Struggling to maintain hygiene can be the first sign that an aging loved one needs help with daily living tasks. Requiring help with such personal tasks like bathing, brushing teeth, and dressing can seem humiliating for many seniors. It’s a delicate but important balance to maintain dignity and independence for your loved one while offering necessary assistance.
As a trusted provider of home care for many seniors, we’ve created the following suggestions:
- Have a conversation.
Talk with your loved one about what they feel comfortable with and what their preferences are. Some seniors may be resistant to help while others would love the opportunity for someone else to wash their hair or shave their beard. Ask if they prefer baths or showers, like certain soaps or washcloths. Allowing your senior to have a say as much as possible helps them retain some independence and control.
- Set up a schedule together.
Having a schedule of when to bath, shave, wash or cut hair, etc. helps set expectations for you and your loved one.
- Gather and install safety items.
Having grab bars, a shower chair, and a non-slip mat or adhesive for the shower floor can help ease your senior’s anxiety and ensure safety while bathing.
- Organize hygiene products.
Having all supplies ready at hand for you or your loved one allows for more efficient and safe bathing. Before bathing, have soap, shampoo, washcloths, and towels ready. Bar soap can be slippery and tricky. Consider liquid soaps, but make sure they are easy to dispense from.
- Respect privacy and comfort.
In some cases, seniors may just require help getting supplies ready and water running at the right temperature. In other cases, seniors may need assistance with washing the entire body and hair. Use towels to help maintain the privacy of your loved one. Develop a respectful routine that works for you and your senior.
- Be patient and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
It is probably uncomfortable for your loved one to accept help with hygiene and grooming. Be patient and understanding. There may be times when you need to ask for help. Time, ability, or personal boundaries may require you to find a new strategy.
At ClearPath, we provide personal care and grooming assistance by our compassionate and well-trained caregivers as part of our senior care services. Our goal is to respect each client and family member while encouraging independence as much as possible. We’re a preferred provider of home health care and skilled nursing care services in Akron, Ohio and surrounding communities. To learn more about our services, give us a call.