If you’re one of the 2.65 million carers in Australia, you’ll understand the importance of helping to keep your cared-for person clean.
Personal hygiene for disabled people or those with mobility issues is vital. Without it, they may suffer skin conditions or infections.
It also helps the person cared for feel positive and boosts their self-esteem.
We’re going to give you some ideas to make this task easier, from setting up a routine to using hand sanitiser and face masks.
Let’s talk hygiene essentials
Here are some basic steps to helping your loved one to keep clean. You can support them to:
- Wash their hands after every visit to the bathroom
- Use hand sanitiser between handwashing — make it easy by setting up a hand sanitiser station next to your loved one’s favourite place to sit
- Shower every day
- Wash their face morning and night
- Brush their teeth twice a day
- Visit the dentist regularly
How can I help my loved one take a shower or bath?
If you are able to help your loved one in and out of the shower or bath, here are some hacks to make it easier:
- Choose soap or bubble bath in a fragrance they will enjoy.
- Play their favourite music at shower or bath time.
- Explain what you are doing and what the next steps are.
- Don’t force them to shower or bathe if they become distressed.
What if my loved one is anxious about washing?
Some people are anxious about water and washing. But there are steps you can take to help your loved one feel more confident.
You can add seats or recliners in their bath or shower to help them relax. Grab rails will also support them as they get in or out of the bath or shower.
If the person you are caring for doesn’t like overhead showers, use a handheld one.
Have everything you need to hand. This means you won’t need to leave your loved one in the bathroom on their own.
Many people feel more secure in a routine. Set one up so your cared-for person feels comfortable about washing and knows what to expect.
Keeping it safe
Both you and the person you care for will feel more confident when you follow bathroom safety guidelines.
Here are the basics you should stick to:
- Keep the floor dry to prevent falls.
- Ensure the bathroom is kept at a comfortable temperature.
- Make sure the temperature of the water is warm enough. If you are giving hygiene help for an elderly person, remember that they feel the cold.
- Remove any locks from the door.
As a carer, you also need to keep yourself safe. This means you should be cautious when lifting or moving the person you care for. You could get training so you know how to do this safely. And only move someone if you are strong enough to do so.
To move a person safely, you should remember to:
- Check that the floor is not wet or slippery.
- Never lift above the height of your shoulders.
- Keep your back straight with bent knees.
- Keep the weight close to your body.
What should I do if I find caregiving difficult?
If you are struggling to help your family member wash, you could benefit from help from professional home carers. They can visit on a regular basis to help with personal needs such as washing.
This is really helpful if you are finding it difficult physically or emotionally to provide all the care by yourself.
If you have carers visiting your loved one’s home, it’s useful to keep a supply of disposable face masks handy. They will help protect your family member from the germs that cause infections.
You can also buy reusable face masks. Some types come with a replaceable filter to boost hygiene, and they are soft and comfortable to wear.
FeverMates is here by your side
At FeverMates, we recognise that caring for someone you love can be a challenging task. But the work you do in helping to keep them clean is vital to their wellbeing.
That’s why we are here by your side. Our range of products will help keep you and your loved one safe and healthy.
We ship hand sanitiser spray and disposable face masks within Australia quickly so you get the help you need without delay!
Browse our collection and stock up on the little things to make your role as a carer easier and help your loved one take care of their own hygiene.