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How to Wash Hair for Bedridden Seniors

Elder Care in The Heights TX: How to Wash Hair for Bedridden Seniors

Elder Care in The Heights TX: How to Wash Hair for Bedridden Seniors

Caring for a bedridden senior adult requires a big shift in how daily tasks are done. Things that seemed so easy before now require some planning and problem solving. Grooming and hygiene become more difficult for the bedridden, especially when it comes to washing hair. The good news is that there are some techniques that can be used to clean and rinse the senior’s hair while sitting up in bed.

There are many reasons why seniors become bedridden. Usually it is because of a serious or sudden physical condition like a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, fibromyalgia or cancer. Sometimes it can be a short-term reason, such as post-surgery recovery or pneumonia. No matter what the reason, many elderly adults are involuntarily confined to bed and can’t get up without help from family caregivers or elder care aides. They depend on their caregivers to help keep their hair clean and groomed.

It’s important to give an elderly adult’s hair a thorough cleaning when they are bedridden. Their hair can become matted, greasy and dull. They can also lose hair or develop bald spots. A dry and itchy scalp is also common in seniors that don’t wash their hair very often. Finally, most seniors want to look and feel their best and clean hair can boost their mood and lift their spirits.

There are two methods to washing a bedridden senior’s hair. The first method uses a type of inflatable or portable hair washing basin. It sits underneath the person’s neck when they are lying down. The basin surrounds the head area and can be filled with water. It will also catch water poured onto the hair without soaking the bedding. It’s like the shampoo sinks at the hair salon and does a fine job of helping family caregivers or elder care aides provide a thorough wash.

Another method can be used if the elderly adult can sit up in bed with some assistance. In this method, they sit up and drape a towel around their shoulders. After combing out the hair to ensure there are no tangles, the family caregiver can start shampooing. Using a solution of 1 tablespoon of shampoo to 1 quart of water, they can spray the mixture into their loved one’s hair and work it into a lather. Then they can spray clean warm water on the hair to rinse it off. Working from top to bottom, the shampoo should rinse out easily. Caregivers may need to rinse a few times to get all the shampoo out. Dry the hair by blotting it with a towel and then letting it air dry.

Clean hair doesn’t have to be a big challenge with enough planning and preparation. Bedridden seniors don’t have to sacrifice clean hair when there are techniques in place that allow family caregivers and elder care aides to get the job done.

If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in The Heights, TX, please call the caring staff at At Your Side Home Care. We will answer all of your senior care questions. Call today: (832) 271-1600.

Donna Wrabel, LMSW

For most of us, the word "home" evokes warm feelings of comfort, security and well-being. For older adults, home also means holding tight to cherished memories and maintaining self-esteem and independence. When illness, injury or age make life a little more challenging, remaining at home in a comfortable, familiar environment encourages recovery and enhances the quality of life. Home can be defined as a private residence, an independent or assisted living facility or even a short term stay in the hospital, we recognize the additional benefits provided by a personal, professional assistant.

Our Certified Nurse Aides, 24-Hour Live-in Assistants and Home Health Aides are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also provide the security and confidence of 24-hour Telephone Assistance, so fast, reliable help is always available when it's needed. To learn more about our homecare services see our homecare services page.

Different people need different levels of homecare. To meet the requirements of our clients, At Your Side Homecare maintains consistent staffing levels of caring professionals. Homecare service is available for as little as a few hours a week, or as many as 24 hours a day, seven days a week