Personal care and general hygiene in the elderly may become more challenging and standards may slip relative to those that were adhered to for years. Having to accept assistance with everyday tasks can be a daunting prospect. Caregivers may no longer be able to assist or are faced with stubborn behaviour when it comes to assisting an elderly person with their personal care. Home care workers can be called on to provide the day to day support to help an elderly person live as independently as possible while offering the utmost respect and privacy to maintain their dignity.
Delivering personal care, according to guidelines on care for the elderly (National Institute for Clinical Excellence, September 2015), should support the goals and aspirations of each person who requests the service. Personal care services should also focus on what people would like to do to maintain their independence by recognising the potential they have and where they need assistance – people and their caregivers who are using home care services should always be involved in the discussions and decisions about their care and support.
Tips on personal care for the elderly
- Create a calming atmosphere at bath or shower time – for many people they feel embarrassed and ashamed about not being able to cope on their own. As a result they may kick-up a fuss and resist keeping-up with healthy standards of care. Classic music and a calming voice will help to soothe and distract their attention away from the fact they need assistance.
- Establish a routine and schedule that meets the needs of the elderly person being cared for. Forcing a person to bath or shower daily is not really necessary as they are generally not as active as younger people – 3 times per week is sufficient.
- Talk to them about the plans for the day so there are no surprises. Whether your role is home care worker or caregiver it is always more reassuring for an elderly person to know what is happening ahead of time.
- Enable independence as much as possible and always respect their dignity
- Create a safe environment in the bathroom by removing any bathmats that may slip from under their feet or become a tripping hazard. Fill a bath for them to make sure the water temperature is not too hot or too cold.
- Have clothing readily available for immediate dressing after drying-off after a bath as an act of respecting their dignity but also to prevent them getting cold and shivery.
Personal care support provided by home carers:
- Assistance getting out of bed in the morning
- Help with washing and dressing
- Support with toileting / incontinence
- Assisting with moving and handling
- Skin and pressure care
- Pre-bedtime care and support in the evenings
Novus Care recruits home care workers trained to provide personal care to the elderly. We recognize that by helping to maintain personal hygiene and living environment to the standards they want boosts confidence and self-esteem. Respect and maintaining dignity are of the utmost importance to all at Novus Care and our care workers will do all they can to ensure you feel comfortable at all times. Cultural factors are always taken into consideration during a needs assessment when developing an individual care plan.
Novus care provide a reliable service that can be trusted.