The better they feel, the more they can enjoy life, making life more pleasurable for both them and for the staff. For most adults, hygiene is a personal and private concern. When you are helping someone with personal hygiene it's important to be sensitive and tactful, and to respect their dignity.
Poor hygiene can cause skin complaints, unpleasant smells and bacterial or parasitic infections. This can lead to long term health problems. The working environment can also deteriorate when hygiene standards are low. Poor personal hygiene can also lead to low self esteem, and leave people feeling isolated and depressed.
Starting with a warm safe place and talking to the individual about what they want or need to be assisted with personal hygiene, taking care to stay within the boundaries set up in their individual care plans. Talking about what is going to happen and making sure they understand and are comfortable with what has been said and what will be happening. Making sure they have everything they need before you start so not to interrupt the process causing distress. Ensuring the other members of the support team know where you are and what is happening so not to be disturbed and finally shutting the door and locking if necessary. When giving personal hygiene cover personal areas that are not being washed making sure the individual is not caused any embarrassment and as a supporter not staring but being relaxed and confident in what is happening. Ensuring throughout that you are listening and asking if everything is ok or if they are feeling uncomfortable.