Elderly people find themselves less able to cope with the daily tasks they used to accomplish with ease. Nevertheless, hygiene is important for health, and the person can maintain their dignity if they are properly groomed. Here’s how you can help an aging relative or someone in your care to remain clean and neat, whatever their capabilities.
Getting Buy-In From The Elderly Person
It can be extremely awkward to have a talk with your mother or father when signs of poor daily hygiene become too obvious to ignore. However, if you initiate the discussion while the person is still coping, they will be able to discuss their preferences for assisted care when they are no longer able to manage.
Certain questions will help you establish the best ways to help without compromising your loved one’s dignity. Many elderly people balk at the idea of one of their adult children bathing and changing them. Find out if the person would be more comfortable with an outside caregiver or a family member performing these tasks. Also, find out if it matters to them what gender their helper is.
When the time comes for someone to assist, you can gently reintroduce the topic and ask the person which aspects of their daily care they need help with, Initially, they might only need assistance with household cleaning, washing dishes, doing laundry, or cooking meals. Later, they may be challenged to cope with the activities of daily living so you should be guided by your elder.
If your loved one needs a lot of care, assisted living might be the best option. Learn more about assisted care to find out what it entails.
Preparing To Bathe A Loved One
When helping your loved one with a cleanliness routine, it is best to stick to the times they have been bathing and not to upset them unduly with an unfamiliar schedule. Always check with the person first. This will show that you respect them and make them feel more comfortable accepting your help.
Prepare the bathroom ahead of time with grab bars, a bath bench, and nonslip floor mats. A handheld shower is easier for both of you. Avoid the person having to stand for long and stick to a maximum of ten minutes to prevent them from feeling cold. Water should be lukewarm.
Helping a Loved One To Bath
While an elderly person has drier skin and may not need a full bath daily, they should still receive one twice a week. Between these bathing sessions, they need to be washed upon waking and before bed. This will make them feel good and should not be neglected. In addition, if they have incontinence, have an accident, or have started wearing adult diapers, they will need the area thoroughly cleaned.
During a bath, pay attention to areas where bacteria and fungi can grow and multiply, typically in places with skin folds, such as the genitals, stomach, under the breasts, and the neck region. Use patting motions to protect the skin and ensure that all the soap has been rinsed off.
For tips on how to take care of a senior’s teeth and mouth, follow the recommendations of the American Dental Association.
Grooming can be rounded off with a relaxing brushing of the hair and the application of skin lotion.