Something your senior might not talk to you about is how her approach to personal hygiene has changed over the years. In fact, as her health has changed, she may have been trying to figure out some workarounds. But those workarounds may be leaving her feeling frustrated and unhappy with herself.
Hygiene and Self-confidence Are Connected
When your senior feels as if she’s presentable and clean, that gives her a huge boost to her self-confidence. Being unable to handle something as simple as washing her hair or taking a shower can really make her feel terrible. One of the reasons that many older adults avoid going out as much as they might have in the past can sometimes have to do with hygiene concerns.
These Are Tasks She’s Done All Her Life
Some of the tasks that are difficult for your elderly family member now are ones that she might have been handling on her own for a very long time now. It’s easy to believe that you’ll always be able to wash your hair on your own, but when that becomes impossible, that’s a huge blow to your identity. Your senior has to wrestle with those issues on top of the physical challenges she faces.
She May Only Need a Small Amount of Help
The worst part is that your elderly family member may not need a lot of help in order to take care of personal hygiene. In fact, it can be a surprise to her as well to realize that she only needs a small amount of help in order to take care of what needs to be done. That can also give her a huge self-confidence boost, because she realizes that things aren’t nearly as bad as she had feared.
She May Not Need the Same Help Every Day
Something else to consider is that some of your senior’s limitations may be ones that come and go. She may not need as much help tomorrow as she does on a day in which her arthritis is acting up, for example. Knowing that she has help when she needs it and can stand on her own when she does is also empowering.
You might not always be able to gauge when your senior needs help and when she doesn’t. One solution that can make both of you feel a little more comfortable is to bring in elderly care providers. Elderly care providers have got experience with helping seniors with personal care tasks, which makes the entire situation less awkward overall.