We have all experienced to have met an elderly in our home or neighborhood. We have seen them transition from a person who used to adhere to great personal hygiene routines, now avoiding it.
There are many reasons for this change in behaviors like depression, discomfort, fear boredom, self-control, and cognitive impairment. Keeping in mind all these behaviors, we ought to take care of them even if they refuse adamantly. Let us understand how with the below-mentioned tips.
1. Bathroom environment:
It is not always possible, but the best idea is to make a bathroom that is elderly friendly. We need to ensure that the bathrooms are designed with all the comfort for an old to use it with confidence.
They should have;
· Handrails so that they do not have a fear of tripping and falling.
· Labels, stickers, and indicators which are easily understandable.
· A raised toilet seat that makes them comfortable with their positioning while they sit and stand.
· Comfortable showers and easy techniques with soft switches and faucets.
· Products that are easy to use.
· Waterless body baths and waterless shampoos to make them comfortable and stay away from water. This is because many elders tend to gain trauma from the water.
· Bathroom lighting is also essential. Ensuring proper lighting in the bathrooms make them comfortable.
· Toxic materials like detergent powders, toilet cleaners, and bleaching powders should be removed from the bathroom or the toilet. This will prevent not only allergies but also accidents.
2. Handle the hygiene activities carefully
– If you care enough, you must show that you are sensitively handling all the personal hygiene jobs for them. Sometimes, they are reluctant because it is a matter of dignity and respect. Not only for them but everyone. So, we do not make them feel comfortable, they would not trust us, and thus forcing should never be an option.
3. Setting a routine-
Setting up a routine is great for seniors. They are mentally prepared and are not left with disgust due to an untimely bath. Hypothetically, they might enjoy watching sports on TV in the morning at 10:00 am. This helps them to enjoy and have fun. So, if you urge them to take a bath at this time, it might leave them in frustration. So, keep an eye and find out when they are doing absolutely nothing. That can be a time for their bath. A doctor can also tell you what the best time for them would be to get cleaned.
It is also essential for you to make them brush their teeth, dress, and undress, clean their feet, and wash their genitals without making them self-conscious.
They are our seniors and did the same thing when we were not able to do personal hygiene chores. So, not we should do the same with care and comfort with them. Remember, only lucky ones get the chance to assist a senior with their personal hygiene task.