Washing and dressing a loved one can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for both you and your loved one. That’s why a washing and dressing care plan is essential to keeping your loved one healthy, safe and comfortable with what is happening around them. If you are unsure as to how to go about it, you can read on to see how you can effectively take care of your loved one’s hygiene.
As part of a washing and dressing care plan, personal care and hygiene is more than just being clean. Good hygiene includes thoroughly and regularly washing one’s body (especially hands), washing one’s hair, cleaning teeth and caring for gums. These grooming habits will reduce the threat of bacteria that constantly occupy the body. Personal hygiene also includes washing clothes, towels and linen.
One personal benefit of good hygiene is having better health. Keeping your body clean helps prevent illness and infection from bacteria or viruses. The simple act of washing your hands regularly is an effective way to keep germs from spreading.
When caring for others, you should try to promote this at all times by looking after yourself to set a good example.
An elderly person may start to lose their sense of smell, or may be incontinent or use other urinal aids, like catheters, pads, urinal bottles which start to give off an odour. Firstly the equipment should be checked to make sure they are functioning properly. Then checked to ensure the person is using the equipment correctly – are they capable of using the equipment? This can be a very sensitive issue to discuss as the thought of being smelly can be embarrassing. So gentle persuasion is needed for regular routined washing.
How To Wash An Elderly Person
It is very important that the person feels safe and secure when they are having a bath or shower. If they do not feel safe and comfortable then you simply will never get them in there. So if a person refuses to wash, don’t take it personally as they might have had a bad experience when previously being assisted in washing or they may have fallen in the past.
You can learn more about preventing falls by clicking here and more about making the home and bathroom safe by clicking here.
You can learn more about protecting your relationship with them, by protecting their privacy and dignity by following this link.
Prepare the bathroom first. This is the most important step, also ensure that any bathing aid that you use is working correctly and you know how to operate it. Make sure it is warm enough, that the towels and floors are dry and all the soaps are within reach. Clean clothes should also be at hand. Escort or assist your loved one to the bathroom and check the water temperature before undressing and assisting them into the shower or bath. Keeping their dignity at all times and encouraging them to wash themselves where possible.
Why Do The Elderly Not Want To Bathe
What if they refuse?
If your loved one refuses to get in the shower or bath, then unfortunately there simply isn’t much you can do. You can not force them, as they have rights. So the only solution would be to keep calm, and encourage the idea of them washing every day or so. Keeping calm would show that you understand why they do not want to have this experience, but if you keep encouraging, they will eventually come to their senses and allow you to help.
Privacy refers to freedom from intrusion and relates to all information and practice that is personal or sensitive in nature to an individual. This includes in our private lives, and keeping all personal information and data safe. Dignity is being worthy of respect and promoting self-respect, and assisting others to do the same no matter who they are. As part of any NHS professional training, there is a training paper that covers privacy and dignity in care and how to promote and protect these very important issues. By promoting good practice and standards this will allow your loved one to become comfortable and reassured. You can refer to the data protection act and the human rights act to know more about privacy and dignity.