As people age, health conditions such as limited mobility and cognitive decline can make it more difficult to take care of important hygiene tasks. However, family caregivers in Lancaster often help their loved ones with these tasks on a regular basis. Here are 5 ways to help make grooming simpler for both you and your senior loved one.
1. When Bathing
If you provide Lancaster at-home care for your loved one, you may be responsible for preparing a bath for him or her or even helping with the actual bathing. Wear a plastic apron to help prevent your clothes from getting wet and invest in a handheld showerhead for easier rinsing. Prepare everything needed for your loved one’s shower or bath beforehand, including shampoo, conditioner, soap, washcloths, and towels, to prevent having to stop to retrieve a missing item during the process.
2. When Dressing
Lay out your loved one’s clothes in the order they should be put on, from underwear to shoes. Providing a few outfits to choose from can help promote your loved one’s independence while still ensuring he or she is appropriately dressed for the weather or the occasion.
3. When Focusing on Dental Hygiene
Your loved one may be more susceptible to cavities as he or she ages due to decreased saliva production, making proper dental hygiene very important. However, many seniors don’t like giving up their independence when brushing and flossing. If your loved one has difficulty holding a toothbrush, try attaching it gently to his or her wrist with a soft elastic hair tie. If using a toothbrush becomes difficult due to soreness in the mouth, use oral swabs to gently wipe the inside of your loved one’s mouth after each meal.
4. When Caring for Hair
Many seniors who have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease have difficulty remembering how to properly brush their hair. Help your loved one stay independent by encouraging him or her to mimic your actions. Brush or comb your own hair while standing next to your loved one in front of a mirror and prompt him or her to follow your example.
5. When Shaving
Switch your loved one’s razor to a safety or electric razor to prevent cuts if he or she is still shaving independently. Seniors who have dementia often forget how to shave, which means you may need to assist with the actual shaving. For shaving an elderly male’s face, place a soft towel under his chin to catch any water drips and gently shave him. Once shaving has begun, many seniors are able to remember what to do and can finish the task themselves.
If your loved one needs additional assistance with grooming and daily hygiene, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our caregivers can assist with these and many other tasks while making sure your loved one stays safe and comfortable. For seniors who need more extensive assistance, we also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care in Lancaster. To learn more and to schedule a free in-home consultation, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers today at (717) 540-4663.