Maintaining general hygiene and daily routines become increasingly difficult with the growing of age.
Unfortunately, it can be extremely difficult to convince the senior to accept outside help as they feel it will compromise their dignity, self-esteem, and privacy. That’s why it is necessary to keep in mind that seniors are still capable of making decisions regarding their personal care. The items in this article will help guide you to understand various aspects of senior care and help make your loved ones feel more comfortable, safe and happy during the transition.
Senior individuals need assistance to go through daily activities such as preparing and eating meals, bathing, laundry, shopping, and more. However, they also need companionship, support, and special care depending on their health condition. Here are important things that Personal Senior Care Homes Caregivers always remember when assisting sting our residents.
“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.” – Tia Walker, The Inspired Caregiver: Finding Joy While Caring for Those You Love
Bathing and Personal Hygiene
One of the most challenging aspects of senior care is bathing and hygiene. Requiring bathing and hygiene assistance is not only physically strenuous but also emotionally challenging, as seniors usually feel embarrassed that a complete stranger has to give them a bath.
❖ We Create a Flexible Bathing Schedule
One of the first things we do is figure out is a bathing schedule for the senior. Depending on their health condition, they may not need a daily shower. Most adults, in fact, need a sponge bath daily and require a full bath only 2-3 times a week. We try to figure out the timing and the type of bath that suits their needs.
❖ Natural Conversation Is the Key
Our caregivers keep in mind that bathing isn’t going to be the most pleasant experience for most residents. We keep the environment as friendly and comfortable as possible striking up a natural conversation to relax the elder.
❖ Keep the Bath Ready
We make sure the bath/shower is ready before undressing and bringing the senior into the bathroom. It not only helps minimize anxiety but also protects them from the cold.
❖ Maintain the Dignity
The caregiver maintains the senior’s dignity during bathing. Keeping their towel or clothing ready and put it on as soon as they come out of the tub or shower. When bed bathing is necessary the caregiver would uncover just the part of the body that is being cleaned.
❖ Use the Correct Continence Aids
Some seniors have difficulty in controlling their bladder or bowel functions. We use the right continence devices and change or clean them regularly to avoid the potential risk of infection. The resident’s general physician (GP) may be contacted if they require special toileting needs.
❖ General Personal Hygiene
General personal hygiene includes skin care, mouth care, hair care, and shaving. Keeping the skin clean and dry is extremely important, as most seniors are susceptible to bedsores and skin infections, especially those having physical limitations.
We keep their teeth clean. Brushing at least once a day. Keeping hair short makes it is easy to maintain. We wash the hair in a sink or using a dry shampoo. For shaving using an electric shaver is safe and comfortable. Keeping the senior in a sitting position while shaving to avoid injuries.
❖ We Take Proper Safety Precautions
When it comes to bathing, a fall risk is our number one safety concern. Nearly one-third of the elders over the age of 65 fall each year. In our homes grab bars are installed, the floor is not wet or slippery, the bathroom is warm, and the water temperature is suitable.
❖ Allow as Much Self-Care as Possible
We allow some residents to maintain as much of their self-care as possible. It provides them with a sense of self-independence. So, when taking a bath, we allow them to wash themselves but we are always at the ready to come to their assistance.
❖ Be Patient
Last, but not the least we are always patient. In senior resident care, particularly dementia or Alzheimer’s care, you may have to explain why and what are you doing again and again. So, we don’t stress out we keep a positive attitude irrespective of how difficult the circumstances may seem.
The risk of accidental fall injuries increases with the growing age. Loss of bone density, the decline of nervous coordination, and weak eyesight often lead to fatal slip and falls.
➔ Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions,
➔ And 40% of all nursing home admissions,
➔ 40% of those admitted do not return to independent living,
➔ 25% die within a year.
Unfortunately, most incidents never get reported.
Even a seemingly harmless tripping incident can lend a deathblow to the senior’s self-confidence.
Our homes and surroundings are clean and tidy is the easiest way to prevent slip and falls. We don’t leave items on the floor. We keep our homes clean and clutter free.
❖ Eliminate Tripping Hazards
Our furniture, cables, wires, carpet, and floorboards are secure. Management regularly inspects our homes. We have designed our homes not to have that tripping hazards. Furniture, cables, and wires are against the walls to prevent accidents.
❖ Avoid Stairs
Our homes are ranch style homes. Seniors are most likely to fall when using the stairs. Our homes are set up to live on one level keeping residents safe!
❖ Installation of Grab Bars and Handrails
These safety devices grab bars and handrails make it easier for residents to move around in the different sections of the house. Grab bars in the bathroom and by the toilets. Our entrances are ramps, this is critical especially if the senior is wheelchair bound.
❖ Homes are kept Well-Lit
Inadequate lighting can almost certainly lead to accidents, as aging affects the sense of sight. All the areas of our homes are well lighted.
❖ Maintain Pavements and Driveways
We shovel the ice and snow on the pavements and driveways regularly during the winter. Keeping these areas free of debris.
❖ Keep the Floor Non-Slippery
Wet floors often lead to slips and falls. We keep the floors in different sections of the house dry and tidy. We make certain to clean the bathroom floors regularly as well.
❖ Keep Assistance Devices Accessible
Providing the elderly with the right walking aids such as walkers and canes for safe mobility at home is crucial. Personal Senior Care Homes is proficient in making certain residents have the proper device and we keep them in an easy-to-reach place.
❖ Monitor Medications Regularly
Most seniors use multiple medications. Hence, they may experience various side effects such as dizziness and nausea which may lead to loss of balance. Personal Senior Care makes certain caregivers are observing the resident. Our on-call physician can consult about safer alternatives to the medications with extreme side effects.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia
Mobility is one of the most critical aspects of an elder’s sense of self-independence and confidence. Usually, ambulating involves helping elders get in and out of the bed and assisting them to walk or move around in a wheelchair. Personal Senior Care of West Chester has made a total commitment to the care and well being of our residents.
Please contact me today for a personal tour!
Stephen Brock 513-870-9228