One of the hardest things for family members to do when helping a senior loved one is help them with personal care. Hygiene, transferring in and out of bed, and bathing are all things that seniors can struggle with as they get older.
Everyone has a different comfort level when it comes to helping their senior parent with personal care. If you and your senior parent would both be more comfortable with professional care there is personal care at home available for seniors. Personal care at home relieves the awkwardness and any potential embarrassment and gives your senior loved one professional care that is centered on their comfort and dignity.
If you normally help your senior parent with personal care tasks but you need a break, or you need to take a few days off, personal care at home can take over for you. When you are helping your senior loved one with personal care these tips can help:
Explain What You’re Doing
If you’re helping a senior loved one with hygiene tasks like washing their face, using the bathroom, or bathing explain what you’re going to do before you do it. That way your senior parent will know what you’re going to do and they won’t be surprised by your actions. This can help seniors who are easily confused and keep them from getting upset because they aren’t sure what is happening or what you’re going to do. Keep talking to them and explain step by step what you’re doing.
Go At Their Pace
If you’re in a hurry or you just want to get these tasks done quickly you may be tempted to rush your senior parent through tasks like washing their face or brushing their teeth. But you need to let them dictate the pace that they’re comfortable with. If you rush them or try to move too quickly you can actually make them trip or fall and they could get hurt. Go slowly and let them tell you how fast they can go when doing personal care tasks.
Let Them Do What They Can
If your senior loved one can do some personal care tasks by themselves but just need supervision in case they need help or make a mistake let them do what they can on their own, and then you can help when they get stuck or when they get to something they can’t do.
Throughout the process you should be asking your senior loved one questions. Ask if they are ok with what you’re doing. Ask if they want to try doing part of the task themselves. Ask if they are cold or if they are doing ok. Keeping the communication going will help you help them more effectively. And it will put them at ease so that the situation isn’t quite so awkward. It also will let them know that it’s ok to ask you questions if they have questions or preferences about the way the tasks are getting done.
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