Helping your parent age: Caring for hygiene

Proper hygiene usually comes as a given for most adults, but as a person ages and slows down — especially if they’ve developed an illness or disability — once simple tasks like bathing become a much more strenuous (and sometimes even dangerous) process. And it’s common knowledge that bad hygiene can lead to many types of complications such as infections. That’s why as a caregiver it’s important to make sure your parent’s hygiene needs are taken care of.

Remember, if you’re unable to administer the necessary help yourself, the services of senior care specialists, such as Encompass Senior Solutions, are always available. Call us today at 402-991-7399 if your elderly parent lives in or around the Omaha, Nebraska area. Our professional staff of nurses and social workers are at your service!

Here’re some tips in ensuring the proper hygiene of your parent:

  • Washing. It’s best to let your parent know the washing routine before implementing it. This will help them feel more comfortable and create trust. Even so, this is often an uncomfortable scenario for most parent-child relationships, so seeking the help of an in-home care professional may be your best option.
  • Encourage self-care. By encouraging your parent to take care of as much as their personal hygiene as possible, it’ll help prolong their independence, which will enrich their quality of life. If your parent has limited mobility, learning a different way to go about cleaning habits may be an option. For example, having them brush their teeth while sitting. In the same light, if you suspect self-neglect, it could be a sign of possible elder abuse.
  • Incontinence. This is a common condition for many elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s. If your parent is not already wearing them, adult diapers may be necessary to avoid accidents. Changing the adult diaper frequently will help ensure infections don’t happen. Like washing, establishing a changing routine is important in order to build trust. Likewise, this may be an uncomfortable scenario for you, so seek the services of an in-home care specialist if necessary.
  • Establish routines. This may seem more important for the caregiver (you) than your parent, but all people find routines comforting, so establishing something that includes all the normal elements — like hair combing, teeth brushing, finger and toenail clipping — well make the time spent together all the more fulfilling. If your parent is still active but is prone to falls, having them bathe/shower while you’re nearby can give all involved more peace of mind.
  • Ask them what they want. The more communication the more empowering it is fall all involved. If your mother wishes to wear makeup, help her put it on. If your father wishes to have a groomed beard, help him with that. This helps boost their self respect and personal identity.
  • Check of abnormalities. If you’re administering hygiene routines for your parent, it’s a good time to check for abnormalities, such as bumps, scrapes, rashes, bruises et al that may be a sign of a health problem. Make note of any concerns and consult with a professional caregiver.

Encompass Senior Solutions currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of the available care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. All Encompass services are directed by registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers with no long-term contracts. Contact us today for help with your senior care needs.

“Encompass Senior Solutions solves the problems families face in finding home health care providers they can trust. Providers who will focus on strategies that keep parents in their homes. To learn more about our health care services, visit http://www.encompass-home-health-care.com.”