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5 Tips for Helping Your Elderly Parent With Hygiene

Good personal hygiene is important for a person’s self-esteem, health, and general well-being. Because of this, you need to ensure that your elderly parent continues to maintain good hygiene as he or she ages. Even if this was never a problem before, your loved one might be facing unique challenges now that he or she is getting older. Luckily, these tips can help.

1. Watch Out for Signs of Bad Hygiene

Many older people struggle with personal hygiene, but they are often embarrassed to mention it to their family members. If you are accustomed to your parent handling such matters alone, you may not realize that they need help.

Watch out for the signs that your parent might need extra help. For example, if your parent has body odor, greasy hair, or dirty fingernails, it might be a sign that he or she needs a little extra help. Be aware that these issues can also be signs of dementia, so you may want to talk to your loved one’s doctor about the issue as well.

2. Make Sure the Bathroom Is Safe

Your parent might be nervous about bathing, showering, and using the toilet due to a fear of falling. Encourage your loved one to take care of himself or herself and cut down on the risk of an accident by making changes to the bathroom. Installing grab bars, adding a shower chair, putting in non-slip mats, and taking other similar steps can go a long way in helping your parent feel safe in the bathroom.

3. Help With Setting a Routine and Give Reminders

From time to time, you might need to remind your parent about bathing, brushing his or her teeth, or taking care of his or her hair. You’ll probably want to be gentle when doing so; otherwise, your parent could become defensive or embarrassed.

Helping your parent establish a routine can be helpful. For example, you may want to encourage your parent to get in the habit of taking a shower first thing in the morning or before bedtime. This can go a long way in preventing your loved one from skipping important hygiene tasks, particularly if he or she is beginning to suffer from memory-related issues.

Additionally, in some cases, casually asking your parent simple questions, such as if he or she has taken a shower yet that day, can be a good way to stay on top of things.

4. Keep the Right Supplies on Hand

Your mom or dad might not be able to travel to the grocery store like he or she used to, so a lack of personal care supplies could be a problem. Help your parent keep soap, shampoo, and other necessities on hand. You can even consider ordering these online and having them delivered to your parent’s house.

5. Consider Hiring a Home Health Professional

Many people are embarrassed to have their adult children help them with bathing and other self-care necessities. If this is the case, you may find that hiring someone to help with in-home senior care might be a good idea.

Some seniors receive home care 24 hours a day. Even if your parent does not need this level of care just yet, having someone come in to assist with bathing and grooming can be incredibly helpful. Plus, these professionals often offer other services, too, such as sorting medication, providing transportation, and assisting with light cleaning.

Your elderly parent’s hygiene is probably very important to the both of you. Luckily, the tips above can help. Contact us at Home Helpers if you need assistance with caring for your elderly parent.

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