When an elderly adult is starting to exhibit signs of failing personal hygiene it’s one of the many signs that adult is having difficulty with even the simplest of daily tasks.
Neglecting one’s personal hygiene can be a tough thing to discuss with a senior family member and while it doesn’t mean that the elderly adult needs to be moved into assisted living or a home that provides round the clock elderly care, it does suggest that something is wrong and should be addressed.
Here are some suggestions as to how to broach the subject and correct the problem:
Create A Routine
Sometimes one’s personal hygiene can become less of a priority simply due to the fact that no set routine is in place to handle these matters. We all go through daily rituals as to how and when we care for ourselves through bathing and personal hygiene. But as we age, these routines can fall by the wayside and if your senior has been neglecting his or her bathing and grooming, it may be time to re-establish a routine for taking care of your senior.
This routine can focus on the essentials like bathing and brushing teeth. How often these tasks are performed is up to you but a bath every other day may be sufficient while brushing teeth should be done at least once a day to prevent gum disease and tooth loss.
Many seniors may feel uncomfortable having assistance in the form of family or even Professional Senior Care Providers to help with bathing and personal hygiene. But this discomfort and shame can be eliminated by creating a relaxed and understanding environment in the home. Try adding some familiar and pleasant aspects to soothe during this time.
Play some music, put the TV on, anything that’s going to allow your senior to feel more at ease about bathing and performing hygiene tasks with someone in the room. Allowing for the senior to do the work on their own so they feel more independent is always the best option but if they are demonstrating signs of difficulty, you should be ready and available to help.
Sometimes an elderly adult is having trouble keeping up with his or her personal hygiene because they have too many obstacles or obstructions in their way. A senior may feel uncomfortable in the bathroom because he or she is afraid to slip and fall on the tile or the toilet seat is too low.
The shower can also be a challenging area for seniors as they may feel unsure about their balance with all of that water cascading down. With this in mind, it may be time to purchase some hygiene equipment such as no-slip mats, a raised toilet seat, and anything else they may need to help them get through their day.
Bathing and hygiene shouldn’t prove frightening or embarrassing for an adult. Just be caring and considerate of his or her concerns and offer help when needed.