Bathing wipes, a valuable hygiene option for frail older persons at home: a proof of concept study

Main Article Content

Vickie Archer
Wendy Smyth
Cate Nagle


personal hygiene, falls prevention, frailty, transitional care


Objectives: To explore experiences and attitudes of frail older persons to using bathing wipes as a hygiene option at home. Methods: A descriptive, exploratory study was conducted with older clients who required hygiene assistance post hospital discharge and consented to trial bath wipes. Client participants or their carer completed a verbal questionnaire administered via telephone. Descriptive statistics summarised the quantitative data and closed-ended questions were analysed using content analysis. Results: Thirty-seven of the 49 consented participants used the bathing wipes at home. There was high level of agreement that bathing wipes were fit for purpose and participants indicated that they were suitable to use to supplement assisted showers. Conclusion: The use of bathing wipes provides an acceptable hygiene option and can support autonomy of frail, older persons, while reducing the risk of falls from wet floors. Bathing wipes are of use to persons who have not yet regained independence with showering and/or are awaiting bathroom modifications installed.

What is already known about the topic?

  • Wet floors associated with showering unassisted, can be a falls hazard to elderly persons attempting to regain independence.

  • Transition care programs offered for elderly clients returning to their own home post hospital discharge are limited in scope and duration.

  • Falls in frail, older people are common, with adverse consequences for the individual and the health system.

What this paper adds

  • Bath wipes were well accepted by elderly clients as an alternative to showering without assistance.

  • Bath wipes can be used by the individual on a short-term basis while they regain independence with hygiene, while they wait for bathroom modifications, or they can be used longer term.

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