By : Karleia Steiner
Senior citizens look and feel better when they are well groomed and clean, but they may not remember to groom completely. As they get older, they may simply give up grooming activities that become too difficult. Men may have mastered the art of shaving long ago, but not want to take the time to do it now. There are some simple things the caregiver or family member can do to help seniors with their grooming and hygiene in a respectful way that allows them to maintain their dignity.
1. Many seniors have personal issues with bathing.
A few of the reasons seniors may avoid bathing are because they don’t want help, they are embarrassed, they fear the water or they feel out of control. Bathing time should be the same time each day, and the caregiver should learn how the senior likes to bathe. For example, he or she should know the temperature of water preferred, whether a bath tub or shower is preferred, and if they want or need help washing.
2. Dirty Clothing
To help seniors avoid wearing the same dirty clothes day after day, the dirty clothing should be removed from the room after the seniors are ready for bed, so they don’t see them in the morning. If the senior has several outfits that they prefer, a clean one can be put out for the next day. If they prefer the same outfit, several identical sets can be purchased.
3. Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is important for everyone, but seniors may not like to be bothered. Caregivers should make tooth brushing part of the daily morning routine. Make sure the senior likes the toothpaste and give them a toothbrush that is easy to hold. If necessary, the caregiver may need to clean dentures.
4. Hair needs to be shampooed regularly
Some seniors want to go to a salon and have it done professionally. If the caregiver is to help wash the hair, it may be easier to do it with a spray in the kitchen sink than to combine it with bath time.
5. Make sure the toenails and finger nails are cut twice a month.
Caregivers can soak the feet and hands in warm water to soften the nails to make them easier to cut, but should be careful because elderly people have very fragile skin. It may be wise to get a professional to do it.
By reducing the steps needed for grooming and hygiene to a minimum, and making the process as simple as possible, caregivers can maintain the cleanliness of the senior without causing stress or difficulty.