Bathing and Grooming

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There are many everyday activities that can cause trouble for the elderly, including all the little things that go into bathing, grooming, dressing, and taking care of personal hygiene. 


For seniors, these important daily tasks can often feel difficult, for any number of reasons. Older adults may be experiencing physical pain, limited mobility, or discomfort, which can make it unpleasant to take a shower, get dressed, or even sit and stand from the toilet. 
In other cases, cognitive changes — such as memory loss — can make it more difficult for some seniors to get into a steady habit when it comes to grooming or hygiene. 


Sometimes, seniors may also be reluctant to bathe, dress, or shower for social or emotional reasons. It is quite common for older adults who are suffering from depression or loneliness to give up on tasks that require a lot of time and effort. Other seniors may have anxieties about slipping and falling in the bathroom, or may even put off these daily rituals deliberately, as a way to exert some control over their day-to-day routines. 


Whatever the reason behind the change, it can be difficult to see an elderly loved one struggle with bathing, grooming, going to the bathroom, and taking care of other routine activities of daily living (or ADLs). With that said, however, it can also be daunting to bring up your concerns with your loved one. It can feel embarrassing and uncomfortable to talk about grooming and hygiene. It’s easy to feel like you’re crossing a line — especially if you’re loved one needs support and hands-on help to get back into the swing of bathing or dressing. 


As a loving family caregiver, it’s important to know how to assist your loved ones with these personal and private ADLs — including reaching out for extra help from an experienced, professional caregiver or senior companion. 

 

The Importance of Getting Help for Your Elderly Loved Ones

 

As a family caregiver, it’s important to be on the lookout for “yellow flags” that your parent or senior loved one may need help above what you can provide. Often, changes to a senior’s grooming, bathing, and hygiene habits might be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Older adults who have difficulty dressing put off bathing, or forget to care for themselves often need more help than even the most dedicated son or daughter can offer. 


In these situations, many seniors can benefit from the personalized attention and support provided by a non-medical home care provider. 
Also known as companion care or in-home care, non-medical home care focuses on giving seniors the support they need to live independently and age in place in the comfort and safety of home. While this type of long-term care cannot provide medical treatment, it can help seniors meet everyday challenges, while also enriching their lives thanks to meaningful companionship and social support. From a few hours a week to 24 hours a day, a professional caregiver or companion can help your loved one complete routine ADLs such as bathing, dressing, going to the bathroom, and walking, while respecting their privacy and making sure they feel treated with dignity at every step of the way. 


Getting help from a professional caregiver has benefits to offer not only the elderly but the family caregivers who love and support them. Home care:

  • Helps seniors and family caregivers maintain their relationship. Having a caregiver assist with these private moments can help families maintain their healthy boundaries. This can help give family caregivers some valuable space and help keep seniors from feeling totally dependent on their loved ones. 

  • Provides seniors with privacy and respect. While it may take some adjustment, many elderly adults will ultimately feel more independent and fulfilled receiving assistance from a third party, rather than a close family member. 

  • Can help make bathing, grooming, and dressing easier, safer, and more comfortable? Bathing and dressing can be easier said than done for older adults. A professional caregiver knows practices and techniques that can make these routines safer and more accommodating, above what an informal family caregiver can offer.