There are several reasons seniors may neglect personal care. For instance, illness and disability can make it difficult to bathe or wash hair, or the fear of falling in a bathtub or shower may be a reason to skip bathing. Also, seniors who rarely leave home may see no reason to bathe every day. If your senior loved one seems to be neglecting his or her personal hygiene, it may be time to intervene, since poor personal hygiene can lead to infections and other health issues.
Determine if Personal Care Is Painful for Your Loved One
It’s not unusual for families to overlook personal hygiene problems in older adults who seem to be independent and doing well. Maybe your loved one lives alone and doesn’t care to bathe every day, so family members learn to tolerate a hint of body odor. However, when a senior’s hygiene becomes worse over time, that could be a sign of other problems. When bathing, chronic pain can make it difficult to reach certain body parts. Cavities or mouth sores may discourage your loved one from practicing good oral care. If pain interferes with personal hygiene, your loved one’s doctor or dentist may be able to treat the condition, making it easier to bathe or care for teeth.
Determine if There May Be a Decrease in Mental Capacity
Dementia can cause a senior to neglect hygiene needs, or depression may cause an older adult to lose interest in personal care. Talking with your loved one and asking questions may reveal he or she could be forgetting to bathe and change clothes regularly. A statement such as “I noticed you’re wearing the same clothes today that you were wearing when I was here two days ago” could be a start. Your loved one might seem unaware there’s a problem or cannot explain what’s happening. It may be time to schedule a medical evaluation to determine if there’s a mental health reason for the behavior.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of elder care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
Provide Personal Care Assistance
There are solutions when a senior’s neglect of personal care stems from fear of falling or being unable to wash hard-to-reach places due to physical limitations. Equipping bathtubs and showers with grab bars to reduce fall risks, installing handheld showerheads, and ensuring the bathtub or shower floor has a nonskid mat are some simple safety enhancements. A battery-operated toothbrush may make oral care easier. Your presence when your loved one needs to bathe can offer security. If your loved one bathes regularly but continues to wear clothes that are soiled with perspiration or food stains, assisting with laundry could be helpful.
A professional caregiver can help your loved one with a variety of tasks at home, including maintaining good hygiene. When considering at-home care, Mesa, AZ, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
Arrange for In-Home Care
When work or other obligations don’t leave enough time to assist your loved one with personal care, in-home care is the perfect solution. An in-home caregiver who has experience working with seniors can help your loved one with personal care tasks such as bathing and grooming. Sometimes seniors resist family members helping with personal care but will cooperate with professional caregivers. An in-home caregiver will show the utmost respect for your loved one while ensuring he or she bathes and changes clothes regularly.
If you’re the primary family caregiver for a senior loved one living in Mesa, 24-hour care is available if your loved one’s health has become too difficult to manage without professional expertise. At Home Care Assistance, we take measures to help seniors prevent illness and injury by assisting with exercise and mobility, preparing nutritious meals, helping with bathing and other personal hygiene tasks, and much more. For reliable in-home care services, contact us at (480) 699-4899 today.