Tips on Hygiene for the Elderly

Hygiene is one of the issues in aging. This is because the aging person’s body is getting weak physically and mentally. Hence, it is vital for family members and caregivers to help their elders with hygiene maintenance.

Bathing

In bathing an elderly, it should be ensured that the person does not lock the door, so help will be available in case anything happens, as per Sage Reminder. Also, the distractions are reduced, such as removing the phone from the bathroom and turning off the television.  The carer should also prepare the things he needs in one place before he starts bathing the elderly.  These things include the towel, shampoo, soap, and other paraphernalia; this is to save time and make things fast. A large warm blanket should also be available to prevent chills. Prior to giving bath, the carer should also test the water using the back of his hand for temperature check. The adequacy of lighting is also checked, along with the temperature of the heater. During bathing, the skin folds are washed with soap and water and dried properly to prevent bacterial and fungal infections. As per the publication, the towel should be prepared after the bath, since the old person may feel chilled. The time after bath also reportedly has boosted chances of slipping and falling. After bathing the elderly, he is dried off completely and is dressed. A small snack or a short rest is also advisable after the bath.

Oral Health

As per the American Dental Association, the demographics of the elderly is still progressive and in this regard, dental care is set to be a major consideration for them in the future. According to the publication, old people with cognitive limitations should be encouraged to brush their teeth two to three times a day. They may use either an electric or battery-operated toothbrush. For those with removable prostheses, these should be removed, checked, and cleaned before bed and are returned to the mouth in the morning.

Diaper Change

An old person may wear an adult diaper, since it may be hard for them to urinate and defecate. As per Very Well, the person washes and dries his hands thoroughly and dons a pair of gloves. While the patient is resting on his back, the carer unfastens the straps, adhesive tape, or Velcro of the diaper. Then, the farthest side is tucked under the person’s hip. Next, with one hand on the person’s hip and the other on their shoulder, the person is rolled away from the carer. Then, the adult diaper is rolled toward the carer; it should be inward to prevent contaminating the bedsheet with urine or stool. The soiled diaper is put in a plastic grocery bag. Then, the diaper area is cleaned with moistened wipes, skin cleanser, or disposable cloths, from front to back. The skin is also checked for redness, a sign of pressure sore. Then, one side of the new adult diaper is rolled and tucked under the old person’s side while the rest of the diaper is flattened and positioned on the bed. The person is rolled toward the carer onto the diaper and the rolled up side of the diaper is pulled out. Wrinkles are removed and the diaper is fastened as directed by the manufacturer. Next, the gloves are removed and are thrown in the grocery bag. Finally, the hands are washed and dried and the old person is covered with a clean sheet or a blanket.

Hygiene is an important aspect of health across the lifespan. Thus, assisting the elderly in their hygiene needs will promote their health and prevent illness.

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