Manda’s 3 Tips to Care For Your Senior Loved One: Bathing, Grooming, and Hygiene

I have worked in Senior living for most of my life and a lot remains the same, the older we get, the more difficult it becomes to take good care of our physical selves. Many seniors can’t take good care of themselves. Especially if they have mobility issues, dementia, or poor mental health. Age can also dampen their senses. Older adults can experience a decline in smell and sight. This can make them unaware of their overall appearance. If they are not currently residing in a Pomeroy community with 24/7 assistance, this is where we can step in and be a helping hand to the ones we love.

If you are taking care of an older loved one, there are a couple of aspects to watch for grooming, bathing, and hygiene. The tips below can help.

Reduce the risk of trips and falls

Factors like slippery floors, uneven surfaces, and poor lighting account for 30% to 50% of falls in the elderly. To create a safer environment for elderly care, add bathroom accessories that can reduce the odds of trips and falls.

These can include:

  • A shower chair or transfer bench
  • Grab bars and safety handles
  • Elevated toilet seat
  • Anti-slip mats or rugs

If your loved one often forgets to turn the lights on or off, then you can install motion-sensing night lights.

Work on the bathing routine

Senior hygiene care involves regular bathing. You should be using moist hand towels or sponges to wash the face, especially the areas around the eyes. If you are taking care of an elderly loved one who is bed bound, it is best to expose only parts of the body you are actively washing.

Keep the rest of their body covered so they can stay warm. Apply gentle cleansing soap to avoid skin irritation. Use a nail brush or cotton buds to clean under the fingernails. Dry their skin fully and apply moisturizer and body powder. This offers the best care as it hydrates and soothes the skin. Growing older in age shouldn’t mean we should stop prioritizing self-care

Keep their hair as healthy as possible

Now I’m no licensed cosmetologist, but my experience can speak volumes for hair care. Senior hygiene care also involves washing and styling the hair. Full washing and drying is not a realistic goal for caregivers or seniors. But, there are a couple of tips that can help decrease hair breakage and reduce shedding.

A boar bristle brush can help distribute the natural oils from the roots to the ends of the hair. It also removes dead strands.

When washing, you can use shampoos with natural oils, like coconut or argon oil. They can moisturize the hair. If you don’t have time to wash the hair, you can use dry shampoos that come in foam or powder. They are easy to apply and massage into the hair, and honestly, a lifesaver.

To improve hair and overall health, nutrition can also help. Make sure the diet is packed with veggies and fruits. Especially products such as lentils, broccoli, and spinach.

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Manda Ayoub

Manda is a nurse and a licensed nursing home Administrator in the state of Michigan. She has worked through all aspects of the post-acute healthcare industry, holding various positions including Infection Control Nurse, In-service Director, Quality Assurance Director, Risk Manager and a Licensed Nursing Home Administrator.