Mayor's Office of Employee Assistance
Maintaining personal hygiene enhances an individual’s physical and emotional well-being.
Helping your elder to smell fresh and look their best can be a great morale booster for both your elder and you. More importantly, it keeps them healthy.
Helps keep the skin intact and thus fights
infection and prevents injuries
Removes substances from the skin in
which bacteria could grow, thereby reducing
the risk of infection
Keeps the mouth and gums healthy, which
makes eating easier and promotes good
Makes the person more comfortable and
Boosts the person’s morale
Keeping a person’s hair clean is difficult if they are confined to a bed or unable to get to a shower or sink. But you can do it with the aide of a shampoo trough that you can make or buy from a home care supply store.
When shampooing in bed:
Gather all the necessary equipment
Place absorbent towels and a waterproof sheet over a pillow
Put a shampoo basin or an inflatable sink on top of this
Make sure the person’s head and shoulders are at the edge of the bed
Use pitchers of warm water to rinse
Be careful not to bend the elder’s head back or it may cut off the blood supply.
Raise the head of the bed. Or, if a doctor doesn’t recommend this, turn the person on his/her side.
Tuck a towel under the chin.
Use a soft toothbrush.
Brushing movement should be away from the gums.
To removing the upper palate: Grasp the inner and outer surfaces on both sides of the plate. Insert your forefingers over the upper edge of the plate and press until the seal breaks between the denture and the gums. Pull the plate forward to remove.
To removing the lower plate: Grasp the inner and outer surfaces with the thumb and forefinger. Turn slightly and pull the denture up and out.
To clean dentures: Put a towel in a basin half-filled with warm water. Use a stiff brush and scrub dentures carefully with toothpaste and rinse.
To insert dentures: Wet dentures with cool water. Apply even, gentle pressure on both sides of the upper palate to work it into place in the person’s mouth. Insert lower dentures last.
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