Can you offer any tips for bathing an overweight parent?

2 answers | Last updated: Feb 29, 2012
A fellow caregiver asked...
My dad is quite overweight, and it's a real struggle for me to help him bathe. Any suggestions?

Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Sometimes bathing is a two-person job, so first try to enlist other family members or friends to help. You want to be careful not to hurt yourself, and muscle pulls, back strains, and bad falls do happen this way. If you overdo it, there's risk for both you and your father. If you hurt yourself, you won't be able to continue caring for him

Consider hiring help, even if all you can afford is assistance with a full bath once a week. If that's the case, you can do hand washes in between. There's no shame in hiring a professional. Many of these people have a lot of experience and can show you easier ways to bathe your parent, reducing your stress. Calling on outside help doesn't mean you're a failure.


Community Answers

Chris ballard answered...

I'm the one with Alzheimer's in our family. I've showered much of my adult life. Right now I can still take showers. I do have a problem getting up when I get down on the floor, so I'm sure one of those benches in the tub would be helpful to my caregiver when it comes to that, rather than a tub bath.