Personal Hygiene

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Personal hygiene (NHS)
The person you care for may be physically or mentally unable to maintain their own personal hygiene. Keeping clean is essential for good health. Poor hygiene can cause skin complaints, unpleasant smells and bacterial or parasitic infections. General hygiene

The daily personal hygiene of the person you care for is very important, so make sure: • their hands are washed after they've used the toilet • their genitals and anal area are washed every day

• their face is washed daily
• they're fully bathed or showered at least twice a week • their teeth are brushed twice a day, preferably after each meal. It is also important that they have regular dental checks. Find out more about dental treatment for people with special needs. Washing and bathing

For most people, washing is a very private activity. When helping someone to wash or bathe, be sensitive and help maintain their dignity. You'll both probably feel awkward and embarrassed, especially at first. To make bathing as pleasant and comfortable as possible: • use pleasant-smelling shampoo, bubble bath or soap

• play music that the person you care for likes and is familiar with • if the person is confused, explain what's happening as you go along • be sensitive to the mood of the person
Carer's tip from Netbuddy
"If you are caring for someone who won't wash, get involved with activities that are followed by showers, for example, swimming. It may help if they see other people showering. My son only started using the shower and wetting his head because he saw it in a film he was watching". Personal preference and emotional state

Be aware of the emotional state of the person you care for when helping them wash. For example, some people can be anxious about deep bath water. Adaptations, such as seats or recliners, can help with anxiety. Reassure the person that you won’t let them be hurt. Overhead showers can be frightening to some people. If you have no...
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