Our Best Tips for keeping on top of your Loved One Personal Hygiene
One of the most difficult aspects of caring for an older loved one is maintaining their level of hygiene.
For caregivers and their ageing family members, personal care time can be emotionally and physically exhausting. The physical act of providing care is strenuous in that it requires lifting and transferring.
As much as it is physically exhausting, it can also be hugely psychologically strenuous for both your loved one and yourself. Your loved one can feel embarrassed and sad that you have to give them a bath or dress them, and as a carer you can also feel deeply sad that you need to do it.
If you are in this situation and are struggling with your loved ones personal hygiene and bathing don’t worry we have created a list of 7 helpful tips in order to make it easier.
Balcombes 7 Tips to help with Bathing
- Create a suitable Bathing schedule. Most of us like our daily shower before we start our day, but for our older loved one this might not be needed if they live a relatively sedentary lifestyle. What’s more realistic for their needs is a daily sponge bath with a full bath or shower around three times a week. Making this a regular occurrence, often scheduled can provide consistency and a routine for both you and your loved one.
- Try to create a peaceful environment when bathing. Sounds and music can have a soothing and relaxing effect for your loved one at bath time.Try to create a playlist that features peaceful sounds such as bird songs or classical music, or whatever music your loved one finds soothing. Quietness and aromas can also be effective in creating a peaceful environment.
- Maintain natural communication and conversation. Casual and relaxed conversation can stop the bathing process from being awkward or an embarrassing experience. Talk about plans for the week or the day, or something you watched on TV recently. Keeping it casual can help relax the situation and distract both parties from the potential embarrassment or sadness that they might be feeling.
- Wherever possible allow your loved one to carry out their own self-care. It is an important aspect for your loved one to maintain some independence and self-pride. It may take a little bit longer, however it is vital in helping your loved ones mental well-being as well as physical.
- Make sure your bathroom is a safe space. Reduce all potential fall risks and make sure that grab rails are safely installed. Check the temperature of the water before your loved one gets in the bath or shower. Make sure you avoid making more slip risks via bubbles or oils.
- Have a drying routine. Have a warm dry towel prepared as well as clothing for when they get out of the bath or shower. This reduces the chances of them from getting cold or chills. Having a routine will reduce the risk of accidents or potential incidents too.
- Consider Alternatives or adaptive equipment. Assistive devices like a shower chair can be especially helpful with the bathing process, whilst easier to use grooming tools like electric shavers can help create independence when grooming whilst keeping the risk low.
Remember to try and remain positive, it can be a difficult situation for both of you but if you remain patient, calm and remain relaxed it can help your loved through the process.