Before you get started, make sure you have all the supplies you need.
- Garbage bags or other waterproof cover and towels to line the bed and keep it dry
- Basin of warm water
- Cup or pitcher for pouring water
- Bucket, large bowl or pot to drain dirty water
- Inflatable Hair Wash Basins/Portable Shampoo Tray (if available, see pictures below)
Washing the hair
- Make sure the area around the bed is clear and the room temperature is warm.
- Wash your hands and put on gloves.
- Remove the pillows from under the person’s head.
- If possible, elevate the head and put something under the head to collect the water. See examples below. Use one of those devices if they have one.
- Place a plastic sheet or garbage bag under the person’s head and put towels around the person’s shoulders. The edge of the trash bag should drip into the bucket or bowl.
- Explain what you are going to do.
- Fold the sheet, blanket and bedspread down to the waist.
- Cover the upper part of the body with a towel.
- Put a bucket, large pot or large bowl on the floor to catch the running water and put a sheet or towel underneath.
- Put the clean water basin next to the bed.
- Gently lift the person’s head and place a towel underneath the patient’s neck.
- Fill the basin with warm water. Check the temperature of the water.
- For short hair, you can rub a wet washcloth over the head until the hair is thoroughly wet. For longer hair, fill a cup or pitcher with water from the basin, carefully wet the person’s hair and make sure the water drains into the bucket/bowl or pot.
- Put a washcloth over the person’s eyes.
- Shampoo the person’s hair using a small amount of shampoo.
- Rinse the hair thoroughly. Start at the top of the head and go down to the bottom of the head.
- Squeeze excess water from the hair into the bucket/bowl or pot.
- Gently rub hair dry with a towel. Dry the person’s face.
- Comb or brush the person’s hair.
- Change the sheets if they are wet and clothes if they are wet.
- Pour the water down the sink or tub.
- Put the supplies away.
- Remove your gloves.
Examples of Inflatable Hair Wash Basins/Portable Shampoo Trays
For Bed Bound Clients
These may not be available.