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6 Grooming & Dressing Strategies for Caregivers

By Dian Brannen, 9:00 am on

Anyone who has ever cared for an aging adult knows just how difficult it can be to maintain healthy hygiene habits. Issues such as cognitive decline and arthritis often make everyday grooming tasks challenging. It is important for caregivers to employ a variety of strategies to make dressing and grooming tasks easier to manage.

1. Choose Your Battles Carefully

After taking care of themselves for years, many seniors have a difficult time accepting a loss of independence. Unless they are directly putting their health at risk, be wary of constantly fighting over hygiene issues. Letting your loved one skip the occasional shower or haircut is typically not something to be concerned about, and it is not worth damaging your relationship over.  

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Lehigh Valley Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

2. Speak with a Doctor or Professional Caregiver

When it comes to personal hygiene, older adults have different needs than their younger counterparts. Unless your loved one happens to be particularly active, he or she most likely won’t need to change or bathe every day. Speaking with a doctor or professional caregiver about these issues can help you come up with a manageable schedule for your loved one’s hygiene tasks. 

3. Simplify the Choices

Some seniors enjoy choosing their outfits and haircuts, but there may come a point when those choices become stressful. If you have recently noticed your loved one fretting over his or her wardrobe or jewelry, simplify the process as much as possible. Keeping just a handful of matching outfits in the closet could make your mornings much easier to get through.

4. Stick to Plain and Comfortable Clothes

Many companies make clothing specifically for seniors who need garments that are comfortable, flexible, and easy to put on. Certain items like belt buckles and shoelaces might become more difficult to use as time goes on, and you will need to make changes to your loved one’s wardrobe if this occurs. Clothing that is flexible, loose, and plain is generally the best option for older adults. 

5. Take Steps to Ease the Tension

Respecting your loved one’s privacy may become challenging as you take on bathing and grooming responsibilities. When helping your loved one with personal hygiene tasks, you should remember he or she is going to mimic your body language and emotions. A few simple steps such as keeping an extra robe in the bathroom and casually conversing about unrelated topics can ease the tension as your loved one becomes used to the situation. 

Assisting a loved one with toileting, bathing, and other personal hygiene tasks can be overwhelming at times. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Lehigh Valley respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.  

6. Establish Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Routines

Another easy way to make dressing and grooming tasks as smooth as possible is to establish a strict routine that you shouldn’t veer from. Telling your loved one at the last minute that you bought new clothes or scheduled a haircut may make him or her feel as if he or she has very little control or independence. You might even benefit from writing down the routine and then giving a copy to your loved one.

From toileting to dressing and grooming, there are several activities your loved one may need help with. Aging adults who need help around the house, transportation to medical appointments and social events, and assistance with exercise can benefit from having an in-home caregiver. Lehigh Valley seniors can enjoy greater independence and receive regular mental and social stimulation when relying on a trusted professional who is expertly trained in various aspects of senior care. To hire a dedicated caregiver for your elderly loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 484-350-3874 today.