Archive for January 2022

6 Tips for Making Bath Time Easier for Patients & Caretakers

Posted on Jan 19, 2022

elderly bathing

We get it—it’s awkward for everyone. 

Whether you’re the caretaker of an elderly parent, an ill loved one, or an individual with dementia, bath time is likely one of the most challenging rituals of your care. But it doesn’t have to be. The following are a few tips to help make bathing less of an uphill battle and maybe even a treat. 

Tip 1. Check in with yourself before getting started. 

Even if the individual you’re helping bathe is visually-impaired or has advanced dementia, they will still be receptive to your attitude or demeanor going into any caretaking experience. If your facial expression, tone of voice, or body language is expressing uncertainty, squeamishness, nervousness, or annoyance, they will very likely mirror these feelings. 


Approach bath time with optimism, confidence, and a calming influence. You may be quite surprised how receptive the individual becomes to what was ordinarily a time fraught with tension and discomfort. 

Tip 2. Prep the bathing space before getting started. 

Why would anyone want to take a shower or bath in a cold, wet, echo-filled place with potentially weird smells—also just to have you leaving to get more supplies periodically? 


  1. Older and disabled individuals with circulation problems are more sensitive to the cold, so you will want to warm up the bathroom before bathtime. 
  2. Consider lighting pleasantly scented candles or using nice-smelling soaps to make the space more inviting. 
  3. Have all of your supplies within reach before starting bathtime. Having to leave the bathroom to fetch anything will make the person feel alone and may cause them to attempt to leave the bathroom—which is not only a mess waiting to happen but is also potentially dangerous. 

Tip 3. Strive to make the process less awkward and more private. 

Put yourself in their bath chair—having to be assisted with bathing is awkward. But you can make it seem less weird. 


Instead of just taking over the entire process and treating them like another chore, give them both privacy as well as a role. 

You can give them privacy by covering sensitive areas with washcloths. You can also give them washcloths to use to clean themselves while you’re cleaning other hard-to-reach areas. If they’re more responsible and less likely to make a mess, you could even give them the handheld showerhead to rinse themselves. 

Even if you have to go back over certain areas they didn’t quite clean, not only will this role make them feel more independent, but it will distract them from any perceived awkwardness related to being bathed. 

Tip 4. Luxuriate the experience. 

“C’mon—it’s bath time,” isn’t the most appealing sentence you could say to someone in need of a good washing.


When a loved one is in need of a bath, make the experience seem more luxurious for them. Don’t call it “bath time” or highlight the utility of the experience (“you stink and you need a bath”—possibly the worst thing you can say), instead call it “spa day” or offer them a nice “soak” or a “sauna experience.” 

Tip 5. Simplify the experience with the right tools.

Without the right tools, any job can become unpleasurable and stressful. Bathing is no exception. Even if you’re capable of hoisting this person into position and manually reaching all of the hard-to-reach areas, doing it the “hard way” can make the experience more intense and less enjoyable for them.


Invest in a handful of items that will make the washing experience not only easier for you but also more enjoyable for them. 

  • A handheld showerhead is a must for washing a sitting individual—as well as letting them help out in the process.
  • A shower chair and a larger shower opening can remove the challenge of getting in and out of a tub. 
  • A transfer bench can help less-capable individuals enter the bathing space. 
  • A variety of handles can help the person achieve stability in the bathroom—not only functionally useful but also helpful in increasing confidence.

Tip 6. End the experience with something they’ll look forward to. 

Even when bath time is over, many of those people cared for may still not have a positive association with the experience. And you may think you’ve done all you can. There are still ways to make their perception of bath time a more favorable one. 


At the end of every bath-time experience, provide the individual with a positive association—a treat or an expression of personal dignity. Perhaps a woman may enjoy an application of a favorite perfume. Maybe a fella appreciates a little aftershave or cologne. There may even be a favorite treat—such as tea, cocoa, or ice cream—that they enjoy and can begin to associate with the bath-time experience. 

Hospice & Palliative Care Services in Tulsa, Oklahoma

If you or a loved one is looking for professional and compassionate hospice and palliative care in the Greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area, look no further than your friends at Cura HPC Hospice & Palliative Care.

“Doh, I Forgot to Ask!” - 5 Tips for Managing Doctor’s Appointments

Posted on Jan 19, 2022

doctor in his office

“I totally forgot to ask the doctor about…” 

Whether you’re going to the doctor for your own needs or as the caretaker for someone else, making the most of the appointment can be tricky. Why? Stressors related to conditions, a feeling like you’re wasting the doctor’s time, or even the feeling to need to make the most of this limited time with a medical professional can feel like you’re quickly throwing the entire appointment off target. 

The following are a few tips to lower the tension and make the most of doctor’s appointments for you or a loved one. 

Tip 1. Plan ahead before you plan ahead. 

A very simple way to make the most of appointments with doctors is to jot down all of the questions you wish to ask the doctor before you head out of the door for said appointment. For some, this works just fine. For others, attempting to rack their brain for all of the questions they want to ask just before an appointment is too much. 

What is the solution? 

Keep a running list a week in or more in advance. 

Whether you keep a journal or are familiar with a note-taking application on your phone, jot down your questions for you or your loved one’s doctor as soon as they arise. Then, the night before the appointment with the doctor, transfer these questions to a single sheet of paper or digital note to bring along to the appointment. 

Pro tip: If you’re jotting these questions down to bring with you, leave space on the paper to fill in the doctor’s reply. 

Tip 2. Get help guarding your attention. 

If you’re escorting a loved one to an appointment with their doctor, your first job is to be your loved one’s caretaker and secondly to be their advocate with the doctor. Unfortunately, being there for your loved one—especially a loved one with dementia—can overshadow your role as their patient advocate.

What is the solution? 

Get a friend to help. 

  1. If you’re heading into a doctor’s appointment for a loved one where you have a lot of questions or you simply need to focus heavily on what the doctor is saying, recruit a friend or family member to assist in the caretaking duties.
  2. If you don’t feel that additional caretaking abilities will be fully necessary, you can still opt to record the appointment using a voice recorder or specialized phone application. There is actually a medical appointment recorder and transcription application called Abridge that we have written about before

Tip 3. Set the agenda for the appointment from the outset. 

Doctors have a limited window of time to talk with their patients or advocates, so time is of the essence. It can be easy to feel slightly steamrolled by new information and forget that you have questions to ask. 

What is the solution? 

Let them know you have questions prepared before they even tell you any new updates. But then save them till the end.

As the doctor enters the room, after the initial greetings are dispensed, let them know that you have a number of questions for them. While they may then ask you to ask your questions, you may ask for the questions to be saved for after they dispense the information they have in case this new information answers any of the questions you have.

Once the doctor has finished with their news or questions for you, you can then ask your questions. Don’t feel odd about showing them your list of questions. It may also be helpful to include why you’re asking the questions you are—as the motivation for the questions can help doctors provide the most helpful answer. 

Tip 4. Repeat the doctor’s answer for confirmation or comprehension. 

Even when a doctor does answer your question, comprehending this answer for the average layman can be tricky. Even using a transcription app like Abridge can leave you later running to Google to make head-or-tails of what they said—and those answers can be terrifying when left to the internet to wrangle.

What is the solution? 

Repeat their answers in your own words back to them for confirmation. 

Once the doctor has given you an answer, repeating their answer back to them in your own words not only helps ensure that you understand what they are saying, but that they believe you understand what they said.

You may choose to reply by saying, “So, in other words…” before you repeat their answer in your own words. This will allow them to confirm or correct your understanding of the information. 

Tip 5. Write up your own summary of the appointment. 

So, you asked all of the questions you wanted to ask and received all kinds of new helpful information. Will this appointment seem just as helpful a week from now? Likely not. 

What is the solution? 

Jot down your own appointment summary. 

As soon as the doctor leaves the room, they will likely head back to their office to write up a summary of the appointment. You should do the same. As soon as you get back home and your loved one allows you the time to do so, handwrite a summary of the appointment. It doesn’t have to be word-for-word, but it should include the highlights of the appointment. Not only will this summary be helpful later for reference, but the act of writing it down will help you remember precisely what information was discussed. 

Hospice & Palliative Care Services in Tulsa, Oklahoma

If you or a loved one is looking for professional and compassionate hospice and palliative care in the Greater Tulsa, Oklahoma area, look no further than your friends at Cura HPC Hospice & Palliative Care.