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Ensuring Bathing Safety for a Senior with Parkinson’s

By Nick Paciello, 9:00 am on

Parkinson’s disease causes symptoms that can increase the risk of injuries for seniors during bathing. Fortunately, you can decrease these risks by using the following bathroom safety tips, brought to you by the Henderson Parkinson’s care experts at Home Care Assistance.

Purchase a Shower Chair

Postural instability is a common Parkinson’s symptom that appears in the mid-to-late stages of the disease. This can cause your loved one to have difficulty with maintaining his or her balance when standing upright. Using a shower chair is better than a bench because it has a back that can help prevent your loved one from falling backward in the shower.

Install a Handheld Shower Hose

As Parkinson’s progresses, your loved one may experience rigidity and balance problems that can make it difficult to safely turn around in the shower or reach certain areas of the body. A handheld shower hose will enable your loved one to enjoy greater independence during his or her personal hygiene routine. Additionally, limiting the amount of movements your loved one must make during the shower reduces the risk of falling.

Consider Alternatives to Bar Soap

Bar soap often leaves a slippery film on the shower or bathtub floor, which can increase your loved one’s risk of losing his or her balance. Bending over to pick up a dropped bar of soap may also be difficult due to stiff muscles. Instead, choose soap on a rope or a liquid soap dispenser designed for people with limited movement.

Adjust the Water Temperature

Bradykinesia, or slow movements, are another hallmark symptom of Parkinson’s disease that can interfere with your loved one’s safety while bathing. Due to the delayed movements, your loved one may not be able react in time if the water reaches a scalding temperature. For this reason, it is best to adjust the hot water thermostat to a comfortable temperature that is not hot enough to cause injury. Using cooler water can also help prevent dizziness and fatigue, both of which could lead to a fall.

Another way to increase your loved one’s safety while bathing is by hiring a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers are expertly trained in Parkinson’s care and can not only help with bathing, but also cooking, exercise, grooming, and many other daily tasks. For more information on how at-home care in Henderson can help keep your loved one safe, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (702) 527-7723 to schedule a free in-home consultation.