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The Basics Of Personal Hygiene For Elderly People

Personal hygiene routines are something most of us take for granted. You get up, wash, brush your teeth, comb your hair, etc. But these routines are something that elderly people can find very difficult. Imagine the effect it would have on you if you could not perform your usual hygiene routine. You would start every day feeling dirty and unprepared. In elderly people, this can lead to agitation, frustration and depression. If you are caring for an elderly person, it is very important that you establish their daily personal hygiene routine to avoid these problems.

Washing an elderly person

If you are responsible for washing the person in your care, they you must first establish what your routine will be and then explain it to the person so that they know exactly what to expect. This will help create a trusting relationship, and will help the elderly person to relax.


Understandably, many elderly people are somewhat reluctant to let another person administer their daily personal hygiene routine. Imagine if you had to rely on another person to do everything for you. You may feel that you have lost self-respect and personal dignity. This is exactly how elderly people feel, regardless of their illness and mental state, unless of course they are completely unaware of what happening around them.
It's not unusual for some elderly people to react angrily but again this is completely understandable.

Caring for themselves

Elderly people should be encouraged to carry out their own personal hygiene routines as much as possible. This promotes independence and a sense of purpose in life. Even managing the smallest task is better than nothing at all. However, sometimes elderly people find hygiene routines impossible and may become incontinent.

Establishing a routine for an elderly person

If you have to carry out the personal hygiene for an elderly person, it is important that you establish a set routine. Elderly people find routines comforting. The routine that you establish should include all the basic elements that are normally included. If the elderly person is still active, then showering an bathing may be included. All nooks and nooks and crannies need to be washed, teeth brushed, hair combed and attention paid to finger and toe nails.

Make up for the elderly

Female elderly people may like to put on makeup to feel feminine then you should encourage it as far as possible. It encourages self respect and personal identity.

Looking out for abnormalities

Good personal hygiene routines for the elderly can also be useful in diagnosing abnormalities in physical health. If you are washing someone, you should look out for any lumps, bumps and bruises as well as any bodily changes that may indicate a health problem. If you are keeping a written care plan, it it worth making a note of any changes as these can help future diagnoses by medical practitioners.


Personal hygiene is definitely one of the most important aspects of caring for the elderly, but also one of the most sensitive areas. However, if handled in the right way, it can help create a bond between you and the person you are caring for.

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