If you are taking care of your elderly parent at home, you or they may feel awkward when it comes time to give them a bath. If so, use the following three tips for minimizing the embarrassment while giving your parent a bath.
Let Them Do as Much as Possible
One way you can help overcome some of your and your parent's embarrassment of having you wash them is to let them do as much as possible by themselves. Unless your parent is completely incapable of holding a washcloth or reaching certain areas, they can clean their private parts while you do the rest.
However, if they are unable to reach certain areas, you may want to get them a shower sponge on a stick. This would allow them to at least wash and rinse the area, after which you can cover them with a towel to dry them off.
Keep Their Private Parts Covered
If you need to give your parent a bed bath, try not to leave them completely exposed while you are washing them up. Instead, drape a sheet or towel over their body, and uncover only areas that you are currently washing.
Keeping them covered not only protects their privacy, but it also blocks drafts. You do not want to leave their wet skin exposed for too long, which could make them even more uncomfortable. Plus, if your loved one is suffering from a chronic illness, the exposure of their wet skin to cold air could make them sick.
Make Small Talk
To keep your and your loved one's mind off of what is happening, try not to talk about what is happening. Instead, make small talk and talk about anything except the bath. You could talk about your day or ask them about theirs.
If your parent has the early stages of dementia, you could also talk about favorite childhood memories that you shared with them. This could help them use the memory centers of their brain to keep them sharp while taking their mind off the bath.
Using the above tips can help ease some of the awkwardness you and your parent may feel while cleaning them up. However, if you find that you cannot overcome your feelings of embarrassment or uneasiness, contact a home health care agency that provides elderly care services to discuss your options for having someone come out to provide your parent with their personal hygiene needs.