As age sets in, our immune system grows weaker and this makes our bodies more prone to infections. Maintaining proper hygiene for seniors positively affects their physical health and overall well-being. Some senior citizens who are either too frail or burdened with illness may require you to do a lot of the most important tasks like bathing them, drying them, and helping them get dressed.
These things might not be easy to do, but this quick guide should help:
An Open Communication
Your elder may feel humiliated that an adult child has to bathe them or help them dress. One thing you must remember when taking care of your elderly loved one is that they appreciate respect. All humans value dignity and they are no different. To make the whole process easy, have an open discussion and discuss the following:
- Are they comfortable having a family member bathe them?
- Would they prefer a caregiver or a nurse to come and assist them groom?
- Do they prefer someone of their same gender to help them bathe?
Establish a Consistent Bathing Routine
For example, if the senior person prefers to bathe in the morning, ensure you have made the bath arrangements every morning at a set time. As seniors begin to lose control over their physical and cognitive abilities, their world becomes filled with more and more uncertainties. By making their schedules more structured and predictable, you’ll be reducing their levels of stress and anxiety. Establishing routines helps them know exactly when bathing time is what the process will be.
If your loved one can bathe themselves, enhance safety in their bathroom by installing grab bars near the tub. You may need to replace a traditional bathtub with a walk-in tub to increase safety in the bathroom.
Maintain Other Hygiene Practices
Aside from the elderly person receiving a nice bath or shower, ensure you take care of other things like dental health. Dental health is just as important as other areas of health and they should continue to brush and floss regularly. If they can’t brush their teeth, you can aid the process by following this procedure. Other aspects of maintaining hygiene include washing and combining their hair regularly and trimming their nails.
Call in a Professional
Taking care of an adult, whether ailing or frail because of old age, requires skill. Truth is, not everyone is cut out for this role. Sometimes, the senior person may prefer having an unrelated member take care of their hygiene. Other times, you may want to give care but work and other family-related demands leave you with no time. When situations like these occur, consider hiring a caregiver.
Hygiene and grooming for the elderly is a necessity, not a luxury. Besides enhancing great physical health, maintaining good hygiene improves the elderly person’s emotional well-being. With our home care services in Winnipeg, your senior loved one gets to enjoy the comfort of being in their home while receiving care. Our home care professionals can help with activities including but not limited to bathing, grooming, oral hygiene, and toileting.