An Older Adult Skips Bathing? Maybe there’s a Reason

MotherDaughter_shutterstock_586964051A common complaint about older people, especially those who have health challenges, is that they “smell” or have other signs that they don’t shower or bathe often enough to stay fresh.

Some of this may be driven by ageist stereotypes, but some of it can be based in truth. If you have a parent or other older adult in your family and you feel that poor hygiene is a realistic issue, the first thing you should do is try to determine why the person isn't keeping up with self-care. 

Understand that we aren’t talking about someone who wasn’t smelling too fresh one day when you stopped in. There could be many reasons for this. Perhaps they simply had a hard arthritis day or at the other extreme, maybe they had a stellar day and have been out working in the yard for hours, with a shower next on the agenda. So, avoid being judgmental. What we’re referring to is poor hygiene that boils down to self-neglect.

Continue reading on Egosancares to learn more about why some older adults don't bathe as often as we think they should:

Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. “I hold onto your book as a life preserver and am reading it slowly on purpose...I don't want it to end.” ...Craig William Dayton, Film Composer

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An Older Adult Skips Bathing? Maybe there’s a Reason