Contrary to popular belief, bath water temperatures for the elderly can pose serious health risks for them. Slippery floors, the lack of needed bath equipment, and unideal water temperature will make bathing unsafe and uncomfortable as well. This is especially important if your loved ones have health issues that impair their movement or senses. Hence, here is a guide to making bathing much easier, safer, and enjoyable for your loved ones!
Optimal Water Temperature
Experts have recommended that the ideal bath temperature should only be a few degrees higher than normal body temperature. Thus, the best temperature is estimated to be between 98 degrees to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. However, some might enjoy their showers a little colder, while others prefer a steamier bath time. Therefore, to find the best and most enjoyable bath temperature for your loved ones, you should first ask them about their personal preference, and then use the expert’s recommendation as a gauge.
However, it is important to note that any water above 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius) can affect your loved one’s health if they stay in the shower for too long. This is especially dangerous for those that have heart or cardiovascular issues. Thus, you should ensure that your loved ones enjoy the water temperature and yet are not at risk because of it.
Dangers of “Too Hot” Water
Water that is around 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius) is considered scalding water and can cause serious burns in a short time. Not only will the burns put your loved ones at the risk of developing bacterial infections, but they can also cause a loss of mobility, dehydration, and scarring.
At the same time, water that is too hot (but not scalding) can also cause heart problems and adversely affect their skins. This is especially so for those with impaired senses, mobility, or reaction time as they might not be able to realize or adjust the temperature; and hence suffer from the hot temperature for a longer time. This will lead to the excessive flowing of blood to their skin and cardiac strain.
Dangers of “Too Cold” Water
Cold water is also equally dangerous as hot water. Cold water can cause the narrowing of blood vessels, which reduces the amount of blood flow to your loved ones’ skin, internal organs, and heart. Therefore, causing heart strain, which is a serious health issue. Additionally, the cold water can cause your loved ones to lose body heat, which can also escalate into hypothermia.
Other Bathing Tips
Now that you know the dangers of bathwater and the importance of optimal water temperature, what else can you do to improve the bathing session for your loved ones?
You can adjust their hot water tank to ensure that their bathwater will never be too hot. Additionally, you can purchase a bath thermometer for instantaneously testing the water temperature. If possible, you can also slowly inform them how to use the bath thermometer and the risks of excessively hot or cold water.