Important Hygiene Tips for the Elderly
Staying clean is extremely important, not only for someone’s health, but also for his or her emotional wellbeing, which is why hygiene tips can be important. Personal hygiene tends to become a problem with the elderly because they are no longer physically able to attend to these things on their own.
When it falls to caregivers to help the elderly with their personal hygiene, it is important that it is done correctly so that they feel good about themselves. Good hygiene is also important for some practical reasons; it will help keep the skin healthy, which will aid in fighting infections and injury. Bathing on a frequent basis will also help to remove harmful bacteria from the skin that could cause infections.
Hygiene tips should also include keeping the teeth, mouth and gums clean. A clean mouth is healthier, which means that the person will be able to be more comfortable when they eat and will eat better.
Here are some hygiene tips for the elderly that can make this process as painless and easy as possible.
- When bathing someone that is bed bound it is important to approach the task systematically. Make sure that you have all of the supplies that you’ll need before you start; this will include a wash basin, towels and rags, a light blanket, as well as all of the soaps and toiletries. Fill the basic with warm water and have a liquid soap ready. Begin with the face and upper body area and work your way down. When finished make sure that you cover the person with a light blanket until you can dress them.
- In addition to bathing you will also want to wash the person’s hair. This can be very difficult if that person is immobile and unable to get to a source of water. One method of doing this is to purchase a shampoo water basin. You will need to put towels and a water resistant cover over the pillows. Put the basin on top of this area and place the person’s hair over the basic, ensuring their neck is properly supported. Wet the hair, shampoo and rinse with pictures of warm water. There is also an inflatable sink that can be used for this purpose. Brush the person’s hair gently after drying with a towel.
- Mouth care can also be done while a person is in bed. Place a basin of water below the chin, along with a towel. With a small amount of toothpaste and a soft toothbrush, begin brushing the gums and teeth gently. Help the person rinse their mouth if possible.
- If the person wears dentures you will need to remove these and clean them. This can be done with a toothbrush and water. When finished, insert them carefully.
- If an elderly person still has some mobility it may be possible to install a shower that can be used to bath the person. The shower will need grab bars inside the shower, plus you will need them near the shower entrance. It is a good idea to place non-skid mats on the shower floor, and a towel on the floor in front of the shower. Always check the temperature before allowing the person to enter the shower, plus someone should be close by incase the person falls.
Although these hygiene tips are for the care of elderly patients, they work just as well for anyone that is ill.