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Unit 23

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Unit 23
Unit 23
Principles of Supporting an Individual to Maintain Personal Hygiene

1.1 Explain why personal hygiene is important

Keeping your body clean is vital in combating and preventing illness, both for yourself and those around you. Washing your hands can prevent the spread of germs from one person to another or from one part of your body to another. Flossing and brushing your teeth can reduce the likelihood of oral and other diseases.

1.2 Describe the effects of poor personal hygiene on health and wellbeing

Apart from the social impact of poor personal hygiene and being isolated among friends and families, there is also the medical consequences that need to be taken into consideration. Poor personal hygiene can lead to skin infections with bacteria and fungi and parasitic infestations of the skin and hair. This can be transmitted to others in close contact with the person. The consequences are not isolated to the outside of the body. Unclean hands, utensils and crockery can increase the chances of diseases like gastroenteritis and food poisoning. Sometimes these infections may spread internally thereby affecting various other organs and even progressing to conditions like septicemia (blood poisoning) in a person with a weakened immune system. In this regard, poor personal hygiene is potentially fatal and needs to be attended to as soon as possible.

2.1 Explain how to address personal hygiene issues with an individual in a sensitive manner without imposing own values

It is important to be sensitive and not impose your own values upon the individual; there may be cultural issues or issues around privacy that have to be considered. Explain to the individual that you will always respect their right to privacy and that you are there to help them.

2.2 Describe how to make an individual aware of the effects of poor hygiene on others

Find somewhere discreet and ask the individual some important questions about how they have been and find out if anything is wrong, be direct and forthright and show concern for their welfare, be specific about the problem and offer to help them if they want it.

2.3 Describe how to support an individual to develop and improve personal hygiene routines

When providing support to an individual with their personal take into consideration their lifestyle choices such as choice of dress and hairstyle, don’t make assumptions about appropriate standards for the individual, take into consideration of cultural factors. Be professional and respect their privacy and dignity at all times.

3.1 Identify factors that contribute to good personal hygiene

Factors that contribute to good personal hygiene are:
Keep nails clean and cut
Washing hands after using the toilet, taking off disposable gloves
Wearing clean clothes
Regularly brushing teeth
Washing regularly

3.2 Explain how to support the preferences and needs of the individual while maintaining their independence

I would make sure they were comfortable and make sure they are safe and secure within their personal environment, I would make sure they used their preferred products and that they could use the equipment that would help towards enabling their independence, I would support and encourage choice of products and procedures.

3.3 Describe how to maintain dignity of an individual when supporting intimate personal hygiene

Keep service users covered up whenever possible.
Avoid entering a room while other staff are carrying out intimate and personal care. If it is unavoidable, knock and wait.
Ensure that items others may need to access are not stored in rooms where intimate and personal care is provided.
Consider developing a system that prevents other service users and staff from entering a room while intimate and personal care is being carried out, such as catches that stop doors from being pushed open easily but can be opened in an emergency.
Make time when intimate issues, such as continence care, can be discussed with other staff in private. A good example would be at staff handover, which could be held in an office. If you must discuss these issues within the earshot of others, be sensitive about language used, and your tone and volume of voice.
Avoid drawing attention to a person’s incontinence, and refrain from speaking about it unnecessarily or in front of people who do not need to know.
Enable service users to wear clothing that is easy to take off and put on, and therefore promotes their independence.
Allow time for service users to use the toilet to urinate and defecate in private.

3.4 Describe risks to own health in supporting personal hygiene routines

There is a risk that you could catch things from that individual. For example, if someone had a disease then you would have to take appropriate steps to avoid catching it, or if they had a virus, etc.

There is also a risk to your physical health, for example, if you had to help move someone or support them in their movement in order to carry out personal hygiene, you would want to avoid injuring your back, or some other part of your body.

3.5 Describe how to reduce risks to own health

To reduce the risks to own health always use appropriate PPE when undertaken any task.

3.6 Identify others that may be involved in supporting an individual to maintain personal hygiene

Others who might be involved supporting someone to maintain their personal hygiene can range from other support workers, team leaders, key workers or managers of the residential home to professional people such as a district nurse, dentist or doctor. But the first stop maybe with the individual them self’s or a family member to see if that will help, for some it maybe an advocate.

4.1 Identify underlying personal issues that may be a cause of poor personal hygiene

Low self-esteem, depression, hidden health problems, or the beginning of dementia or cognitive decline.

4.2 Describe how underlying personal issues might be addressed

An individual does not want to expose certain parts of the body (could be cultural or a personal preference and could be any part of the body not just 'private parts' - work with them to ensure that their preference is adhered to.

An individual has a particular personal hygiene routine (again it could be cultural or personal preference) - provide resources and support.

An individual gets confused and distressed when bathing e.g. has dementia - provide a warm room temperature as cold can be distressing, keep calm, use measures that usually calm the individual e.g. music.

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