Personal hygiene is one of those terms that means different things to different people but everyone agrees it is important. Each aspect of hygiene listed below is important in different ways and seniors who take care of their hygiene are better off in life for longer.
- Hygiene means hand washing and safe food prep.
- Hygiene means effective bathing.
- Hygiene is taking care of your teeth and gums.
- Hygiene is also grooming such as hair brushing, skin and nail care.
The most obvious and important reason for good hygiene is maintaining physical health. As we age our immune system is not as robust as it once was and that means germs and viruses are more of an enemy than ever. Hand-washing before handing food and after visiting the facilities if not already a habit should become one. Many medications common in the senior group cause skin to become fragile making it easier for germs to invade. Be on alert for situations where germs may be abundant such as hospitals or public transit and use sanitizer or antibacterial soap.
Mobility or balance issues may make bathing a problem and at that point help should be enlisted. Bathing help is one of the top things home health aids are hired for. Taking a good bath or shower is not a luxury but a necessity. Proper cleansing removes bacteria that causes oder and possible infections. Going over your whole body regularly keeps you aware of any irregularities and finding issues early gives you the best chance at curing them. Finally, the invigorating feeling of being clean can not be overlooked. Do not let pride get in the way of all the positives and get help if you need it.
Looking good is feeling good. Seniors who make sure their hair, nails and skin are in good condition present a positive image to the world. The world will look back respectfully, far more so than if the senior lets themselves go. Confidence and positive opinion go toward a better mental outlook. Good mental health is the difference betten living and living well.
It may become harder to keep up good hygiene as you age however with careful attention it is very possible to be successful. If you find yourself becoming forgetful post reminder signs at every sink. Safety chairs and grab bars in the tub or shower make bathing easier and safer. Most salons offer hair washing for very reasonable rates, if possible keeping a weekly hair and nail appointment will not only support good hygiene but help maintain your confidence too. High quality soap and lotion use is a good idea to maintain healthy skin and in turn healthy skin is a great defense against infection.
Health and Hygiene go hand in hand and are equally important at any age to happy. Seniors face a double whammy because they are more susceptible and become less capable over time. Noticing your senior parents hygiene is an early warning sign for other problems with their ability to care for themselves. Seniors who want to stay independent need to maintain good hygiene to keep healthy and control their own destiny.