In-Home Health Care for People with Disabilities
Minneapolis & Saint Paul Home Health Care763.208.5169
Twin Cities Bathing Assistance
An essential component of Caregiver/PCA is bathing clients where they are unable to do this independently. The PCA is responsible for ensuring that the hygiene needs of the client are met whether the PCA performs the bath or the client does it their self. The type of bathe given is determined by the client’s self-care abilities. There are general types of baths, cleansing and therapeutic.
Cleansing Bath- baths are routine client care for personal hygiene. The 5 types of cleansing baths are shower, tub bath, self-help bath, bed bath, complete bed bath and partial bath.
- Shower-Most ambulatory clients are capable of taking a shower. Clients with physical limitations can use a waterproof chair in the shower. The PCA may provide some assistance with the shower.
- Tub Bath- Some clients may prefer and enjoy a tub bath. Tub baths can also be therapeutic. Clients with physical limitations will be assisted by the PCA when entering and exiting the tub. The PCA will also test the bath tub water to ensure that the temperature is safe before allowing the client to enter.
- Self Help- Some clients are confined to a bed and this type of bath provides the hygiene care needed. The PCA prepares the bath equipment and assists in washing difficult to reach areas. Areas such as the back, legs, feet, external genitalia.
- Complete Bed Bath- The PCA assists the clients, who are confined to bed, with an entire body wash.
- Partial Bath- The PCA assists with cleansing only those body areas that would cause discomfort or odor. These areas are the face, hands, and genitals area.
Therapeutic- A Physicians order is required for Therapeutic bath. This order or care plan will state the type of bath, body surface to be treated, temperature of water and type of medication solution to be used. This is usually 20- 30 minutes in a tub. Therapeutic can be broken into: hot or warm or cool bath; soak or sitz bath.
- Hot or Warm Bath- The bath is done in the tub and it reduces muscle spasms, soreness and tension, but can cause skin burns.
- Cool bath- Also done in the tub where the cool water relieve tension and lower the body temperature to prevent chilling and rapid temperature fluctuation during the bath.
- Soak Bath- TThis bath is limited to a certain body part but can involve the entire body. Water with or without medication is applied to relieve swelling, pain and irritation to that part or just as a means to remove dead skin tissues.
- Sitz Bath- Bath that reduces inflammation and cleanses the genital and anal areas.
At no time during any of these baths does the Caregiver/PCA leave the Client alone.
Attention to grooming and hygiene helps to build self esteem. It keeps clients in touch with their appearance and maintains body awareness and a sense of identity. Activities include; hair care, shampooing, foot and toe nail care, oral care, shaving and dressing.
Foot and Toe Nail Care Assistance-Proper foot and toe nail care is essential for standing and ambulation. Often foot and toe nail care are ignored until a problem occur. These problems may be a result of poorly fitted shoes, inadequate foot and toenail hygiene, incorrect nail trimming and exposure to harsh chemicals. These problems may cause a loss of skin integrity and potential for infection.
Pain and hardness is usually the first sign of foot and toenail problems. These symptoms may cause stains to certain muscle groups. Clients with diabetes mellitus have changes in circulation predisposing them to foot problems requiring special foot and toenail care.
Foot and toenail care prevents infection and soft tissue trauma from ingrown or jagged nails.
- regular cleaning
- rinsing, and drying the feet and toenails
- trimming the toenails
- cleaning under the toenails
- Wearing proper fitting shoe
Oral Care-The oral cavity takes in food, chews it, secrete mucus to moisten and lubricate the food.
- bad breathe
- Inflammation of the gums
- Inflammation of the oral mucosa
Poor oral hygiene and loss of teeth effects a person social interaction, body image and nutritional intake. Daily oral care is vital to maintaining the integrity of the entire mouth.
Preventative measure can prevent the oral cavity and teeth. These measures include:
- Flossing- should be done daily before brushing the teeth
- Brushing- promotes blood circulation in the gums and removes plaques and food debris.
Brush after each meals. If dentures are won, they should be brushed as well. The oral cavity must be cleaned of dentures wearers.
Hair Care Assistance-Hair affects a person’s appearance and body image. Hair maintains body temperature.
Caring for the hair includes:
- Brushing and combing- hair should be brushed and combed daily in the clients preferred manner. Certain precautions are taken with clients who have tangled or matted hair. The tangled hair is held near the scalped while combing to prevent pulling and discomfort.
- Shampooing- hair should be shampooed according to the client’s usually routine. Shampooing removes soil from the hair stimulates the scalp and helps circulate the blood. Depending on the client’s abilities, shampooed hair can be done in the tub. At the sink, in the bed or in the shower.
- Shaving is the removal of hair from skin surface. Before this activity is assisted with, the caregiver will review the clients care plan and follow what is outlined in the plan.