Poor personal hygiene can have a major impact on a senior’s health and quality of life. Unsanitary habits can result in serious conditions such as rashes, infections, bed sores, tooth loss, and damaged nerves. To keep your loved one comfortable and healthy, you may need to assist him or her with personal hygiene. Creating a simple and straightforward checklist can help you through this transitional period as you continue to take on more responsibilities as a caregiver.
If your loved one already has a regular bathing routine, try to stick to the routine to keep him or her as comfortable as possible. Intervene only if your loved one’s bathing habits are having a negative impact on his or her health. As a general rule, your loved one should bathe with a mild soap once every two to three days unless he or she has been instructed otherwise by a doctor.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Tucson seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Hair and Nails
Regular hair and nail appointments can lead to better hygiene and boost a senior’s confidence. Those who aren’t comfortable leaving their home to go to these appointments can hire mobile stylists who will come to them. Choosing a hairstyle is a very personal decision, and seniors should be free to pick whatever cuts and colors they like as long as it doesn’t interfere with their health. Nails need to be clipped around once every week or two to prevent scratches and lacerations.
Teeth and Gums
Seniors experience much higher rates of tooth decay and gum disease, which is why dental hygiene is extremely important with age. Natural teeth must be brushed at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and antibacterial toothpaste. Seniors who have dentures, bridges, implants, or other restorative devices should follow the cleaning and upkeep instructions given to them by their dentist. Caregivers must immediately schedule an appointment with a dentist if their loved ones complain of unusual symptoms such as dry mouth, sores, bleeding gums, and toothaches.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Tucson seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Limited mobility and dexterity often makes it difficult for seniors to change outfits and regularly wash their clothes. Luckily, a few companies are now producing clothes that are easy to remove and clean. They often have Velcro patches, stretchy waistbands, and other features that are designed specifically for older adults. Even if seniors don’t bathe every day, they should still be changing clothes at least once every 48 hours.
Towels, Pillowcases, and Other Linens
One final item you might want to add to the hygiene checklist is cleaning your loved one’s linens. Dirty sheets, towels, and pillowcases are breeding grounds for bacteria and mold. These items need to be washed as often as possible with hot water and hypoallergenic detergent. You might need to clean these fabrics every day or two if your loved one has an illness or infection.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Tucson, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life. If your loved one needs assistance with daily tasks or 24-hour care at home, call one of our professional Care Managers at (520) 276-6555 today.