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Re: Baths -- how often?

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You are not doing the wrong thing at all.  I would not blame you if you would bathe her 2-3 times a week.  If she has skin issues, most definately to treat her skin problems.  I used to work for Hospice and I would get angry when I wouls have to fill in for those on vacation or out ill and find out other caregivers would not bathe their patients frequent enough and the patient had skin issues and kept breaking down.  If I would complain to the nurse it got me nowhere, which got me more angry.  But what was I to do?  This Hospice has no care in their care any more like they used to any more.  I am so glad my health took me out of the picture cause I would be devistated and lost my job for all the wrong reasons instead.  You most definately are headed in the right direction.  The patient is responding to you well too which is great....GO FOR IT!  Get it while you can!  If you can get more hours do it because noone else seems to care as much as you!  People just do not have the compassion like you and I now a days!  Woman Frustrated

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Re: Baths -- how often?

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Message 2 of 9
Thank you, Jane! I'm a career educator with a M.Ed. in instructional technology. I'm not a young lady, but near retirement age.

I grew really tired of teaching, for several reasons, and "retired" a little early. I've been traveling around the world -- 24 countries so far!

Anyway, I am enjoying the caregiving very much. I definitely see the need! I'd actually like to start my own agency and have been researching that possibility.

This experience will help me in that endeavor should I pursue it!

Thanks again for the encouragement!
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Re: Baths -- how often?

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Message 3 of 9

Hey there, young lady.

 

You are a natural caregiver, with heart and stamina and creativity. The questions you ask are fair, and i too am surprised that the agency AND the family is not clearer about what is expected of you. In the absence of instruction and supervision, you've done very well!  Your care recipient is lucky to have you!

 

It sounds like an agency that hires well meaning but unlicensed caregivers, which isn't itself a bad thing since you are one of them! The agency is lucky to have you, too. What i want to know is, why does your coworker have the only access to the family? you're a live-in caregiver for three 24 hour days per week. It seems to me that you should be able to contact the family directly. If the family prefers the (more familiar?) 4 day per week caregiver, well, their loss. But i'm wondering, why wouldn't the agency allow you to have equal access?  Is there anyone at the agency that you report to?

 

Seems to me that you have a bright future. On your days off, could you start taking classes? become a certified nursing assistant? there are many names for what you are doing, and the more training you get, the better the pay. Personal Care Aides, Private Duty Aides, Home Health Aides, and Nursing Assistants. You could work your way up to LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) if you want to.

 

Glad you wrote us. Please keep sharing your stories and experience. Truly wonderful to have the voice of a non-relative professional caregiver in our midst.

 

Jane

a social worker who gets to work with many aides and is grateful for all the work they do

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Re: Baths -- how often?

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Message 4 of 9
Thank you for answering my question about frequency for full bath/shower! The sores are small and seem to be areas she's scratched on her skin with her own fingernails. Only one of them was fairly deep and since I've given baths and daily (when I'm there) cleaning and antibiotic cream, they are all healing.
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Re: Baths -- how often?

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Message 5 of 9

The advice from Astraea was spot on.

 

   Having said that, I was a CNA for awhile and as a generalization, once a week full bath/shower is ok.  This assumes that under-clothing is changed daily. 

   'Spot' cleaning on a daily basis should be done. I think you can figure the spots needed, including underarms.  The daily spot cleaning and the once or twice a week bathing is, in my experience, the general routine in nursing homes.  Unless there is some particular issue with skin, then lotion, especially in winter months, is indicated on a daily basis. You must be sure there are no skin conditions involved before using, and need something hypoallergenic. Don't just get something off the shelf.

   I can't really detail anything because a medical professional needs to be consulted first to keep everyone safe. You especially need to find the cause (again, a medical pro) to guide you about the 'sores on her legs' --- don't guess!


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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Re: Baths -- how often?

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Message 6 of 9

You might want to reach out to local agencies for the aging, on your time off, to find out what your legal liabilities are, in this situation .. if anything happens to this woman. Her family seems to be insulating themselves from her needs, by keeping this other caregiver as an intermediary .. and if this other woman didn't bath her at all, that doesn't give me any confidence about her level of expertise in the field! I wouldn't want to be in your shoes at all!


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Re: Baths -- how often?

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Message 7 of 9
It's a job. I'm paid and no, there wasn't much training, although I've cared for several seniors as a volunteer.

I found some neosporin in another bathroom and have been applying it to the sores on her legs.

It seems the family and the other caretaker just let this lady make her own decisions about bathing, but she smelled horrible when I arrived! The agency has told me to "keep doing what you're doing", but this other caretaker is trying to sabotage everything I'm doing. She has been working here since last May and seems to have influence with both the family and the agency -- why, I don't know!

Yesterday I took her to her church for Christmas -- bath on Saturday, then styled her hair Sunday morning. I found appropriate clothing and a warm coat too. She looked great and enjoyed seeing her old friends and singing carols. She's so much better since I've arrived to care for her.

I desperately needed a job when this came along and I'm loving it! I just wish the other caretaker was not so jealous of my successes -- getting the lady to eat well, activities to stimulate her mind, and cleaning up.

I was told to text the family if I needed anything, but they don't respond. They communicate through the other caregiver, who chides me for "bothering the family" when I sent a grocery list.

I'm just going to keep giving this woman the best care I can give. She's lovely. I can't worry about the dysfunction of the other caretaker and family dynamics.
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Re: Baths -- how often?

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Message 8 of 9

I'm very confused; are you a volunteer or is this a job? Who "assigned" this job? Don't they give basic instructions & training, and a schedule of when routine things should be done, and whom to call if there are problems? This isn't something someone should just walk in & try to "wing it"!

 

If this woman is being cared for by an agency, and wasn't bathed for a month, that seems horrible & worthy of investigation by a state or local agency! And she had sores on her legs .. was a doctor seeing her periodically? Does she have any medication to be put on the sores? Frequency?


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Baths -- how often?

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Message 9 of 9
I'm new to caregiving and I've been assigned a 3 day a week/24 hour a day job with an 84 year old lady with dementia. When I started, I read over the caregiver notes for the previous month and no one had given this lady a bath. She doesn't like baths, so they haven't given her one. I found a bath chair in her basement and convinced her to let me help her bathe and shampoo. She fussed a little, but helped get undressed and was cooperative. She now smells and looks so much better! The sores on her legs are healing as well. I've continued to bathe her once a week. We play "beauty parlor" afterward when I blow dry and style her hair.

The other caregiver has told our agency that I am "mean" for insisting on the bath. I had to buy the woman deodorant because she had none!

Is once a week enough bathing for an elderly person? I'm not being mean, I feel that I am caring for her well. Thoughts?
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