How to Bathe an Elderly Person in Bed?

How to Bathe an Elderly Person in Bed?

What’s not to like about a soothing, relaxing bath? As we age, we may become a little less independent and our mobility can diminish. Bathing and showering can become a dangerous endeavor. To help maintain proper hygiene, we may need to learn how to aid elderly family members or loved ones. Bathing the elderly is something that needs to be done properly and possibly in bed in order to minimize any risk of falling which can lead to broken bones and fractures.

How To Bath Elderly People

Balancing Hygiene vs. Safety In Bed

Our skin is the largest organ in our body and when it is neglected it can lead to potentially serious health issues. Also, from just a mental point of view, who doesn’t enjoy the feeling after nice warm bath? The problem is our bathrooms and showers are made of porcelain and tile which can become extremely slippery when wet. As we age, our mobility can become diminished which means we can be more prone to falling and resulting injuries can become serious. This is why knowing how to give a shower to an elderly person in bed is important. This is the dilemma: hygiene vs. safety. How do we maintain our hygiene in a safe environment that allows for the elderly to enjoy soothing effects of bathing without compromising safety?

Bathing Help Using Specialized Medical Aids

Bathing an elderly person can be a lot like a delicate ballet. Many times the bathtub or shower is not an option and the prudent option is to bathe the elderly person in bed. Bathing an elderly person does require some specialized medical aids. For instance, you may need to find a dry shampoo for bedridden patients. Help with bathing the elderly in bed requires a different approach and some aids to help you include:

1. Convatec Aloe Vesta Body Wash and Shampoo

This mild solution can be used to gently cleanse skin without irritation or dryness of the skin. It can be used for everyday showering/bathing or as a no rinse bathing option. You can gently remove soils, perspiration, and other contaminants gently and is pH balanced for hair and body cleansing.

Aloe Vesta Body Wash and Shampoo

Convatec Aloe Vesta Body Wash and Shampoo

2. Aplicare No Rinse One Step Shampoo

Formulated to clean efficiently (especially for non-ambulatory patients) by simply applying directly to the patient’s hair and massaging thoroughly. No rinsing is necessary and simply towel dry to leave hair soft and supple.

Aplicare No Rinse One Step Shampoo

Aplicare No Rinse One Step Shampoo

3. EZ-Access EZ-Shampoo Inflatable Basin

For wet shampooing in bed, EZ-Access basin is easily inflatable and is designed to be comfortable and convenient. The formfitting support cushions the head and shoulders and the built-in headrest is adjustable to accommodate just about every user. The 8 inch deep inflatable tubing prevents splashing and spillage, while the drain hose easily removes soap and water from the basin after shampooing.

Access EZ-SHAMPOO Inflatable Basin
EZ-Access EZ-Shampoo Inflatable Basin

4. Jobar Hair Washing Tray

For patients that are able to sit in a chair or wheelchair, this washing tray is contoured to fit the neck comfortably and simply rests on the users shoulders from a seated position. The compact and lightweight design of this tray eliminates any awkward bending for those with limited mobility and is easily cleaned with soap and water.

Jobar Hair Washing Tray
Jobar Hair Washing Tray

5. EZ-Access EZ-SHOWER Portable Hanging Bedside Shower

Many patients are unable to use a conventional shower, so why not bring the shower to them? This hanging bedside shower can hold 2.5 gallons of water, which is enough to shower hair and completely rinse shampoo out. The easy fill spout can minimize splashing and snap shut for a watertight seal. This can be used with the EZ-Access EZ-BATHE Inflatable Bathtub with Accessories.

EZ Access-EZ SHOWER Portable Hanging Bedside Shower EZ-Access EZ-BATHE Inflatable Bathtub With Accessories
EZ-Access EZ-SHOWER Portable Hanging Bedside Shower
EZ-Access EZ-BATHE Inflatable Bathtub with Accessories

How do we give a shower to an elderly person? The answer is… gently and with the proper tools. Help with bathing for the elderly can be frustrating, but with the right medical aids bathing the elderly in bed can be simplified. Bathing is not only hygienic, but it can go a long way in maintaining the quality of life of an elderly person.


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