Senior Bath Time: How Often Seniors Should Bathe?

Happy senior woman ready for a bath
Do you know how often seniors should bathe?

There’s nothing like a warm, bubbly bath and the end of the day and a refreshing, invigorating shower in the morning! However, when considering how often seniors should bathe, it really is possible to have too much of a good thing with regards to these everyday bath times for seniors.

You might want to rethink that daily shower or bath for seniors, for a number of reasons:

  • An increased risk of falls on slippery floors
  • Mobility issues
  • The risk of skin infections from cracked, dry skin
  • Fatigue
  • Thinner skin that could lead to easier bruising and other injuries
  • And more

How Often Should Seniors Bathe? 

One or two baths a week is sufficient for upkeeping personal hygiene for aging adults. In between, a warm washcloth can be used to clean areas that require additional attention. This is especially essential for seniors who wear products to manage incontinence.  

Special Considerations for Alzheimer’s 

For an aging adult with Alzheimer’s, there are special considerations to think about. Because routine is so important when cognitive issues are a factor, a daily shower or bath may be a source of comfort. If a senior with Alzheimer’s is fearful or else resists personal hygiene, however, try the following: 

  • Encourage independence. Empower the person to remain in control of the bathing process as much as possible. Encourage them to participate based on their ability level, regardless of if that means just holding onto the washcloth or shampoo bottle.
  • Focus on comfort. Keep the bathroom warm. Turn on music they enjoy. Have plenty of big, soft towels readily available. Use shampoo and body wash or soap in a calming, pleasant scent.
  • Talk through each step. Explain what is going to happen in simple terms and in a soothing tone of voice before each part of the bathing process. 
  • Relieve fears. The loud, pounding sound of a shower or bathwater running is terrifying for many seniors with dementia. A handheld shower set at a minimal level is quieter and permits the individual to see where the water is coming from.
  • Establish a positive association. Incorporate a particularly enjoyable activity at the conclusion of the bath-time routine. For example, provide a favorite snack that is only served after bathing so that it creates a positive connection.

Oftentimes, it’s most comfortable for aging loved ones to receive personal hygiene care from a professional caregiver. JFS Care’s care team is fully experienced and trained in providing support for safe, comfortable showers or baths. Our focus is always on ensuring respect and dignity and addressing any particular concerns or fears with skill and empathy. If you need home care in Santa Monica or the nearby areas, reach out to us online or at 213-383-2273 for additional information about our home care services.