Good personal hygiene is important, no matter what your age is. As it also affects the overall well-being. When your loved one reaches an advanced age, though, you might notice that he or she does not care too much about good personal hygiene anymore.
Neglecting good personal hygiene is pretty common among senior individuals. The following reasons are behind such behavior:
- Old age limits their mobility. As such, they are unable to freely move to complete hygiene tasks.
- Their bodies may not be strong nor flexible enough to overcome the struggles associated with hygiene tasks, such as taking a bath.
- They suffer from a limited sense of smell. They don’t know that they smell that bad already.
- They are lonely. Since they do not have people around, they may think that good hygiene is not necessary.
- They simply forget. This may be due to an old age-related mental health issues.
These reasons can be addressed with your help. Your assistance in helping maintain their good hygiene is essential. Follow these tips:
Establish a hygiene routine.
A routine helps your senior loved ones get familiar with the activities they should be doing. Try to set a time when they should take a bath, brush their teeth, and more.
For instance, remind them to take a bath at the same time every single day. With a routine, they can expect what will happen at a specific time and prepare for it.
Make the hygiene chores as easy for them as possible.
Preparing the things they will need for the chore will be great. Prepare the towel, soap, shampoo, and other bathing essentials before your senior loved ones even enter the bathroom. Prepare a glass of water before your aging family members reach the sink to brush their teeth. Preparing clothes that are easy to wear will also help lessen their struggles.
Safety should be a top concern.
The risk of falling is pretty high in bathrooms and other areas with slippery surfaces. However, there are hygiene chores that can only be done in these high-risk areas.
Keep safety in mind. Take safety measures to lessen the risk of falling. Some of the things you can do include placing non-slip mats on the floor, installing grab bars, putting up bright lights, and more.
Offer physical support yet respect their independence.
Evaluate the situation. If your loved ones can complete the chore by themselves although it may take time, let them be. Letting them do the chore by themselves will help maintain their sense of independence and control in their lives.
If they require assistance, offer help. For instance, they might need to rely on your stable support in bending over the sink to spit out water while brushing their teeth. Be readily available when they need assistance.
Most importantly, try to be patient and reassuring. Most of them do not want to trouble you with their situation but are delighted with your assistance. Be the family member they can count on during difficult times.