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5 Big Reasons Your Elderly Loved One Might Avoid Bathing or Showering

Elderly Care

Your loved one has always put herself together well and taken pride in her appearance, but suddenly she’s avoiding bath or shower time. There are tons of reasons that this could be the case, but Elderly-Care-Fort-Pierce-FLit’s important that you get to the bottom of the problem so that you can offer a solution. Here are some of the reasons your loved one might be resistant to bathing.


If your loved one is experiencing depression, whether mild or severe, one side effect can be a lack of desire to take care of herself, and that includes bathing regularly. The first step if you suspect that your loved one is depressed is to talk with her doctor. He can accurately diagnose depression and outline a treatment plan that can help.


As your loved one ages and her health declines, there are more and more aspects of her life that are out of her control. You’re likely making more decisions for her, and while she knows that you have her best interests at heart, she’s still not in control. Deciding that she’s not going to bathe or shower is a way of getting that control back, even if it is a tiny way. Try talking to your loved one if you suspect this is an issue of control. There may be ways you can give her back some of her decision-making process.

Diminished Sense of Smell

Aging steals many things from your loved one, and one of those is her sense of smell. She may not even notice that she’s in need of a bath or shower, so it doesn’t seem necessary. One way around this is to help your loved one track the days that she bathes on a calendar or wall chart so that she has a visual reminder that it’s time for another shower. If her sense of smell is being affected by medication, her doctor may be able to change the dosage or the medication.


Your loved one may have bathed you as a child, but it’s still possibly embarrassing that you’re now returning the favor. One way around this is to keep the bathing process as clinical as possible, but even that doesn’t work for everyone. Another solution is to hire elderly care providers who are able to take care of personal needs for your loved one. Often this is much easier for your loved one, since the care provider is someone who doesn’t know her the way that you do.


If your loved one doesn’t feel safe in the bathroom, that’s a big reason to avoid it. Ask your loved one what in the bathroom doesn’t feel safe to her. She could need hand rails in the tub or perhaps the floors are more slippery than you realize. Take a full inventory of the bathroom and change whatever you can to help her feel safer.

The biggest key to solving the mystery of your loved one’s decision to avoid bathing is to get to the root of the matter.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Fort Pierce, FL, please contact the caring staff at Atlantic In-Home Care today. Call (772) 202-3006 for information.