When your loved one is a nursing home resident, they should receive the care that any person deserves. They should not only be free from neglect or abuse, but also bathed to ensure proper hygiene. Also, they should be completely free from neglect or abuse related to bathing. Nursing home staff should be skilled on proper bathing. They can avoid abuse if staff members follow the proper procedure.
Nurses and nursing aides should have training in bathing techniques of the elderly. No system will stop all accidents. But, if proper techniques and protocol are followed, injuries and accidents can be reduced. Examples of proper bathing care include:
- Bathing elderly in a slip free environment. This includes placing a mat with grip in the bath. It also includes mopping up areas outside of bathing facilities which may be slippery. Also, elderly people should get help when entering and exiting bathrooms.
- Checking the water temperature. This will ensure that the elderly individual isn’t burned by scalding hot water. It also ensures that the water is not too cold.
- Not moving the elderly person suddenly. This would make them more likely to slip and fall.
- Give verbal cues about what the caretaker and the elderly person will be doing next. This will lead to communication about the bathing process.
- Proper time should be used. Rushing through the bathing process can result in injuries. It can also result in improper hygienic care of the elderly person.
A common risk of improper bathing tactics is burning the elderly person. If an elderly person is neglected or abuse when it comes to bathing, they could suffer serious burns. This is a result of scalding water and may occur for a variety of reasons such as:
- The reaction time of an elderly person is much slower than it once was. They may not realize the water is too hot until it is too late.
- An elderly person being put into a bathtub that is much too hot for them.
- An elderly person showering by themselves could fall. They might not be able to turn the water to a cooler temperature due to injuries sustained during their fall.
- Due to a disability, your loved one is unable to communicate that the water is too hot for them.
- They just had surgery. Tissues are much more tender after your loved one has gone through surgery.
Damages done to your loved one by scalding hot water can be painful and take a long time to heal. This is why it’s important that the nursing home knows proper bathing techniques.
In addition to scalding and burn damages, your loved one may face the risk of infection. This can happen if the water is too hot to kill bacteria. High temperatures actually enable this bacteria to live and thrive in pipes.
Neglect is more likely to occur than abuse when it comes to bathing an elderly person. They should be bathed frequently and thoroughly to ensure proper hygiene. But, abuse is still possible when it comes to bathing an elderly person. Examples of bathing abuse may include:
- Holding an elderly person under the water in the bathtub.
- Being rough or violent if the elderly person cannot react quickly enough.
- Screaming or yelling directions at an elderly person while they are being bathed.
Elderly neglect and abuse are possible in all situations. It is important to be vigilant on behalf of your loved one in all situations. Communicating with them about bathing may help limit abuse in bathing situations.