Healthy Hygiene for Seniors

Seniors may not remember to do certain hygiene tasks as they age, therefore it is important for the caregiver to monitor their loved ones daily tasks. You should not frequently ask your loved one if they have combed their hair, or brushed their teeth, because this will make them feel embarrassed. If you suspect that your senior loved one is not taking proper steps towards healthy hygiene for seniors, you will need to step in to help.

Dental hygiene is the most important thing for seniors as many illnesses start orally. As a person ages, their teeth begin to fall out or become very sensitive and may deteriorate. A senior may have dental problems more frequently than that of someone in their twenties. We need healthy teeth and gums to be able to chew, swallow, and speak. Even if your loved one has dentures, it is important to take them to the dentist at least once per year.

For low-cost dental procedures, you can call your local dentistry schools and Universities to get dental work for your loved one. If your senior loved one is suffering from a gum disease, it is best to go somewhere that may know the situation and that will help your loved one the best that they can. Always inquire about low cost dental assistance at your dentist, and always double check and get in writing the pricing when you are quoted a price (sometimes the cost is increased after the procedure is finished). As with any other medical service, get second opinions if you feel it is necessary.

You may notice that your loved one is not washing their hair as frequently as they used to. This can be caused by arthritis, the inability to raise the arms above the head, or because they don’t want to get wet. Arthritis can cause a person to stop doing normal daily tasks, or the senior may have difficulty and will only do half the work. Some pain medications will help a person with arthritis, but sometimes there are no other options than having someone wash their hair for them. Some people may have sore joints, or may have had surgery on their shoulder/arm, and washing their hair can be challenging. Also, seniors and elderly persons may not like to be wet because it is too cold for them. They do not like to have their hair washed due to getting a chill when their hair is wet. Just as you would an infant, you should use very warm water to wash your loved ones hair and have a warm towel nearby to wrap around their wet hair when you are finished washing their hair. You, a home care helper, or a stylist should wash your loved ones hair when it needs done to avoid rashes, hair loss, or lice.

Some seniors may have difficulty cleaning themselves in the bath or shower. This is common in most older adults. There are many helpful devices to ensure that they are cleaning themselves to their best potential. Showers can include seats and handrails, and bathtubs can be easily accessible for elderly individuals. Many times seniors benefit from having a removable shower head to help wash hard-to-reach areas of their body. A lot of companies cater to making devices to help seniors age safely at home.

Hygiene can be hard to maintain for some aging seniors, people with disabilities, or for people who are ill. If you need assistance with helping your loved one maintain their health and well-being, it is best to talk with a Home Care Helper. Homecare services provide help with the daily tasks your loved one may need help with. Check with your local agencies to find out if this is a good option for you and your aging loved one.

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