Bath avoidance can be a serious problem for your senior. If she refuses to bathe for too long, she may experience hygiene issues and skin conditions that are painful and that could have been avoided.

She’s Experiencing Pain Around Bathing

Home Care Highland Park, IL: Bath Avoidance

There can actually be a lot about bathing that is honestly painful for your senior. If she only has a shower stall, for instance, standing throughout the shower can hurt. Her mobility and range of motion are important factors, too. Even though she’s in pain, it might be difficult for her to let you know what’s going on. All of those issues combined might mean that she tries to just avoid baths and even talks of bathing.

Fear Is a Very Real Problem
Beyond pain, there’s also fear that can restrict your senior’s activities. You might think that there’s nothing for your senior to be afraid of, but the fear of falling is very real and not something to take lightly. If she’s experiencing cognitive changes, then even simple things like how the water feels or makes her react can contribute to the problem. She might be afraid she’ll be stuck in the tub or she might fear that you’ll have to come in and help her. There’s so much for her to become afraid of and you may have to sort through possible causes.

She Gets Exhausted by Bathing
It takes a lot of energy to bathe. More energy than either you or your senior might realize, in fact. If your elderly family member has health issues that reduce her energy levels even further, she may find it truly exhausting to bathe. It might be time to enlist the help of home care providers to ensure that she’s able to bathe safely without exhausting herself.

Recognizing the Problem Helps You Find a Solution
So many different situations can contribute to this problem. If your elderly family member’s memory is an issue, she may honestly believe that she just bathed today or yesterday. It’s a complicated series of issues and you have to start with what you see and experience when you try to remind her to bathe. From there you’re going to be able to come up with solutions for each portion of what’s going on.

There may be more than one issue at play for her. Remember to stay compassionate and to gently try to resolve the issue.

Excerpt: Lots of seniors avoid bathing, some to an extreme extent.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care in Highland Park, IL, contact the caring staff at Companion Services of America today at (847) 943-3786. Our home care service area includes Northbrook, Highland Park, Deerfield, Glenview, Buffalo Grove, Evanston, Des Plaines, Skokie, Lake Forest, Wilmette and the surrounding areas.

Jamie Shapiro

Jamie Shapiro, founder of Companion Services of America, LLC received a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago. Jamie started her career in psychiatric social work at Northwestern University Institute of Psychiatry. Later, she went on to become the Director of Social Services at Belmont Community Hospital where she developed discharge planning procedures to assist staff in identifying potential patients requiring intervention.