You know how important it is to create a routine for your aging relative’s care, but many family caregivers struggle to attend to hygiene issues like bathing, showering and grooming. One area of conflict that often surprises family caregivers is the battle over washing hair. Personal hygiene issues like washing hair are important in keeping your aging loved one healthy and clean. However, if they are constantly fighting you on washing their hair, you may have to take a different approach to get the job done.
Washing hair is an important part of keeping the skin and hair clean. Without regular hair washing, seniors can develop skin conditions that include rashes, sores and even infections. In addition, their hair can look dirty and smell bad. If your aging loved one is stubborn about getting their hair washed regularly, it may be time for you to follow these tried and true tips.
Learn What Bothers Seniors About Hair Washing
Rather than just push your way into the grooming and hygiene activities, take some time to talk to your elderly loved one about why they resist their hair washing. You may discover that the problem is physical, such as they are uncomfortable, cold or embarrassed. Once you get to the heart of the problem, you have a better shot at resolving it.
Set Up a Wash Schedule
Most experts agree that aging adults don’t need to wash their hair much more than once per week. In most cases, senior hair doesn’t get oily as fast as it did in their younger years. Instead of pushing to wash it every day or every other day as many adults do, consider the one per week rule. Holding it at the same time every day gives your aging loved one plenty of time to anticipate it.
Create a Comfortable Atmosphere
Washing hair is usually part of bathing and showering, and this dynamic can make seniors physically and mentally uncomfortable. If your elderly relative is worried about falling in the shower or bath, look into shower chairs and handheld shower heads. Keep a towel or lightweight robe draped on them for modesty to make them feel less exposed. Make sure the water is the right temperature and that the room is warm enough for them. Taking time on these extra details often eliminates problems.
Many seniors will resist hair washing from family members like you but will be compliant with others. You could hire an elderly care provider to come into the home a few times per week to help out, including washing hair. If the battle for washing hair is a power struggle or family issue, having an outsider do it can be more agreeable. Elderly care providers are efficient and experienced in helping seniors wash their bodies and hair.
Washing hair is extremely important for seniors who need to stay clean and healthy. If you are experiencing challenges, take the time to work with an elderly care provider and your aging loved one to come up with solutions to wash hair at least once per week.
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