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The Importance Of Personal Hygiene For Older Adults

It is not uncommon for older adults to neglect their cleanliness upkeep. For some, the reasons are memory-related. For others, the physical labour required to bathe is simply too much. No matter the reason for not keeping clean, a senior’s personal hygiene remains very important. A lack of cleanliness can lead to poor health. It should go without saying, therefore, that steps should be taken to ensure the upkeep of personal hygiene of the elderly loved one in your life.

What would keep older adults from keeping themselves clean?

There are many different reasons that older adults may be neglecting their personal hygiene. As Carol Bradley Bursack explains on, those reasons include depression, wanting to maintain control, dulling senses, boredom, discomfort and fear. She highlights the fact that the bathroom can actually be a scary place for senior citizens.

“It is entirely composed of slick, hard and often monochromatic surfaces—the perfect setting for a fall,” she writes, “Taking a shower or a bath was once a regular part of their routine that they didn’t think twice about. But now, this basic act carries significant risks. The possibility of a bruised ego, a broken hip, or even a permanent change in mobility is enough to deter anyone from stepping into the tub.”

Why is personal hygiene upkeep so important for older adults?

Keeping clean is an integral part of keeping healthy. Needless to say, it’s important for older adults to take steps to maintain their health. Good personal hygiene tops the list of ways to stay healthy. Among the many benefits of staying clean is the avoidance of troubling skin issues. Seattle’s Fedelta Home Care notes that seniors are more susceptible to skin problems and regular bathing can help keep these issues at bay.

“Keeping up with personal hygiene, such as by taking regular baths, can also prevent skin issues that tend to happen more often as you age,” says their website, “When you don’t take regular baths or showers, you can end up getting skin infections. The good news is seniors who aren’t as active don’t have to bathe every day to prevent these issues—just a few times a week will suffice. Moisturizing is also the key to avoiding common skin issues seniors can suffer from.”

How can good personal hygiene help seniors to maintain good mental health?

Sticking to regular routines is an ideal way to improve memory. This is especially important for those battling with dementia. In addition, keeping clean improves oral health, eliminates body odour and maintains foot care. Perhaps, most importantly, a senior that keeps clean can better detect potential health complications.

“During a bath or when teeth are being cleaned, something different with the body might be spotted like an unusual bump,” notes Fedelta Home Care, “When seniors keep up with personal hygiene, they can catch something before it became a serious issue. Being aware of your body only becomes more important as you get older, and doing something as simple as personal hygiene can help you with that.”

Advantage Home Health Solutions can help with your elderly loved one’s personal hygiene!

We offer a wide variety of high-quality bath safety products. They include commodes, bath seats and bath boards, transfer benches, grab bars, toilet safety frames, bath lifts and accessible tubs and showers. To learn all about them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 403-460-5438. You may also email us by filling out the form on our Contact page!

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