As people get older, their immune systems weaken, making them more susceptible to illness and infection. One of the greatest methods to maintain a healthy lifestyle as you get older is to follow good personal hygiene habits. It can be challenging for elderly loved ones to maintain good hygiene habits on their own. Still, it can be done with a bit of help from family members or caregivers. Here is a checklist of personal hygiene tasks that should be performed on a regular basis for aging adults.
Older adults should take a bath or shower at least once a day, using soap and water to wash their bodies. They may require assistance getting in and out of the tub or standing in the shower. Installing grab bars or a shower chair can help your loved one.
ng every day is not required, but if your loved one does not feel up to it, they should at least wash their face, hands, and underarms with soap and water daily.
Trusted in-home care providers can assist seniors with daily activities such as cooking, bathing, and exercise while encouraging them to pursue healthy living habits.
Brushing Teeth and Gums
Older adults should brush their teeth at least twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste. If manual dexterity is an issue, they may need to use a softer toothbrush or an electric toothbrush. If your loved one has dentures, they should remove them and brush their gums daily.
Dental care is essential for seniors, as poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and other problems.
Flossing is as vital as brushing for maintaining healthy teeth. Older adults may need assistance holding the floss, but they should be able to do the actual flossing independently.
If your loved one cannot floss on their own, you can use a water flosser or interdental brush to clean between their teeth.
Older adults should trim and file their nails regularly, using a nail clipper and emery board. However, they may need help reaching their feet or may not be able to see well enough to trim their nails properly. In that case, they should seek the assistance of a family member.
Regular nail care is essential for seniors, as long nails can harbor bacteria and dirt.
Using the Bathroom
Older adults should use the bathroom as needed, but at least once daily. They may need help getting on and off the toilet or require a raised toilet seat or grab bars for safety.
It is essential to maintain good bathroom hygiene, as bathrooms can be breeding grounds for bacteria and germs. Older adults should wipe down the toilet seat and surrounding areas with a disinfectant wipe after each use.
If your loved one is incontinent, they’ll require absorbent undergarments or pads to soak up urine or feces. These should be changed regularly, and the area cleaned with mild soap and water.
Incontinence can be an embarrassing issue for seniors, but it is nothing to be ashamed of. Millions of Americans suffer from incontinence, and there are many products available to manage it.
Haircare and shaving
Older adults should shampoo their hair regularly, using a mild soap or shampoo. However, they may need help washing their hair or may not be able to stand for long periods of time. In that case, they can sit in a chair and have their hair washed in a basin.
If your loved one shaves, they will need to shave regularly to avoid stubble or an overgrown beard. They may need help reaching certain areas or may not be able to see well enough to shave properly. In that case, they should seek the assistance of a family member or caregiver.
Seniors need to maintain good hygiene habits, as poor hygiene can lead to health problems such as infections and illness. With some help from family and friends, seniors can stay clean and healthy.
In-home care providers can help seniors with all aspects of their hygiene, from bathing to grooming to using the bathroom. If you’re worried about your loved one’s hygiene habits, contact their doctor or a care manager to learn more about in-home assistance.
Trained caregivers can provide the assistance your loved one needs to maintain good hygiene habits and live a healthy life.
Older adults should often wash their hands before eating and after using the restroom. However, they may need help getting to the sink or turning on the water. You can assist your loved ones by keeping a small stool near the sink so they can reach it easily. You can also keep hand sanitizer nearby when washing isn’t possible.
You can seek the assistance of home care professional to help with washing hands.
Caring for Clothes
Older adults should wear clean clothes every day and launder them as needed. If they cannot wash their clothes on their own, family members or caregivers can help. You can also take your loved one’s clothes to a laundromat or dry cleaner if necessary.
It’s critical to ensure that your loved one’s clothing is a good fit and comfortable. This will help them feel confident and prevent skin irritation and infection.
You should also check your loved one’s clothing for stains, tears, or other damage. Repair or replace damaged clothing as needed.
If your loved one is bedridden, it is imperative to regularly change their sheets and nightclothes to prevent skin irritation and infection.
Keeping the skin moisturized
Older adults should moisturize their skin regularly to prevent dryness and irritation. They may need help reaching all areas of their body or may not be able to see well enough to apply lotion properly. In that case, you can assist them by applying lotion to their back, legs, and feet.
Wash Bedding Regularly
Older adults should wash their bedding regularly to prevent skin irritation and infection. If they cannot wash their bedding on their own, family members or caregivers can help. You can also take your loved one’s bedding to a laundromat or dry cleaner if necessary.
Check for Skin Irritation
Older adults should check their skin regularly for signs of irritation, redness, or rashes. These could be signs of an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated by a doctor. If you notice any changes in your loved one’s skin, make an appointment with their primary care physician.
Safe food prep
Older adults should wash their hands and all surfaces properly when preparing food. In addition, they may need help reading labels or understanding food safety guidelines.
You may also assist your loved ones by cooking for them. This will ensure that their food is safe to eat and free from contaminants.
Personal hygiene is important for everyone, but it is crucial for older adults. By following this checklist, you can help your loved ones stay healthy and comfortable. Do you have any additional tips for maintaining personal hygiene in older adults that we may have missed out? Please share them in the comments below!