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How To Take A Shower

What is it?

Taking a shower helps keep the skin clean and protected from infection. It may also help you relax and feel better. If you have special needs check with the caregivers before taking a shower. These needs may include having recent surgery, an IV, drainage tubes, casts or dressings. Carefully follow the directions of the caregiver.

Safety tips for taking a shower:

  • Special equipment for bathing safely can be bought from many drug or medical supply stores.
  • Put grab bars on the walls of the shower. Grab bars are strong bars that are fixed firmly to the walls around the shower. These will help you get in and out of the shower. Grab bars can be bought at medical supply or hardware stores.
  • To keep from falling in the shower, put a rubber mat or nonskid treads on the bottom of the shower. You may also put a nonskid chair in the shower to sit on if you feel tired or weak. The chair may just be used to sit while washing your legs and feet.
  • Put a bath mat on the floor beside the shower. Do not put a towel on the floor. A towel can move when standing on it and cause a fall.
  • Keep a small bell near the shower to ring if you need help.
  • Keep the door unlocked to make it easier for someone to offer help if needed.
Gather the following items and put them within easy reach.
  • Bath towels and washcloths.
  • Bath blanket.
  • Soap, powder, lotion and deodorant.
  • A chair, a shower or tub/bench if needed.
  • Clothing, such as underwear, robe, or slippers.

Before the shower:

Close the window, door and adjust the room temperature to keep the bathroom warm while showering. Turn on the shower and adjust the water flow and temperature just before you get in the shower. The temperature of the water should be comfortably warm. Use your elbow or wrist to feel the water temperature. Be very careful when adding more hot water while showering. Skin can be easily burned if the water is too hot. Steam from the water will help warm the bathroom.

Taking the shower:

Remove your clothes and carefully get into the shower. If you feel weak, ask someone to stay near while you are showering. Ask this person to wash and rinse your back if you cannot reach it yourself. Use soap to wash your body and rinse with water.

After showering:

Turn off the water and step out of the shower. Remember to use the grab bars to help you get out of the shower.

  • Sit on the closed toilet or chair, or stand to dry yourself. If you get cold cover yourself with the bath blanket.
  • When you feel comfortably warm, gently dry between your legs, under the arms, behind the knees, and between the toes.
  • Get dressed or have someone help you get dressed.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan, you must learn about health condition and how it can be treated. You can then discuss treatment options with your caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat you. You always have the right to refuse treatment.The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2013 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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