Poor personal hygiene is a common sign that an aging adult needs some assistance on a regular basis. But providing this type of care, which typically involves bathing, dressing, toileting, and other sensitive tasks, often comes with some understandable concerns about maintaining privacy, respect, independence, and dignity. Here’s what you can do to provide this type of personal care for your senior loved one in a way that’s beneficial yet respectful.
Start with an Open Conversation
Some older adults are embarrassed about the topic of care of a sensitive nature, or they simply don’t know how to ask for this type of assistance without feeling humiliated. However, if you’re noticing this type of care is needed, start by having an open, honest conversation with your loved one. Remind him or her that:
- It’s perfectly okay to need this kind of help
- He or she may be healthier and feel better when getting the necessary assistance
- Such care can be provided in a way that’s respectful
If all else fails, talk to your loved one’s doctor. Some seniors are more willing to accept this type of assistance if they know their doctors also feel it’s necessary.
Use Self-Help Devices & Convenience Items
Give your loved one a chance to do some personal tasks independently by using appropriate devices or items. For instance, grab bars or handrails can allow your loved one to get up from the toilet or get out of the tub safely without always needing help, although you can remain nearby in case assistance is needed. Personal care may also be easier with:
- An electric toothbrush
- An elevated toilet seat to make it easier to get up and sit down
- Skin-sensitive electric razors to avoid nicks and scratches
- Long-handled bath brushes to allow for more privacy with some bathing tasks
A professional caregiver can help your loved one with a variety of tasks at home, including maintaining good hygiene. When considering in-home care, Sacramento, CA, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
Consider Preferences for Routine & Personal Care Products
If your loved one normally prefers to bathe in the morning, stick to this routine. Doing things like this can maintain comfort when assistance is provided. Also, when possible, use your loved one’s preferred items or products, such as certain types of soap or a favorite hairbrush.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Use Privacy Screens
With bathing and dressing, portable privacy screens or dividers can give your loved one some much-appreciated privacy. At the same time, you’ll still be close by to lend a hand. These screens can also be moved around as needed and easily stored when not in use so they won’t take up much space
Ask Permission First
Before doing anything that will involve touching or personal care that’s more sensitive, ask permission first. Even when it comes to doing things you normally lend a hand with, such as hair brushing or dressing, announce it first. For example, say, “I’m going to brush your hair now, okay?” Doing so reduces instances of surprise, resistance, or agitation
Strategically Plan Personal Car
Some older adults are more alert and agreeable during certain times of the day. If this applies to your loved one, keep this in mind when providing personal care. For example, if crankiness and irritability are more common in the afternoon, take care of more involved personal care needs earlier in the day.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Sacramento, live-in care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner in caregiving for your aging loved one. Contact one of our experienced Care Managers today at (916) 706-0169 to learn more about our reliable in-home care services.