To give a sponge bath to an elderly person, gather all the items needed for the bath and wash the body area by area until the bath is complete. Only uncover one part of the body at a time to keep the elderly person comfortable, says Drugs.com.
Soap, a basin of warm water, a towel, a washcloth, disposable gloves and a warm blanket are all essential items needed to give an elderly person a bath. Make the room warmer than normal to prevent the person from getting cold during the bath. Test the water with an elbow to make sure it is not too hot or too cold. Most people prefer to wear disposable gloves when giving a sponge bath both for their comfort and that of the person. Help the person disrobe, and cover him with a blanket.
To prevent the elderly person from getting cold, it is best to wash the body in sections. Start with the facial area and work down the body, saving the genital area for last. To wash an area, first wet it with warm water. Then, wash it with a soapy washcloth. Use warm water to wash off the soap, and pat the area dry. Keep the parts of the body that are not being washed covered. Change the water in the basin as needed to keep it clean.