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4 Ways Bathing Can Be Made Safer for Seniors with Parkinson’s

By Carol White, 9:00 am on January 2, 2017

Of the many symptoms of Parkinson’s, tremors in the body are some of the most common. As a result, seniors with the condition often have limited mobility, which can make bathing less safe. However, there are ways you can ensure bath time is safe for your elderly loved one, and the Prescott Parkinson’s care professionals at Home Care Assistance want to share some of those strategies with you.

1. Purchase a Shower Chair

A shower chair is ideal if your loved one has Parkinson’s. It allows him or her to sit while taking a shower instead of standing and increasing the risk of falling on the slippery floor. A chair is often better than a bench because it has a back for added support, which can make it easier for washing the hair and other parts of the body.

2. Install a Hose in the Shower

While sitting on the shower chair, your loved one can use a handheld shower hose to rinse his or her body. You can get hoses with various settings that include a light mist or a stronger water flow for faster washing. A hose limits the number of movements your loved one can make while in the shower, which is especially if he or she is in an advanced stage of the disease and finds it difficult to stand in one place or turn around.

3. Use Soap on a Rope

Though bar soap is an option, it’s not ideal for seniors with Parkinson’s because the soap can easily fall to the shower floor, increasing the risk of slipping and falling. Soap or body wash attached to a rope that hangs on a hook on the shower wall is a better solution. Body wash also leaves the skin softer than bar soap, which can leave your loved one feeling more comfortable.

4. Adjust Water Temperature

There may be times when Parkinson’s limits your loved one’s reaction time, which means he or she might not be able to quickly adjust the water temperature if it’s too hot or cold. Set the temperature at a level that is comfortable but not hot enough to cause injury if the handle is turned too far.

If your loved one has Parkinson’s and needs help managing its symptoms, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with bathing and grooming, provide transportation to medical appointments, and help with many other daily tasks. For more information on the senior care Prescott, AZ, families trust, call one of our experienced Care Managers at 928-771-0105 to schedule a free in-home consultation.