Help! I Struggle to Wash My Aging Relative’s Hair

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

August 22, 2018

One of the most difficult aspects of taking care of an aging relative is attending to their hygiene and grooming needs.
As a family caregiver, you understand how important keeping clean and groomed is to their health. However, both of you could be feeling nervous, embarrassed or frustrated when it’s time to do something complex like washing their hair. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to ensure that your elderly loved one gets a regular hair washing to stay healthy and clean.

Elder Care in Monroeville PA: Washing My Senior’s Hair
Elder Care in Monroeville PA: Washing My Senior’s Hair

Family Caregivers and Senior Hair Wash Struggles
If washing hair has become a struggle for you, it may be time to analyze the source of the problem. Some seniors are afraid of falling in the shower and avoid washing their hair because of the reaching and stretching it requires. The solution to this is to wash the hair in a sink or in a chair, separate from a body wash. Other elderly adults are simply stubborn and don’t want assistance but can’t manage to wash their hair on their own.
It’s common for aging adults with dementia to fight family caregivers about showering and washing their hair. They may either feel like they’ve already done that, or they postpone it. Sometimes it’s a power struggle between adult children and their aging parents. Finally, some family caregivers are inexperienced or may not realize they are causing pain or discomfort, making the senior avoid the experience. If you and your aging loved one are having problems with washing their hair, get to the root of the problem so you can find the solution.
Tips on Successful Hair Washing
The facts are that elderly people still need to wash their hair regularly. However, if you really are struggling to accomplish the task, you may need to make some changes to how it is happening. One solution is to set up a hair wash schedule set up so that everyone knows when it will happen and there’s no negotiation or procrastination. Make sure it is a time when the senior is relaxed and comfortable. Identify the problems that are making the aging adult uncomfortable, and work to resolve them.
If you are still having problems with washing hair, consider hiring a home care provider. These professionals are trained in how to bathe and dress aging adults. They have good ideas for how to make the process fast, comfortable and effective. The home care provider can work with your aging relative and get the event over with quickly and painlessly. If the battle to wash hair is more about personality than physical issues, having a home care provider do the job neutralizes their emotions surrounding it.
If you are struggling to wash your aging relative’s hair, consider hiring a home care provider to work with your elderly adult. You might be surprised that this once-enormous and time-consuming task will be quickly reduced to just one more small thing to do for your elderly relative.

If you are considering Elder Care in Monroeville, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care. Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551.