Providing a Bed-Bath
Before you begin a bed bath, assemble items needed:
dry washcloths (2)
dry bath towels (2)
a bedside table or a wheeled cart
basins for water (2)
soap / lotion
any articles of clothing
• Adjust room temperature so it is toasty warm.
• Wash hands with warm soap and water prior to assisting the client.
• Undress client but keep them under a blanket or large towel. This stays on them the whole bath for warmth and privacy.
• Fill 2 large basins with warm water, one for washing and one for rinsing.
• Wash hands again with warm soap and water. Apply gloves.
• Stand at his/her shoulder. You will be washing down one side of their body, section by section, lifting the cover away only as much as necessary. It helps to tilt them up on the side a little, facing away from you, so you can reach underneath their body. Start with the shoulder, then arm and hand, including the fingers. Move to the side of their torso and hips, then wash their thigh, lower leg, foot and toes
• The washing itself is straightforward: soap then rinse, using a different washcloth for each. Rinse sufficiently to get all the soap off, (soap residue is drying to the skin, and elderly skin is prone to dryness.) Make sure the water temperature stays warm to touch. When washing, stroke in the direction of the heart, toward the torso, to help blood circulation
• After a section is rinsed, pat dry with a towel and lay the cover down quickly for warmth
• After you’ve finished one side of the body, repeat the other side. Afterward, move to the neck and face
• Save the privates for last. Do these quickly, lifting the cover only as much as necessary to soap and rinse. To reach the rear, tilt the person’s body to the sides as much as you need to or can
• When you’re done, the entire body should remain covered with the blanket or towel
• Remove gloves and wash hands with warm soap and water
• Take a deep breath before dressing them, giving a bed bath is a bonafide workout!
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