The aging process can take a toll on the body. With the arrival of new aches and pains comes the departure of good habits of personal hygiene for seniors. Your loved one may no longer want to or is able to properly bathe and perform other once-simple hygiene tasks. It is not that your loved one wants to be “unclean,” but would rather avoid the stress and discomfort associated with bathing, dressing, and oral hygiene. Senior home care is an excellent solution for elderly individuals who may need assistance with activities of daily living, or ADLs. Learn what solutions are available for seniors who need extra help with hygiene.
Identifying an Underlying Cause of Senior Hygiene Issues
Sometimes the refusal to perform basic hygiene tasks does not stem from pain, but another common issue. Depression affects two million Americans over age 65, according to Mental Health America. If your loved one still has the physical ability to perform hygiene tasks but has no interest in doing so, it may be due to depression. If you suspect depression, look for other common signs such as feelings of hopelessness, appetite changes, loss of interest in daily activities, irritability, self-loathing, loss of energy, reckless behavior, trouble concentrating, or unexplained aches and pains.
Other declines in health can also contribute to a senior’s unwillingness to wash. After age 60, some loss of smell is natural, according to MayoClinic. Some factors can even escalate a senior’s loss of smell, such as nasal and sinus problems, certain medications, and Alzheimer’s disease. While you might observe that your loved one has a distinguished odor, he or she may not notice it. Loss of memory may also play a role. Many seniors will lose track of time and may not recall if they have showered or not.
Sometimes it is not physical health that deters a loved one from hygiene but mental factors. As we age, we lose more and more control over our lives. One thing that many seniors hold onto is their ability to choose whether or not they will shower, dress, and perform other daily tasks. To gain control, many seniors will choose not to perform these tasks and may become more and more resistant the more they are nagged. It is important to approach personal hygiene for seniors delicately and to not force the issue right away. Instead, be understanding and look at the situation from their point of view.
Fear is another major contributor to hygiene problems in seniors. Due to balance and mobility issues, many seniors are uncomfortable trying to get in and out of the bathtub. Some fear that they will slip and fall due to the wet conditions. Seniors suffering from certain medical conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s may forget where they are and why they are in the shower or bath. Such reasons are why many elderly individuals avoid bathing altogether. It may begin slowly with just a few missed showers and gradually worsen with age or with the decline of a medical condition like dementia.
How Home Care Services Can Help With Personal Hygiene for Seniors
Senior home care services are one of the best ways to help loved ones when hygiene becomes an issue. These services are designed to keep seniors independent, safe, and healthy in the comfort of their own home. In addition to ADLs, in-home care services offer other methods of assistance like eating, toileting, continence, and transferring. An in-home care provider can also provide your loved one with companionship. Senior home care services are often used by families who require respite or simply desire daily assistance for their aging loved one.
Many seniors see personal hygiene care as an intimate process that should not be shared with other individuals. Unfortunately, loss of vision, fine motor skills, physical ability, and memory can make it difficult to take on tasks like bathing, shaving, and hair care. It can take time for older individuals to get used to the idea of getting help from others. Having an in-home caregiver provide these personal hygiene services is often preferred over friends and family due to their private nature. An in-home caregiver can provide seniors with assistance in all steps of the bathing and grooming processes.
The presence of an in-home caregiver can positively influence the independence of your loved one. Not only will your loved one receive the very best in-home care services available provided by experienced, trained, and friendly staff, you can also get the peace of mind that your loved one is being well cared for. Unlike a nursing home or assisted living facility that forces your loved one to follow certain rules and regulations, a senior is able to stay in their own home where they are comfortable and have an established daily routine. Best of all, home care services are available round-the-clock to assist with personal hygiene for seniors.
In-home caregivers understand how difficult it can be for seniors to allow others to help them with personal hygiene tasks. That is why senior home caregivers are sensitive and patient with seniors and aim to create a comfortable atmosphere. In-home caregivers can assist with personal hygiene for seniors and their needs, including washing, bathing, toileting, teeth brushing, and dressing. They can also provide incontinence care to seniors who may need extra assistance. While your loved one may feel like he or she is losing their independence, an in-home care provider can offer a better quality of life.
Why Choose Comfort Home Care?
If your loved one is in need of personal hygiene assistance at home, choose Comfort Home Care as your in-home care service provider. Serving Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and D.C., Comfort Home Care knows the stress and frustration involved in senior care and how to help families care for their loved ones in a respectful way. Comfort Home Care has more than sixteen years of experience in the business and is backed by a team of qualified, reliable, and well-trained caregivers. Schedule your free consultation today to learn more about in-home care services for seniors.