Personal Hygiene and Old Age

Personal Hygiene and Old Age

Self-care is very important in order to live a healthy life. As the age progresses, cognitive ability diminishes and so does physical ability to carry a task. This leads to poor hygiene levels among many seniors. Poor hygiene leads to many chronic conditions and bodily infections especially in hidden areas of the body in the seniors. It is very important to maintain cleanliness and hygiene around elderly people. Memory loss, Depression or any other health problems may cause seniors to neglect their bodies. Therefore it is important to approach this issue with a lot of care with elderly people. Help them get a supplement plan here

To start with Have an initial conversation with a senior person about how do they feel in general and regarding their health. Poor hygiene reflects that something is not right with the person. Have an open approach and try to understand the root cause of the problem. You may consider taking help of some other older member in your family or social circle. If the elderly are not comfortable about taking this to a younger person because sometimes hygiene becomes an issue of embarrassment and shame for them, then try a different approach like asking their doctor to talk about, taking them for therapy, winning their trust etc. 

Few Common challenges in maintaining hygiene during older age:

  1. Sensory loss: As age progresses, hearing and vision loss are a norm. Not only that loss of smell, taste etc. are also quite common. Because of these issues, an older person may not recognise their body odour or a bad taste or other kinds of bad smells, scattered objects, broken pieces etc.
  2. Memory loss: Older people may forget about things as simple as bathing.
  3. Depression: A bad mental state will definitely reflect in the surrounding and in the outer environment.
  4. Physical challenges: Bladder control and Incontinence, bone fracture, or any other type of physical injury will also play a determinant role in maintaining hygiene.

Having an understanding of a senior’s hygienic condition is important but at the same time, it is also important to make sure that Cleanliness and hygiene are maintained properly in the house.

Certain things to keep in mind during the cleanliness :

  • Make sure the floor is not too wet after moping. Schedule these activities around a time when seniors are sleeping or taking rest. Inform them and stay around them in order to avoid an accident.
  • Do not force bathing. It is not important to bath every day during old age, every alternate day is fine.
  • Ensure that their dignity is not hurt and seek permission before approaching their body care or touching their body.
  • Avoid excessive use of body oil as this may cause physical injury at times.
  • Make sure they take enough Sunlight.
  • Buy comfortable clothes, make hair almost every day and cut nails on regular basis.