How to bathe a bedridden patient in 7 steps?

Bathing time is an important part of the daily routine in caring for a bedridden patient. Not only are you ensuring skin cleanliness, which despite the inactivity, still emanates oils and sweat, but adds a small yet substantial advantage in the general condition of the patient and their recovery process.

As a result of the bath process together with the removal of sweat, oils, germs, dust, bacteria and microbes you are providing massages, scrubs, release of toxins and muscle toning; physical exercise and circulatory activation are performed while bathing the patient. All this is of substantial significance to the quality of life that the caregiver provides to the patient and directly affects their appearance, not to mention a bath makes you feel fresh, comforted and uplifted.

There are different types of bed baths, it all depends  on the patient and their degree of dependence on another person to perform certain activities. But it is almost safe to say that any bed-bound or elderly patient reaches a dependence were it is necessary to provide sponge baths (done in the same bed), that traumatized or wheelchair patients, may receive in a conventional bathroom shower by adding shower or bath stools or transfer benches.

It is highly relevant to have the right elements and supplies handy next to the bed at the time of bath:

Most sponge baths follow 7 basic steps when cleansing the patient:

  1. Raise the bed to a comfortable height to avoid straining your back. And set a private scenario (pulling the curtain around the bed or locking the room's door).
  2. Introduce yourself to the patient and announce that you will be giving them a bed bath.
  3. Uncover only the area you are washing discreetly to prevent the patient from getting cold and providing privacy.
  4. With the patient lying on their back, start washing their hair and head moving toward their feet. Then roll the patient to their side and wash the back following the same head-to-toe order. After washing the hair make sure you comb it through to avoid any tangles.
  5. Always wet the skin first and then gently apply the soap. Keep one cloth specifically for soap and another for rinsing. Ask the patient if you are rubbing to hard.
  6. After rinsing the skin, pat the area dry. And depending on the skin apply lotion.
  7. When cleansing the patient's private area follow a front-to-back order, start first with the genitals and then towards the buttocks. Make sure you dry the skin and apply any incontinence barrier spray or perineal protective barrier and put on the briefs or any other incontinence guard.

Since it is a sensitive moment for the patient and can be uncomfortable to most,  maintain a respectful manner at all times and ask the patient to communicate any distress or soreness they might be feeling.

Most of all accessories listed above can be found at