Friday, July 1, 2016

Caregiving for Seniors

Helping a person bathe, shave, dress or perform other personal chores can be troublesome. Understanding how to manage these situations can make things easier on everyone involved. The following tips can help caregivers stay safe during their daily routines.


Showering can be a lovely part of the day. After a shower we feel fresh and relaxed. If you are assisting someone who is showering, it’s important to keep things light and casual. You will both feel more comfortable this way.
Urge the individual to do as much of the work as can be expected. She or he may have the ability to do everything except get in and out of the tub. Some may only have the ability hold things while you take care of everything else.
·       If showering is troublesome, only do it when it’s needed.
·       Most people don’t need a shower every day. However, it is important to keep the face, genital areas and hands clean throughout the day.
·       Keep the room at a comfortable temperature.
·       Get all your supplies prepared before starting the shower or bath.
·       Consider safety. If the person is taking a shower, use a nonslip mat and grab bars.
·       Hand-held shower heads are useful.
·       If the person can’t sit in the tub, get a shower chair.



Those who are ill, wheelchair bound or must stay in bed are in danger of pressure ulcers. These can be extremely painful and dangerous. Often they are known as “bed sores.” Bed sores can be avoided by taking the following steps.
·       Make sure that the individual’s diet contains plenty of liquids. Staying hydrated keeps the skin from drying out.
·       Keep the surface of the skin clean and dry.
·       If skin gets soiled, quickly clean it with soap and water. Wear gloves to do this.
·       Replace bedding as often as needed. There are special bedding supplies available at medical stores that you may need to purchase.
·       Inspect the skin for red marks or irritation. Make it a regular habit.
·       Apply lotion to the skin frequently.
If a red area develops on the skin, stop putting weight on that area immediately. Keep the area dry and clean. Try not to rub it the area. Check every 15 minutes. If the redness doesn’t go away, contact a medical professional for advice.


·       Place dentures in the mouth before shaving.
·       Shave sitting down if possible.
·       Electric shavers are safer. If you can use one of those, especially when you are helping someone else shave.

Mouth Care

·       Brush teeth at least once a day.
·       If applicable, check dentures for cracks.
·       Remove dentures for cleaning and store in fluid when they are out.


·       Give yourself or the person you are helping adequate time to dress. If you are helping someone else, try and have them do as much as they can.
·       Make sure that shoes fit well and are easy to balance in.
·       Consider using simple garments that are easy to put on and take off. Try clothing with Velcro, zippers, large clasps etc.
·       Be careful when dressing not to put too much weight on any areas that are frail. 

Hair Care

Going out to the barbershop or beauty salon can be a regular social outing. If this isn’t a possibility there are many people who will make house calls. There are also many affordable alternatives. There are many excellent hair schools with students looking to gain experience. You can get a great haircut at discount prices by hiring them.
If you still can’t find anyone, you could put out an advertisement in a local publication like a newsletter. In your ad you can announce the services you are looking for. If all else fails you can always do it yourself. Below are a few simple hair care tips.
·       Keep y our hair short to make it manageable.
·       It may be easier to wash your hair in the kitchen sink if it’s tough to do in the bathroom shower or tub.
·       Try using a dry shampoo. You can find these in most drug stores like CVS.  
Your health care provider will work with you to determine what course of action is best for you. Total Home Health can connect you with experienced health care experts who are ready to help you live a long, healthy and fulfilling life. Join today to learn jumpstart a longer, healthier life.

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