Do you have a relative whose health condition requires him to stay in bed? Maybe for a short time due to a disability or injury or maybe there is no other choice due to an old age? Let’s assume you are familiar with this. As painful as it is, we are asked to be cheerful, to help and take care of their personal hygiene when they are unable to take care of themselves. The feeling of freshness and cleanness is necessary for both physical and mental health. That is why, today, we will share with you six key tips for healthy personal hygiene which will be useful if you have to take care of someone bedridden.
Bathe them regularly
If your loved one or relative cannot bathe alone, you need to take regular baths in bed. It may sound absurd but keep reading, it is quite possible and effective. First, get the following toiletries:
- Bath towel, hand towel and face towel
- Soft sponge
- Wash basin with hot water
- Gentle soap that does not irritate the skin/eyes
- Cotton buds
- Moisturizer or lotion
- Body powder (optional)
Then, place the bath towel under the person to keep their bed dry. Use a damp face towel or sponge to gently wash their eyes and face. Avoid using facial soap unless you are sure it will not irritate the eyes. Remove the sheet or blanket to unwrap the upper or lower body – whichever you will wash first. It is important to keep the rest of the body wrapped to keep it warm and at the same time save them the discomfort of nudity. Use a new, clean towel or sponge to cleanse the body by applying a gentle (without additional colorants and scents) soap to avoid irritating the skin. Wash the upper body, hands, feet and take care of the areas under and around the nails with a cotton pads or nail brush.
Help the person to turn, if necessary, so that you can thoroughly clean their back, genitals and buttocks with a towel or sponge. Be sure to clean all creases and then dry these areas well. Use a moisturizing lotion to keep their skin hydrated, then change into new pair of clothes.
Keep their hair clean
Regular washing of hair is a good practice. Try to do it at least once a week. You can also use a dry shampoo in between washes to protect hair from oiliness and discomfort. Of course, this is individual for different hair types.
How to wash your hair in bed? Again, it is not difficult as long as we have the desire and give ourselves time to get used to it. Place a towel under the head and shoulders. Comb their hair to remove tangles, if any. Take a bottle with a pump to spray the whole hair with warm water (as when we are at the hairdresser). Rub shampoo into the scalp and go down the length of the hair. Then rinse it with a bottle (or other container) filled with water. Wrap the hair in a dry towel and pat dry, then use a hair dryer to make sure it is dry at the roots.
Cut their nails
Long nails can be a health risk, especially for the elderly. Dirt and bacteria get under the nails and are transferred to the skin when the patient touches or scratches, which can lead to infection.
Regularly use a pair of nail clippers and nail file to keep their nails trimmed and in a smooth, oval shape.
Change their bed linen often
In our normal daily life, we do not spend more than 6,7 or 8 hours between the blankets and the sheets. However, when your love done is bedridden, you will be amazed at how quickly their bedding can accumulate sweat, dead skin cells, hair or crumbs from food. Change it more often, sometimes every 3-4 days, so that the person feels comfortable in it.
Brush their teeth after meals
To keep the teeth and gums healthy, help your loved ones clean their mouth after each meal. If possible, floss and rinse twice a day to make sure you wash away any food particles.
Some people, of course, can handle these tasks on their own if you bring them a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, water and a spitting container.
Clean their room
A messy environment can also pose a hygiene risk. Dust on furniture and appliances can cause difficult breathing, sneezing, itching or discomfort in the throat. The unfinished food left in the room can attract various pests. Mess in the room can have a negative impact on someone’s mental and emotional state.
Keep the room organized, clean and bright. Natural light and regular window opening will keep the air fresh.
Theoretically, these six tips sound simple, but each requires experience and attention to detail. Our personal psyche is also extremely important in order to maintain one’s hygiene and at the same time not to forget that there is a mature person with dignity in front of us who probably feels uncomfortable, despite our good will. That is why a special approach is required, which the team of Blocks Adult Care has and builds in everyone who has chosen to work with us. The respect and constant attention with which we are ready to approach our patients and residents is the number one priority at any time of the day.
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