A new research field — passive heating for human health — proves that hot baths even at home are a medicinal benefit to all ages, including elders with a number of health conditions.
By Beth Lueders
The ancient Greeks and Romans regularly practised something many people are avid about today. Centuries ago, emperors to everyday citizens valued the healing remedy of steam baths and hot water pools featured in elaborate private and public baths. Today, Iceland, Japan, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom boast some of the most restorative thermal pools and natural hot springs on the planet.1 A new research field — passive heating for human health — proves that hot baths even at home are a medicinal benefit to all ages, including elders with a number of health conditions.
5 Benefits of Hot Baths
Soaking in a bubble bath is a luxurious routine for many folks looking for stress relief and their own quiet, personal time. But beyond this tranquillity, researchers are finding that an extended sit in a hot bath, technically called hot water immersion, delivers up a tub full of health advantages.
Hot baths and Epsom salt baths are also credited with reducing headaches, lifting mood and promoting better sleep. Balneotherapy, the practice of bathing to treat diseases with thermal mineral water, is another common healing hydrotherapy typically for chronic inflammation.2 Overly hot soaks can irritate the skin and break down the skin’s protective barrier against bacteria, viruses and allergens, so bathwater temperature should stay comfortable, but not scalding.
Bath Safety Tips for Elders
Because they are at higher risk for falling, older adults benefit from reminders of how to stay comfortable and safe at bath time. The World Health Organization reports that every year roughly one-third of adults age 65 and older fall, and slippery floors, looser rugs and insufficient lighting in the bathroom increase the likelihood of falling.3
When family members cannot supervise bath times for older loved ones and those with disabilities, in-home caregivers such as those that we at Right at Home can provide, provide assistance so that loved ones can enjoy a hot bath safely. The Fall Prevention Guide created by Right at Home offers the following bathroom safety tips:
While hot baths are beneficial overall, it is important to note that soaking in a hot water bath raises a person’s heart rate. For those individuals with cardiovascular concerns, it is best to check with one’s doctor first about using a hot soak for lowering blood pressure and alleviating other ailments.
1 Matador Network. 10 Countries Where You Can Enjoy Hot Springs. Retrieved from https://matadornetwork.com/trips/10-countries-where-you-can-enjoy-hot-springs/.
2 Ouspan.com, Balneology and Balneotherapy — Soaking for Health. Retrieved from https://ouspan.com/balneology
3 World Health Organization. WHO Global Report on Falls Prevention in Older Age. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/ageing/publications/Falls_prevention7March.pdf?ua=1.
Founded in 1995, Right at Home offers in-home companionship and personal care, and assistance to seniors and adults living with a disability who want to continue to live independently or age in their home. Right at Home is your local expert for issues related to caring for your loved ones, and is dedicated to keeping you informed about home care. With no admin or subscription fees Right at Home allows you to get more care from your package or budget.
Right at Home is a 'My Aged Care' government approved, home care provider for levels 1 – 4 and offers flexible in-home care services such as nursing care, after hospital care, post-operative care, respite care, dementia and Alzheimer's care. Right at Home also offers assistance with daily living such as grooming, hygiene, transport, shopping, meal prep, domestic services and social support, so your loved one can enjoy a more independent, vibrant life. Our nurses and caregivers are screened, highly trained and insured prior to entering your home so you can trust us with the caregiving while you focus on your loved one.
To find out more, please give us a call on 1300 363 802 or visit our website.