It is a common call. A loved one picks up the phone and asks if we can push our caregiver (which has usually become part of the family) to encourage mom or dad to bathe…change clothes. Lack of hygiene is an indicator of where a senior is in managing their daily life. Cognition might be good and you will rarely hear complaints.
Dad’s clothes are stained and an he generally seems disheveled. In close proximity an odor is present. Doing laundry and getting in/out of a bath can become more difficult if mobility is in decline.
Our caregivers are trained to urge clients to bathe, be cautious about navigating their space and be on top of medications. In the case of bating, not doing so can man a urinary tract infection…a common reason seniors end up in the hospital. And, while a caregiver cannot insist dad bathes, a little creative encouragement usually gets the job done.
An article on Daily Caring addresses seniors and bathing. If your older adult lacks proper hygiene, don’t ignore it…ask questions and be creative in encouraging they clean up. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!