Bathing keeps the skin healthy and can help prevent infections. It’s a good time to check the skin to look for sores or rashes. Bathing also helps your loved one feel fresh and clean. A person who can’t move well or who can’t move at all needs a bed bath. You may be caring for someone who has short-term trouble with self-care because he or she is recovering from an illness or surgery. Or you may be taking care of an older person who has memory problems. The person may not remember how to bathe. Or you could be caring for someone who has a long-term inability to move, such as a person who is paralyzed. This person will need much more of your care when bathing. In this short video, we’ll show you how to give a bed bath.
As a caregiver, you may have to bathe someone who can’t get out of bed.
This could get awkward – but it doesn’t have to be.
In this short video, we’ll show you how to give a bed bath!
We’ve broken the tasks down into easy to follow steps so the person you’re caring for stay clean and free of infection.
Let’s start. Here’s what we’ll need:
Their favourite soap or cleanser. We recommend using something gentle.
Washcloths and towels, it’s best to have a few of each, just in case.
Skincare creams or lotions that they like.
Two washbasins or large bowls: one for washing and one for rinsing.
And a waterproof bed pad. If you don’t have a bed pad, a garbage bag works fine too.
Before we start, here are some things to keep in mind.
Water will cool quickly in a bowl so start with hot water. It will be a usable temperature when you’re ready to start.
Be sure to cover the areas you’re not currently washing with a light blanket or towel. This helps keep the person you’re providing care for warm and helps make the process a little less awkward for the both of you.
As you work check their skin for open areas, rashes or red areas that could be caused by pressure because these could lead to serious infections.
If you’re going to come in contact with blood or bodily fluids while you’re giving a bed bath – be sure to wear disposable gloves.
Encourage the person that you’re caring for to do as much as they can for themselves. Sometimes just handing them a washcloth will cue them to wash.
And as always, report anything unusual to a health care professional for follow up.
Now we begin!
First, let’s start by putting the waterproof bed pad under them. If you are using a garbage bag, put a towel on top of it to absorb water and protect their skin from the plastic.
Now, let’s wet and wring out a washcloth so that it is slightly damp. Have a towel on hand for drying.
We’ll start by washing their face.
Remember to be gentle! Facial skin is sensitive so avoid harsh soaps and opt for a gentle cleanser or even just plain water.
It can be helpful to wrap the cloth around your hand like this, but you don’t have to.
Now all we have to do is wash, rinse, and dry.
Here’s how we do it.
With one cloth, use soapy water to wash.
When done with the area, switch to another cloth in the clean water to rinse.
Then pat dry each area with a towel.
Once you get this technique down, you’re good to go with the rest of the areas.
Next, we’ll help the person you’re caring for wash their chest, stomach, arms and hands.
Pay close attention to any skin folds or under breasts an make sure they’re dried well.
Being confined to bed can be very hard on the skin, be sure to pat skin dry instead of rubbing – like this.
Now – Let’s wash their legs and feet.
Make sure that the areas between their toes are dried very well to avoid fungal infections or skin issues.
Now, we’ve arrived at the last part.
Helping to wash someone’s private areas can be a really uncomfortable task, but properly cleaning this area is very important to prevent infections that could lead to hospital stays.
With a fresh cloth start washing their private areas in the front, always work from front to back.
When you’re finished washing the front, discard the used washcloth and help them to roll onto their side away from you.
Now we grab a fresh cloth to wash their back and then bottom.
If you need a more detailed tutorial, check out our other video on, “How to wash someone’s private areas” .
Once you are done washing and drying their private areas, now is the time to apply any prescription, barrier creams or lotions and assist them in getting dressed.
For tips on how to help dress someone in bed or to learn how to change sheets while the person you’re caring for stays in bed, visit our channel.
Assisting someone to wash in their bed does not have to be difficult! With some practice, following these steps, you’ll be a pro in no time!
For more videos to help you on your caregiving journey check out our CareChannel video series.