Elders and Personal Hygiene - How Caregivers Can Help
November 2, 2016
Elder Care in Menlo Park CAOlder adults undergo many changes to their bodies and personal appearance with age. Along with these changes come the increased risk of infections, diseases, and other medical conditions. That is why personal hygiene becomes even more important for older adults. By thoroughly cleaning the body, your loved one will be able to prevent some of these health ailments from happening to them. The problem with taking care of their hygiene is the fact that many seniors are unable to reach some parts of their bodies. A home care provider can help with the bathing and personal care tasks in order to keep your loved one’s body clean and free from infections and other medical conditions. Here are just a few ways these caregivers can help.
- Create a routine. Older adults often feel comforted knowing they have a routine in place because it helps them know what will happen next. The same goes for their hygienic rituals; having a schedule will put them at ease and ensure that they are cleaning every part of their body. This routine may begin with a bath, but cleaning their teeth, combing their hair, and caring for their fingernails and toenails are all important components that should be part of this routine.
- Check every nook and cranny. Especially if the elder is bedridden, their caregiver will need to check every fold in their skin in order to make sure no new sores or blemishes are visible. These sores could be bedsores, but it could also be the symptom of a much more serious health complication. Encourage them to talk to their doctor about any noticeable problem.
- Let them do it themselves. If the senior is able to do some of their personal hygiene rituals by themselves, let them. This will allow them to regain some of their independence in order to help boost their self-confidence and sense of accomplishment.
- Help with makeup. This may seem vain, but makeup can actually help older women feel more feminine. This is especially true if they are suffering from a disease or other medical condition. Not only should you encourage that they wear makeup, but offer to help.
- Be sensitive to the elder’s feelings. Having help with their personal hygiene is something that many seniors may be reluctant to accept. It could have something to do with the fact that they feel like they have lost some of their dignity. If your loved one is feeling uncomfortable, it is up to the in-home care provider to help them feel more comfortable by being sensitive to their needs.