Lisa Gonzalez, maintain personal hygiene, hygiene, caregivers, caregiving, ElderCorps, elderly, PDFfiller

Advice for Caregivers: How to Help Your Loved One Maintain Personal Hygiene

Welcome back to PDFfiller’s blog, which brings you advice from experts in various fields on a regular basis.  Below, learn more from an expert about how best to care for the hygiene of the elderly. For more great insights from Lisa Gonzalez, check out her website at http://elderscorps.org

Caring for a senior loved one comes with many challenges, but personal hygiene doesn’t have to be one of them. Maintaining personal hygiene can be a team effort for you and your loved one. Together, you’re sure to maintain the level of hygiene they need to lead a healthy life for years to come.

Talk to Them About Their Needs

Depending on their level of activity, your loved one might not need to shower every single day. Instead, they might only require a daily sponge bath along with full-body bathing 2 or 3 times a week.

If you must bathe your loved one, learn how to bathe an elderly person properly and efficiently so you don’t make the process longer or more unpleasant than it needs to be.

Don’t Forget Dental Care

Dental care is often overlooked in the hygiene process, but it’s necessary for keeping your loved one’s teeth functional.

Electric toothbrushes can make brushing easier for the elderly. Ensure that they’re brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash as often as they should be. If you help them brush their teeth, be sure to know their dental health history so you can know which areas are sensitive and which need extra attention.

Having trouble getting your loved one to visit the dentist? Talk to office staff about using PDFFiller instead of coming in and filling out forms, and see what other steps you can take ahead of time. If you can arrange everything in advance so your loved one can walk in and immediately be seen, it can alleviate their anxiety and make the visit more pleasant. Moreover, it’ll make any future appointments feel like a simple errand.

Make the Bathroom a Safe Place

The risk for falls is two-fold in the bathroom, where water and bathroom products can make the floor slippery and dangerous for your loved one. Since putting oily bath products in their bathwater can affect their ability to get in and out of the tub, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

Adaptive equipment for seniors such as hand railings, rugs with gripping, and shower benches can keep your loved one safe in the bathroom.

Take a Step Back

For the sake of your loved one’s mental and emotional health, it’s crucial to let them maintain as much of their personal care as they can manage. Have a discussion about their need for assistance when it comes to keeping up with personal hygiene.

Remember – if your loved one isn’t very active, there’s no need to force them to shower every single day. But if they’re dropping the ball with bathing or any other personal hygiene habit, be quick to step in and get them back on track.

Take Pets Into Consideration

You may realize it’s difficult to keep your loved one hygienic if a troublesome pet is constantly making messes. Or perhaps your loved one doesn’t have the ability to give it proper care.

You may take it upon yourself to go over some basic obedience with the animal to correct bad behavior. But if you truly question whether you and your loved one are able to provide it with the best possible care, it may be time to consider re-homing the pet. Talk to your loved one about their options and decide together the best route.

Maintaining a level of cleanliness is incredibly important for your elderly loved one. Their immune system, self-esteem, and overall wellbeing will benefit from an adequate hygiene regime.

The best thing you can do for them is to let them look out for their own personal hygiene as much as they can while making sure they know you’re available to help when they need you.

Lisa Gonzalez has had years of experience with volunteering in nursing homes and organizing local senior activities. Realizing that this was her passion is what got her involved with EldersCorps.org, a resource geared towards the care and well-being of the aging population.