Level 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care (Adults) for England (QCF)
Assignment 23: Unit 23: Principles of Supporting an Individual to Maintain Personal Hygiene
1: Understand the Importance of Good Personal Hygiene
1.1 Explain why personal hygiene is important
Keeping a good standard of personal hygiene is important for the prevention of the development and spreading of infection, illnesses and bad odours. Children are taught from an early age about personal hygiene and its importance at giving across a positive body image and to reduce the risk of being bullied. People don’t like to be talked about in a negative way, so keeping a clean and tidy appearance and smelling fresh is important for social acceptance. It is especially important, for example, if there were a group of care workers working within a hot nursing home with service users who were bed bound due to illnesses which may heighten their sensitivity in smells and tastes, it would be rather unpleasant for poor hygiene and odours to be lingering within their own environment. Or a classroom for care workers training for their working certificates where intimate interaction is necessary, such as demonstrating how to use hoists or slide sheets, it would make the activity far more pleasurable if everybody’s hygiene was well kept. Maintaining good personal hygiene also boosts confidence in people and can attract partners. Most importantly, poor personal hygiene can lead to poor health. Cuts in the skins should be cleaned and dressed suitably to reduce the risk of infection and pain. Conditions such as head lice and athletes foot should be dealt with immediately to prevent infecting others. And hand washing with an antibacterial soap is the most important thing for everybody to do to prevent the spread of germs, after using the toilet, before eating, after eating, before and after a care worker has given personal care to a service user, before moving onto another service user - from one to the other.
1.2 Describe the effects of poor personal hygiene on health and wellbeing
An individual who cannot verbally communicate seems to be refusing to eat their breakfast; the person may feel uncomfortable because they are in need of having their pad changed or they may want to have a wash and get dressed first. When supporting a service user with personal hygiene, it is important to think of the person as an individual and take into account their own routine of what they are normally used to. If the person cannot tell you this, it is useful to find out from a friend or relative what their background is. If this is not possible, ask the individual and look for signs of acceptance in your actions, never make assumptions. Lifestyle and cultural factors need to be considered for the individual, and respect for their choice in dressing and hair styling, but where necessary and possible, make alternative choices to prevent social exclusion, they may want to wear something that is a little out of the ordinary to most people or something that has been soiled, and they may need positive encouragement to consider something else to prevent them from alienation or spreading germs.
2: Know How to Encourage an Individual to Maintain Personal Hygiene
2.1 Explain how to address personal hygiene issues with an individual in a sensitive manner without imposing your own values
The individual’s needs and choices should be carefully thought about when addressing their issues; being tactful and diplomatic to remain respectful when dealing with sensitive issues, for example if the individual has strong body odour which is effecting others, the problem shouldn’t be made to be a huge deal of but should be privately discussed with the individual. Offer a bath or a shower, offer a couple of types of...
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