As your dad’s health changes, personal care is one area where he’s having a harder time. What should you know about hygiene and grooming for older adults?
It’s Okay to Re-Wear Clothing
Some people think that you should never re-wear clothing due to germs. While your dad shouldn’t re-wear his socks or underwear. It’s okay if he wears the same pair of jeans for a few days. If they’re stained, dirty, or smell off, wash them at that point.
It saves on water and wear and tear on the washing machine. Plus, it helps his clothing last longer as it’s not being exposed to chemicals and heat from drying.
Hot Water Isn’t Good for the Skin
A hot shower may feel great on aching joints, but it dries out the skin. Aging skin already suffers from depleted collagen stores and less oil gland production. With hot water drying the skin out, it’s even more damaging. A warm shower is better than a hot one.
Apply Moisturizer Before Drying Off
After your dad showers, it’s best if he applies a moisturizer or skin cream before he dries off. This traps moisture in the layers of skin. If he can air dry, that also helps protect his skin from damage and moisture loss.
Trim Toenails Straight Across
When trimming your dad’s toenails, make sure you trim them straight across. Curved edges may look pretty, but they’re more likely to develop into ingrown toenails. Cut them straight across and use a nail file to buff the edges smooth.
Hair Doesn’t Need to Be Washed Every Day
You do not have to wash your dad’s hair every day. It will dry the scalp and lead to flaking and itching. Wash his hair a few days a week. The rest of the week, just rinse his hair with warm water. If he has a dry scalp or dry hair, apply a conditioner and rinse it after a few minutes.
Brush Teeth No Sooner Than an Hour After Eating
When you eat foods, acid softens the enamel. Saliva rinses food particles away and enamel hardens. When you brush your teeth right after eating, it can damage the softened enamel. Waiting an hour is recommended to lower the risk of damaging the enamel.
Pay Attention to Toilet Habits
Get to know your dad’s toileting routines. If he has a glass of water, how long does it take before his bladder feels full? What are his other toileting habits? Try to get a feel for the frequency and timing so that you can make sure he is near a toilet at the right time. You don’t want to be halfway around the block when he suddenly needs to go.
When your dad isn’t comfortable with his children assisting with personal care, respect his comfort level. Hire personal care at home aides to help your dad with grooming, hygiene, toileting, and more. A personal care at home specialist is happy to help you get started.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Personal Care at Home in Verona, WI please contact the caring staff at Agape Senior Services Madison today. (608) 841-1004