When it comes to caring for older adults, hygiene issues are quite common. A senior’s refusal to bathe is a frequent source of frustration among many caregivers. At best, poor hygiene in seniors can cause an unkempt appearance and minor body odor. However, extreme changes in oral care and bathing habits can cause self-neglect, affect social life, and even jeopardize health.
There are many reasons why your aging parent or family member may refuse to bathe. The best way to address the issue is to seek assistance from a home care agency and determine the reasons why their bathing habits have changed. In doing so, one can devise an effective strategy to promote good personal hygiene.
One of the most common reasons why is due to dulling senses. While your nose may be sensitive to scents and can easily pick up odors of old sweat, spoiled food, or urine, your elderly loved one may not notice these smells immediately. Since seniors’ senses are not as keen as they once were, they may begin to shower less frequently or avoid changing their clothes as often.
Using the bathroom can be stressful for many older adults. Tiles and monochromatic surfaces can easily increase the risk of falls. The basic act of bathing carries significant risks for seniors as their fear or discomfort may also be caused by a past accident or a bad fall. Moreover, seniors may also fear losing their dignity or independence if they approach their loved ones for help.
To address these issues, it’s best to seek professional assistance from a provider of home health care in Maryland. In addition to receiving assistance from a home care provider, here are a few ways to encourage good personal hygiene at home:
- Install assistive devices – Assistive devices like bath chairs, grab bars, and handrails enable comfortable and safe bathing for seniors. They reduce the risk of slips or falls and make it easier for them to navigate the bathroom.
- Provide simple instructions – When looking after a senior loved one, you can encourage them to bathe by providing step-by-step instructions. Breaking down the tasks in bathing or brushing teeth makes it easier for them to accomplish.
- Hire bathing assistance -In addition to these tips, the solution may be to hire professional help. Home care services offer personal care assistance that includes bathing, toileting, and dressing to ensure good personal hygiene in seniors.
Do you need help in implementing good personal hygiene at home? If so, we at Sarah’s Peace and Love Home Healthcare are happy to assist your aging loved one. We offer personal care as part of our home care services in Laurel, Maryland. Set an appointment with us to get started.