To be Fresh and Clean is a Vital Part of the Day
If you are clean and look good, you feel good. This has been my motto for as long as I can remember. There will be times when your loved one will be unable to perform our daily hygiene, such as brushing our teeth, bathing, shampooing, and skin, nail, foot care. There are many reasons one would not be able to care for themselves, including the following.
- No energy or strength
- Inability to reach
- Fear of getting hurt
- Forgetting how to perform the task
Remember to encourage your loved ones to assist as much as possible, according to their abilities and limitations. Give them as much privacy and encouragement as possible, also establish a communication system so that your loved ones feel comfortable with your assistance. Dealing with this day out and being careful not to upset the situation any further can cause strain on you, as the caregiver. Here are some great books to help you now.
When your loved one cannot do it anymore
Once your loved ones can no longer perform their daily hygiene themselves because of risks of falling or mobility issues, they’ll need assistance to get the full benefit of the experience while staying safe. Assisting with daily hygiene is one of the typical tasks of being a caretaker, but it’s not always easy. It is, however, a necessity of life and something that most of us take for granted when we are younger.
It helps remove food and other things that will cause decay, gum disease, and bad breath. It Is done before brushing and usually after every meal, to have clean teeth. There are now many different things that can be used to assist with flossing. The American Dental Association recommends you floss your teeth daily. According to the Mayo Clinic, standard dental floss is the most effective tool for cleaning the tight spaces between your teeth.
Cleaning the Mouth
Cleaning the mouth, teeth, gums, and tongue is good to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and foul mouth odor. Brushing your teeth gives your whole mouth a clean and refreshing feeling. A clean and healthy mouth is essential for good oral hygiene.
Always be observant of the patient’s mouth. Check the mouth, teeth, gums, and lips for any irritation or sores. Maintain oral hygiene in the morning, after meals, and at bedtime.
Bathing is an essential part of the healing process. When you are clean, you feel better mentally and physically. Bathing the body in warm, soothing water is beneficial in many ways:
- Cleaning the body
- Preventing body odor
- Soothing aching muscles and joints
- Stimulating circulation
- Removing stress and tension
The frequency of the bath depends on many things. If your loved one is active and can walk, they will need to bathe daily. If your loved one is bedridden or unconscious, they may require a bed bath, and if your loved one is incontinent, they willed to be bathed each time they soil themselves. All situations are different. Always make sure to know if your loved one is allergic to any products before using them.
Preparing for Bath Time
Creating a safe setting is important for any senior. Take an honest evaluation of the bathroom before you start. Make sure all the devices you use are within reach and working. You’re putting them at risk if you have to leave the senior alone while you get something. It also slows down the process, possibly giving them a new area for concern.
Different Types of Baths
Shower or Tub Bath
Some people will prefer a shower to a tub. The tub bath is very relaxing and can cause your loved one to become tired and weak, so work quickly. The bath should take no longer than 30 minutes.
Follow all safety rules when giving a tub or shower bath:
- Use proper body mechanics.
- Place a rubber mat in the tub.
- The floor is dry before and after the bath.
- The water is not too hot or cold.
Complete Bed Bath
This is given to patients who cannot bathe themselves, are unconscious, paralyzed, and wearing a cast on in the bathtub. Encourage patients to help with as much as possible. Provide lots of privacy, work quickly and efficiently, and always let the patient know what’s going on at all times. Bring two bowls to their bedside. One is for clean water, and one is for rinsing. You will also need lots of bath towels and washcloths available to prevent their bedding from getting wet. Before you begin, decide where you want to start the bed bath and move slowly from there. Privacy is important to many seniors. Try only to uncover areas that you’re cleaning.
A predictable daily routine reduces your loved ones’ overall stress and anxiety and makes them more likely to bathe without resistance. Many seniors don’t like to bathe because all they remember is being cold and shivering. Older adults feel cold much more easily than someone younger. So a partial bath is ideal for these circumstances. Always work from cleanest to dirtiest parts. We only wash the face, hands, underarms, back buttocks, and genitals. Sometimes a complete bath is too exhausting for a patient. Therefore, a partial bath may be given to reduce anxiety and exhaustion.
Maintaining cleanliness is always going to be a big part of feeling better each day. Avoid changing their routine if possible. They will be more willing to bathe if they stick to what they’re used to, whether or not that’s the frequency of bath vs. shower. Also, making the experience as comfortable for them as possible will make it much easier the next time. It will help to alleviate their fears or discomfort and make them less resistant to future bathings.
It can be difficult to attend to your loved one daily hygiene, but it’s not impossible. With the right knowledge, you can do this. Don’t forget about taking care of yourself and keeping your business going while you are caregiving. I’m here to assist you on this journey. Schedule your planning session with me so we can look at how to keep your life and your business running smoothly.