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Personal Hygiene and Grooming Assistance

The mental and physical ability to take care of one’s personal hygiene and grooming such as teeth brushing, shaving, nail and hair care are Basic Activities of Living Living (ADLs).

Our Services

Our caregivers are trained and experienced in assisting in all areas of personal hygiene assistance as required by the situation, including:

Unique HomeCare Services

Shampooing: In the bath, in a chair by the sink for those with mobility issues, and in bed for those unable to sit up.

Oral Care: The cleaning of the mouth, gums, teeth and dentures.

Nail Care: Trimming of finger and toenails and looking for signs of irritation and infection, particularly in those with diabetes.

Foot and Care: Especially important for those with diabetes.

Shaving: With a safety razor or an electric razor.

Skin Care: Looking for and preventing dry skin, infections, and bedsores.

We encourage our clients to do as much as they can themselves and help where help is needed.

Signs Personal Hygiene Assistance Is Needed

You may know your loved one needs assistance with personal hygiene or have noticed the signs of noticeable decline in grooming habits and personal care such as unkempt hair, untrimmed nails, dirty hands and nails, a lack of oral care, wearing dirty or stained clothing, sloppy or not shaving:

• A decline of personal hygiene can be caused by physical changes as we age and lose physical strength, stamina, balance, and muscle control.

• Vision issues as we age and lose the ability to focus on small details makes it more difficult to shave or apply makeup if we cannot see our face clearly.

• Cognitive changes, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s can make it impossible for your loved one to take care of their personal hygiene.

Family Caregiver Personal Hygiene Assistance Tips

Our caregivers are professionals with the training and experience to safely assist your loved one with personal hygiene needs.

These are our tips for the family caregiver assisting their loved one.

Shampooing

Shampooing can be done at any time either during bathing or separately in a sink or in bed for those with mobility issues.

To make shampooing easier dilute the shampoo in a bottle with water.

Wet Shampooing In A Chair

• Gather all supplies: disposable gloves, comb, brush, shampoo and conditioner, several pitchers of warm water, a large basin, washcloth and towels.

• Have the person sit on a chair or a commode.

• Explain to the person what you are going to do.

• Drape a large towel over the person’s shoulders.

• Gently comb the person’s hair to get out any knots and tangles.

• Protect the person’s ears with cotton.

• Lean the person’s head over the sink.

• Cover their eye’s with a washcloth.

• Moisten their hair with a wet washcloth or pour water from a pitcher.

• Massage a small amount of diluted shampoo into the hair.

• Washout the shampoo with water or a wet washcloth.

• Use a leave-in conditioner if needed.

• Lean the person upright and dry their hair.

• Remove the cotton from their ears.

• Gently comb the person’s hair to get out any knots and tangles.

• Use a hairdryer on the cool setting to dry the hair if desired. Be careful not to burn the scalp.

Dry Shampoo

If the person is unable to sit in a chair or lean their head into a sink, you can dry shampoo their hair in a chair.

Wet Shampooing In Bed

• Gather all supplies: disposable gloves, comb, brush, shampoo and conditioner, several pitchers of warm water, a large basin, washcloth, towels and a hairdryer.

• Explain to the person what you are going to do.

• Raise the bed and help the person lie flat.

• Protect the bedding with a plastic sheet under the head of the person, with the edge of the plastic edge rolled inward so that the water will run down into a basin placed on a chair next to the head of the bed.

• Drape a large towel over the person’s shoulders.

• Gently comb the person’s hair to get out any knots and tangles.

• Protect the person’s ears with cotton.

• Lean the person’s head over the sink.

• Cover their eye’s with a washcloth.

• Moisten their hair with a wet washcloth.

• Massage a small amount of diluted shampoo into the hair.

• Remove the shampoo with a wet washcloth.

• Use a leave-in conditioner if needed.

• Dry the hair with a towel.

• Remove the cotton from their ears.

• Gently comb the person’s hair to get out any knots and tangles.

• Use a hairdryer on the cool setting to dry the hair if desired. Be careful not to burn the scalp.

Oral Care

If the person refuses to brush their teeth or have their teeth brushed can swish and spit out a mouthwash.

• Gather all supplies: disposable gloves, a soft toothbrush or electric toothbrush, toothpaste or baking soda, warm water in a glass, dental floss, and a bowl.

• Explain to the person what you are going to do.

• If possible bring the person to a sink, or a chair if they have mobility issues, or upright in bed if confined to a bed.

• If possible, encourage the person to brush their own teeth. If not, ask the person to open their mouth and gently brush the teeth.

• Rinse well by having the person sip water from a glass and spit into a bowl.

• If possible, gently floss between their teeth by standing either behind them or on the side.

Dentures

• Explain to the person what you are going to do.

• Remove the dentures from the mouth.

• Run the dentures under water and put them in a denture cup with a denture cleaner.

• Have the person rinse their mouth with water or mouthwash.

• Massage their gums with a soft toothbrush.

• Rinse the dentures and return them to the person’s mouth.

Fingernail Care

When providing nail care look for signs of irritation and infection particularly in those with diabetes.

Fingernails and toenails thicken with age and can be difficult to trim.

• Gather all supplies: soap, basin with warm water, towel, nail brush, nail clippers, nail file, and lotion.

• Wash your hands.

• Explain to the person what you are going to do.

• Wash the hands of the person with soap and water and soak their hands for 5 minutes in a basin of warm water.

• Gently scrub the fingernails with a nail brush to remove trapped dirt.

• Dry the hands and cut nails straight across to prevent ingrown nails.

• File the fingernails to smooth the edges.

• Massage the person’s hands with lotion.

Foot Care And Toenails

• Provide the person with properly fitting low heeled shoes that have non-slip soles and close with Velcro.

• Use cotton versus acrylic socks.

• Toenails are difficult to trim. Trim toenails after a bath or soak their feet in a basin of warm water prior to trimming.- Gather all supplies: soap, basin with warm water, towel, nail brush, nail clippers, nail file, and lotion.

• Wash the feet and in between the toes and drying well.

• Look for fungal infections, bumps, cuts and red spots.

• Call the doctor if a sore develops on the foot. Those with diabetes require special foot care to prevent infections which can have grave complications or the amputation of a foot.

• Use lotion on dry feet but not in between toes to prevent fungal infections.

Shaving

Shaving can be done with a safety razor or an electric razor.

If he wears dentures make sure they are in his mouth before shaving.

Do not use an electric shaver if the person is receiving oxygen because of a risk of fire.

• Gather all supplies: Disposable gloves, safety razor or electric razor, shaving cream, washcloth, basin with warm water, towel, and lotion.

• Make sure there is enough light to clearly see his face.

• Wash your hands.

• Explain to the person what you are going to do.

• Put a towel under his chin.

• Soften the beard by putting a warm damp washcloth on this face.

• Apply shaving cream to his face avoiding the eyes.

• Hold his skin tight with one hand and using short smooth strokes shave in the direction the hair grows, not against the grain.

• Rinse the face with a wet washcloth.

• Pat the face dry with a towel and apply lotion if the skin is dry.

Skin Care and Pressure Sore Prevention

Pressure sores, also called bedsores, are blisters in the skin caused by the body’s weight pressing blood out in a certain area.

The best treatment for pressure sores is prevention.

• The most common areas for pressure sores are the bony areas: tailbone, hips, heels, and elbows.- Pressure sores can appear when the skin keeps rubbing on a sheet.

• The skin starts breaking down from the inside and works towards the surface. This can happen very quickly.

• Skin damage can range from a change in color in unbroken skin to deep wounds down to the muscle and bone requiring hospitalization and skin grafts.

• People with light skin start to show skin color that is dark purple to red at the beginning of a pressure sore and people with dark skin show darker spots.

Pressure Sore Prevention

• Check the skin daily.

• Provide a well-balanced diet with enough protein, vitamin C and zinc.

• Keep the skin dry and clean. Urine left on the skin can cause sores and infection.

• Use loose clothing.

• Massage the person’s body with light pressure.

• Tape foam to bony areas with paper tape.

• Turn a person that is confined to bed every 2 hours to a different position.

• Smooth out wrinkles in bedsheets.

• Use 100% cotton sheets to absorb moisture.

• Avoid using a plastic sheet.

• Provide an egg-crate mattress pad for added comfort.

• Avoid using a plastic sheet.

• When a person is sitting encourage them to change position often.

• Use foam pads on chair seats.

• Change the type of chair the person sits in so that they sit in a different position.

• If possible have them exercise or at least move around.

Additional Family Caregiver Resources

For additional Family Caregiver tips please see our extensive Directory of Online Senior and Caregiver Resources for the information you need.

About Unique HomeCare Services

Unique HomeCare Services provides private in-home care for elders, those with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, and people who are recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery.

We provide both short-term and long-term in-home care needs from as little as one 4 hour day a week to 24 Hour Care and Live-In Care.

We offer a full range of in-home personal care services including Bathing, Personal Hygiene and Grooming, Dressing Assistance, Toileting and Incontinence, Feeding, and Medication Reminders.

We also provide support services such as Case Management, Accompaniment to Appointments, Nutrition and Meal Management, Light Housekeeping and Laundry Services, Bed and Wheel Chair Transfers, and Shopping and Running Errands.

Unique HomeCare Services is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts and serves the surrounding communities.

To schedule a no cost and no obligation In-Home Assessment to determine the home care needs and get a quote, please call us to speak to a Case Manager at (800) 296-9962 or fill out our Free Quote Contact Form.