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Tips for giving a bed bath to overweight or sensitive people

Giving a Bed Bath: A Step-by-Step Guide: Page 4

By , Caring.com senior editor
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If the person you're bathing is resistant to a bath or particularly sensitive to water, try using no-rinse soaps and shampoos. You rub them in and towel them off -- the dirt comes off in the toweling. No-rinse bathing products can be a huge help, but they do leave a residue, so you'll need to rinse with water every now and then.

Giving a good bed bath requires a lot of movement on your part -- lifting, holding, and tilting the person's body. If she's overweight or heavy, a bath may be a two-person job. The same is true if she's easily irritated or feels pain when touched.

"You may need other people to help, like a relative or home health aide," says Jennifer Serafin, a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Home for the Aged in San Francisco.

You can hire a home heath worker to assist you, enlist relatives or friends, or try a combination of the two. Hiring a professional for a one-time crash course on giving a bed bath could also be extremely helpful.

You won't need to give a full-body bed bath daily. Ask the medical team, but in most cases a full bath once or twice a week should be sufficient.

It's recommended that you clean the private areas and under any skin folds daily. You'll need to wash under the testicles, breasts, armpits, and tummy rolls, which are more of an issue with overweight people.

Once-a-day washing can be done efficiently with a wipe or damp washcloth. If the person in your care uses the toilet, take this opportunity for a quick cleaning.