to wonder why some people want a strip wash?

(67 Posts)
sweetlilacsinspring Thu 19-Jun-14 11:36:34

I am working a bit for a home care agency. One of the things that's surprised me is how many people don't want a bath or shower, even when they have a specially adapted wet room, but a strip wash on the bed using soap and flannels. You can never get the soap off properly and it must be so drying. Plus surely it's itchy and uncomfortable - a shower would be much more refreshing?

Does anybody strip wash instead of showering?

OP’s posts: |
NigellasDealer Thu 19-Jun-14 11:37:38

yes because my shower doesnt work right now.
we call it a 'whore's bath' though grin

BeatriceBean Thu 19-Jun-14 11:41:13

I imagine they'd love a bath/shower but the effort of getting there is perhaps too much/ its uncomfortable for them in a way it isn't for you or me.

I remember having a strip wash in hospital- felt so humiliating, but I wasn't able to make it to the shower.

Singlesuzie Thu 19-Jun-14 11:41:21

Could it be paind/discomfort in getting to the shower/bath?

bitsnbobs14 Thu 19-Jun-14 11:43:25

Cost of water, effort/pain involved with a shower/bath? I dunno, each to their own though, eh.

murphys Thu 19-Jun-14 11:44:57

Maybe its just what they are used to.

sweetlilacsinspring Thu 19-Jun-14 11:46:54

I don't think so, because for those with wet rooms it's actually easier, really, to get them onto a glider ( a sort of chair with a hole underneath for their bottom grin) and give them a shower. Much quicker than a strip wash and most do use the glider to use the loo.

It just seems to be a generational thing of only showering once or twice a week?

OP’s posts: |


Singlesuzie Thu 19-Jun-14 11:48:54

Maybe to do with money saving then?

BeatriceBean Thu 19-Jun-14 11:50:23

Maybe they feel less exposed?

Sitting on a chair naked with a whole in it in front of someone is very exposing/ vulnerable position to be in.

Lying in bed you can keep covered the bits you aren't currently washing. Carries more dignity?

LastTango Thu 19-Jun-14 11:51:55

Maybe they were brought up without a shower and only a tin bath in front of the fire. Their choice how they get clean really.

BigChocFrenzy Thu 19-Jun-14 11:55:09

They don't want the upheaval of moving to the wetroom, but would rather remain on the bed, in their comfort zone.
Yes, I know it doesn't seem an upheaval to us, but we are able-bodied.
Being moved, even requiring no effort on their part, could still feel too demanding, physically or psychologically.

sweetlilacsinspring Thu 19-Jun-14 11:56:00

beatrice this is what baffles me as the strip washes are horribly UN dignified. They have to roll and are exposed a fair bit. With a shower you could if you wanted to hold a flannel over certain parts grin

It could well be money but I honestly think for most of them it's just what they are used to, wonder if I'll be so set in my ways (if I live that long!)

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lougle Thu 19-Jun-14 12:01:52

"I don't think so, because for those with wet rooms it's actually easier, really, to get them onto a glider ( a sort of chair with a hole underneath for their bottom grin) and give them a shower."

You're saying it's easier for you but this is about them, not you.

NigellasDealer Thu 19-Jun-14 12:03:50

it could be an age thing - my mum who would be 81 were she alive was big on the strip wash 'for the days that you don't have a bath'

AliceInSandwichLand Thu 19-Jun-14 12:06:57

Nobody that age grew up showering, and the older you get the more many people return to what was familiar to them in childhood. And their own room is at least their own space, whereas going to another unfamiliar room with shiny smooth walls and other people moving you about is almost medical in a way, more invasive and intimidating than being in your own bed, I would think.

iliketea Thu 19-Jun-14 12:07:11

IME, it's often that older people have always had a wash in the mornings, and showered once or twice per week and there would be no good reason for them to suddenly change the habit of a lifetime.

Also, it seems easier to you, but having to get into an adapted room / commode to be wheeled into a wet room, is often a reminder that they are not as independent as they once were. Often a strip wash (if you do it properly, people can wash a lot themselves (either with prompting, or by making sure cloth and water is within reach), so allowing someone to keep the independence they have(albeit limited by personal health).

IAmANightOwl Thu 19-Jun-14 12:08:32

My elderly FIL prefers a strip wash because he is a dirty, lazy so-and-so! He had a lovely wet room fitted last year, which he has hardly used. It has nothing to do with mobility as he can get off his ar$e to get into the kitchen to get something to eat, he is just lazy when it comes to washing! confused

iliketea Thu 19-Jun-14 12:09:27

And have you ever stripped naked and sat on a chair that there is a hole where your bum pokes out, then been showered by a carer? I imagine you feel very undignified in, no matter how much a carer works to maintain privacy and dignity.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 19-Jun-14 12:09:37

Because a strip wash whilst still on the bed requires less transfers.

Transfers (bed to shower glider, shower glider to armchair) can be painful are always carry a small risk of falling. A fall is what most of the people I cared for feared most as it so often means going into hospital & sometimes even a total loss of mobility and thereby often the ability to remain in their own home.

Have you been in community care long? Many a slip getting out of the shower ultimately has life changing consequences.

Nobody wants the indignity of a stranger giving them a strip wash.

PartialFancy Thu 19-Jun-14 12:14:19

When I'm quite unwell, I have difficulty sitting up for any length of time. It's exhausting and knocks me out for the rest of the day. And when I do sit up, I'm in a certain amount of pain and prefer something soft and very supportive, including of head and arms. So, not a plastic chair in a shower.

It's really hard to imagine if you haven't experienced it, so I can see why it makes no sense to you.

PartialFancy Thu 19-Jun-14 12:15:28

And what SantasLittleMonkeyButler said.

patjen Thu 19-Jun-14 12:18:26

If you are physically/mentally unwell then it is wholly excusable to have a strip wash, but for everybody else, I wonder: 'why not just shower?' Surely it is easier and more hygienic for those that are able to shower?

LRDtheFeministDragon Thu 19-Jun-14 12:19:11

My mum often refuses to have a bath at mine because she's afraid of slipping. It must be scary relying on someone you don't know, if you're afraid of falling.

I occasionally strip wash over the basin, but it's not a substitute for a shower, just freshening up if it's a really hot day. But I think lots of people were brought up with it. When we were little our parents used to get us to do that because we didn't have a shower in the house. It's nothing like as relaxing but it keeps you clean enough if it's not the only thing you do.

sweetlilacsinspring Thu 19-Jun-14 12:23:44

Partial flowers you don't have to explain!

It's easier in terms in less hauling and rolling for the patient, which is what I meant. I'm there for a set period of time and obviously I'll do what I'm told! I just know that if it was ME I'd prefer a shower, I'd rather not wash at all than have a soapy flannel over me then not rinsed off properly so I wondered why so many wanted this instead of a shower.

OP’s posts: |
susiedaisy Thu 19-Jun-14 12:25:07

I've worked in a nursing home and now a hospital and IMO most of the elderly or poorly are happy with a strip wash, the elderly in particular are a big fan of the flannel. confused
Personally I loathe sink/strip washes!

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