Dementia Care Experts Recommend Approaching Senior Bathing Care with a SMILE


Use the SMILE technique when approaching bathing care for seniors.

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine this: Most of your life has been devoted to taking care of and helping others – as a parent, during your career, through volunteering in your local community, and as a grandparent. After living independently and being in control of any decisions that impact your life, you now find yourself as the one who needs assistance with bathing and other daily care tasks. Imagine the vulnerability, sense of loss, and fear that may be experienced when suddenly day-to-day tasks are challenging to complete.

If you are a family caregiver for a senior loved one, it is helpful to put yourself in his or her shoes when facing challenges related to assisting with personal care tasks. The struggles your senior loved one is having are frustrating, and a little empathy and patience can have a significant impact in fostering a sense of peace and in gaining acceptance with the idea of help. Let’s be honest: allowing someone to assist with personal care services such as bathing, dressing, and bathroom needs is uncomfortable, and can feel as though dignity is lost if not handled sensitively.

Hillendale Home Care understands these challenges, and recommends using the SMILE approach during these delicate situations, to help both you and your senior loved one feel more comfortable:

Safety: Assistive devices such as electric razors, grab bars, a bathtub seat and a handheld shower can be helpful.

Modesty: Ensure privacy and maintain modesty as best as possible.

Independence: Provide your senior loved one with simple choices and the opportunity for him/her to do as much as possible independently.

Levity: Accept imperfection and make things as fun as possible.

Etiquette: Treat the senior as a respected adult, with dignity.

Hillendale Home Care’s compassionate, professional caregivers provide respectful personal care assistance for older adults. All of our caregivers are background checked and highly trained – providing peace of mind that seniors are safe and secure in our care. A few of the many ways we can customize care to meet the unique needs of your loved one:

  • Bathing, dressing and other personal care assistance
  • Light housekeeping and laundry services
  • Nutritious meal planning and preparation
  • Transportation and accompaniment to appointments
  • Engaging outings in the local community
  • Mobility and transfer assistance
  • And so much more

Contact Hillendale Home Care, the leaders in dementia care in Berkeley, CA and nearby areas, at 925-993-8181 to arrange for an in-home care assessment. We would love to share more about how our expert in-home care services in Walnut Creek and the surrounding areas can make life easier and more comfortable for you and a senior loved one.