Personal hygiene is a part of our everyday routine, which has a big impact on our overall health. As our loved one begins to age, they might not be able to keep up with their personal hygiene routine. This could be due to memory loss, difficulty in movement, or other health concerns. Unfortunately, poor personal hygiene for seniors is a sign that it might be time to intervene and assist them with their hygiene routine or hire a caregiver to help.
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In a study done by the Clinical Interventions of Aging, 41.9% of elders suffer from self-neglect. Personal hygiene is critical to not only keep up your appearance but also critical for your mental health and overall well-being. If you have recently assumed the caregiver role, whether as a family member or in-home nurse assistant, here are eight personal hygiene tips for seniors to help you maintain your loved one’s hygiene.
8 Personal Hygiene Tips for Seniors
- Clean under skin folds. – Skin folds are notorious as high-risk areas for storing unwanted bacteria. It’s important that you or your loved one clean under every fold and wrinkle to avoid growing bacteria. This includes breasts, neck, stomach folds, and genitalia.
- Rinse thoroughly. – When bathing, make sure to get all the soap off the body by rinsing thoroughly. By doing so, this will prevent your skin from getting too dry or agitated from the soap.
- Pat dry. – As we age, our skin becomes more sensitive. Instead of rubbing dry with a towel, we encourage you to pat dry all areas and folds to avoid causing agitation. If you are a caregiver, providing your elder with a robe or towel as you gently pat different areas of the body might be more comfortable for them.
- Apply moisturizer. – By applying moisturizer on the skin daily, you’ll be keeping your skin soft and hydrated. Applying a moisturizer can even be a bit therapeutic for your senior loved one if you gently massage it into their skin. Be sure to be gentle when applying the product and try using a non-scented or lightly scented moisturizer as highly scented moisturizers can be nauseating to some.
- Bathe every other day. – As previously mentioned, our skin becomes extremely sensitive as we age. Bathing every day isn’t necessary because it can strip your skin of natural oils and leave skin feeling brittle. Shower every other day instead.
- Go to the barber for a shave. – While some might require a proper shave or haircut, it is best to hire a professional. Taking your loved one to a barber can provide not only the necessary shave but may also be considered a fun outing. If you opt against a barber, we recommend you pay very close attention, be careful, and take your time.
- Keep up with dental hygiene. – Purchasing an electric toothbrush could be more effective and easier to use for seniors. Remember to brush your teeth morning and night. Mouth wash should also be used to minimize any potential mouth bacteria.
- Wash your hands often. – With the recent Coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., it is imperative that you and your loved one wash your hands for 20 seconds every time you use the bathroom or come back from a public space.
Good hygiene is essential to healthy living. Establishing a morning and night routine is a great way to make sure you or your elder are keeping up with their personal hygiene. Keep in mind that not everyone’s personal hygiene routine is the same due to certain skin or health conditions, but it is crucial to keep yourself properly clean at all times. To further enhance the safety of you or your loved one’s hygiene routine, we recommend making a few home improvements for easier access to the tub or shower.
Unfortunately, some seniors are not able to provide themselves with adequate care to keep themselves properly cleaned. While loved ones are often called on to offer support and assistance, hiring a professional service can be a better option. At 24/7 Nursing Care, we offer a variety of in-home nursing care placement options tailored to you and your loved ones needs. Call us today for more information or for a free at-home consultation. For Miami-Dade please call (786) 518-3622 or for Broward (954) 949-1332.
Larsen, D. – “A Grooming and Hygiene Guide for the Elderly.” (21 March, 2016) retrieved March 17, 2020, from https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/3-21-16-grooming-hygiene-guide-for-the-elderly/