As you grow older, everyday tasks become more and more challenging to do. That is why for many elderly, things like keeping their homes clean and having good personal hygiene are a struggle, especially if they have a lack of energy or mobility. Things like isolation, dementia, depression, and the fear of falling are why seniors will lose interest or sometimes completely neglect their environment and personal hygiene. If you are dealing with an ageing parent, here is how you can help them keep good hygiene without being too invasive.
Identify All the Issues
The first thing you need to do is identify all the issues and slowly work out different ways to fix them. Ageing adults will develop poor overall hygiene for many reasons. Make sure to have regular conversations with them about the obstacles they face when trying to take care of themselves and their place. In most cases, they will be too afraid and embarrassed to say something on their own, so you have to let them know it’s okay to share their problems with you.
Establish a Routine
Something that will help them drastically is simply creating a daily routine that you will do with them. But the key to this is to ensure that you are not making them feel like chores or something that has to be rushed. Make it an enjoyable experience as much as you can.
Ensure the Bathroom Is Safe
One of the worst fears that the elderly have is slipping and falling, especially in bathrooms. That fear will cause them to skip showering or even brush their teeth. Another thing that you can do is to install all the equipment that will make them feel safer, such as non-slip mats, benches, and handrails.
Consider Hiring Professional Support
What a lot of families will decide to do is hire a professional caregiver that will help with personal hygiene. Some seniors will prefer these options as they don’t want you to feel obligated to help them, so they will feel more comfortable with a non-family member performing those tasks.
Some older people have health or mobility issues that cause them to neglect their household chores. That is why you should ensure that you do things to make their lives easier. If they don’t want you to help them by cleaning, you can ensure that all the supplies are in a reachable place for them. Another thing that you can do is hire NDIS cleaning services to come once in a while and deep clean their home.
Prevent or Tackle Hoarding Issues
Another tendency that older people have is hoarding. That is because they will often hold onto things that they don’t need, and it will accumulate over the years and become a bad habit. Even though they might consider it cozy, it will attract pests, harbor germs, and be a falling hazard. Either way, you have to make sure that you approach them gently; you shouldn’t embarrass them with the way you approach the topic. First, help them by giving them decluttering tips, and then if they are not doing anything, help them organize the chaos. Keep in mind that hoarding is a serious problem, and it shouldn’t be ignored. Make sure that you understand their perspective and take a friendly approach rather than forcing them to do it.
Give Them Low-impact Tasks
If you have ever dealt with older people, you will know that they strongly dislike things being done for them and asking for help. Instead of doing everything for them, make sure that you are just helping them out by doing high-impact tasks and leaving the small ones up to them to do. They will feel much better, involved, and it will give them something to be active. So, in addition to getting the house clean, they will feel useful and like they have control over their life and space. For instance, you will want to do all the heavy lifting, and they can sort their own stuff and decide what needs to be thrown out.
Make It A Group Activity
One of the best things you can do to help your ageing parents is to make them feel in control. One way to ensure that is by making the tasks a group activity. Give them small tasks that you know they can finish instead of doing everything by yourself. Getting them involved can have a significant effect on their mental health as well because it will help them feel useful. It will also make things more social for them. Not only that but things will get done much faster when a couple of people do them.
Make A To-Do List
Something that is really simple but works wonders for ageing parents is just making a to-do list. Before you get into their house and just start working, make sure that you make a to-do list with them to make them feel included. Even though you are just helping them out, just getting in there and cleaning the whole house will invade their privacy. That is why you need to ensure that you involve them in the entire process, from creating the to-do list to the actual cleaning. Let them boss you around if they have a specific way of doing things, because you are in their space, even though you are helping.
Assisting your ageing parents with their hygiene is a labor of love, but it is stressful and tiring. Even though it is not a simple thing, make sure that you have a gentle approach as it is probably uncomfortable for them, especially if they are the ones that are asking for help. Take things slow and be patient but don’t take their hygiene for granted.