considering ways to enhance your aging parent’s quality of life, support a more fulfilling lifestyle, and help them to remain as healthy as possible throughout their later years, now may be the ideal time for you to start elder care for them. An elderly home care services provider can create a highly personalized set of services tailored towards your parent’s individual needs, challenges, and limitations.
Through these services, the care provider will help your parent manage their needs in the way that is right for them while also supporting a lifestyle that is as independent and fulfilling as possible. This means that your parent can stay happy, healthy, safe, and comfortable, while also remaining compliant with their medications and other guidelines from their doctor, keep their mind stimulated and healthy, and engage with the world around them as much as possible. As their family caregiver, this can give you tremendous peace of mind knowing that your parents are in the best hands both when you are with them and when you are not.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elder care in Inverness, IL, please contact the caring staff at Inspired Care Home Health today. Call and talk to our friendly caring staff at 847-787-7572.