Community Blog

Daily Hygiene and Family Caregiving

By Michael Hagman, RN, BSN

Senior Care in Townsend MT

One of the hardest chores there is as a family caregiver is helping your loved one with daily hygiene. Whether bathing, dressing, or managing incontinence issues, no other task displays the reversal of roles to quite the same degree. For this reason, it can be hard on your loved one as well. There are, however, tried and tested ways to reduce yours and your parent’s discomfort.

The Mood

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”—Wayne Dyer.
This is the best advice for family caregivers. In order to make this task easier for you, both emotionally and physically, change the way you look at it. If you’ve had a child, you know helping them with bath time was a mandatory task you often times looked forward to or, at the very least, did not greet with dread. Your parent did the same for you and now it’s your turn. Finding ways to bring more joy to this time will increase the feeling of well-being for both parties.

  • Create a peaceful environment. Playing soft music can instill a sense of relaxation and peace. YouTube offers some beautiful recordings. Search under the following: Relaxing Spa Music, Massage Music, Nature Sounds and Classical Music to bring up multiple choices.
  • Aromatherapy candles or diffuser. Aromatherapy has been in existence since 1937. It uses aromatic essences from plants to promote health and well-being. Some essential oils that promote relaxation are lavender, rose, chamomile, frankincense and vanilla. Play around with different oils and combinations. If the smell of coconuts or jasmine brings smiles to both your faces, then give those a try. It’s all about creating a mood. The combination of Hawaiian music and an aqua aromatherapy candle smelling of tropical passion fruit or plumeria could take you to the shores of Maui. Add some Hawaiian bath salts and this might just be the task you and your parent almost look forward to.

Timing

It is said that timing is everything. While a daily shower before work was essential, your parent is no longer constrained by a work schedule. Consider replacing the daily bath or shower with a quick rinse-off of the crucial areas a few times a week.

Seek Independence

Remember to let your loved one do as much as they can do by themselves. Maintaining their independence to the degree that it is safe is vital for their mental and emotional state of mind.

Tools for Comfort

Make sure you have all the aids that are available to make this time easier on both you and your loved one. This could mean obtaining a bath seat or bench, or a long-handled soap holder with a sponge. Grab bars placed in strategic locations such as in the shower and by the toilet help tremendously. A transfer bench to help you get your parent into the bath and a hand-held long shower hose with an adjustable head are also helpful.

Support

If you still find this activity is just too demanding or draining for you, consider the aid of a senior care provider. They can take over this task, and other activities of daily living, for you, giving you quality time to spend with your parent.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Townsend, MT, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (406) 438 - 2231.