Many elders have a strong desire to remain independent in the comfort of their own homes. Of course, if you're looking after an elder or have concerns about one in your life, you might be worried about the idea of leaving your loved one alone, even if they seem to be taking good care of themselves at the moment. If there's one thing you should strongly consider hiring a personal caregiver for, it's for help in the bathroom. Here are three things personal care services can help with in the bathroom that can make a big difference in your loved one's life.
Mobility problems are a common issue for elders. Whether due to a debilitating condition like rheumatoid arthritis, degenerating joint cushioning, or something else, many elders struggle to move around, reach, and stretch the way that they used to. This can be a big problem in the bathroom.
While many elders don't want to admit it, having someone around to help them clean up after using the toilet, or especially when taking a shower, is extremely important. Without thorough cleansing, sores and open wounds can develop, which are at a high risk of becoming infected when the region isn't clean. While this is a lot to ask even of adult children of their parents, it's something that shouldn't be overlooked, and this is why hiring someone to care for your elder's personal needs is a good idea.
Another thing to keep in mind is how dangerous falling in the bathroom can be. This is a major risk for elders, whether they're showering or just trying to use the facilities. It's usually due to a combination of muscle loss and mobility difficulties.
Unfortunately, falling can result in serious injury in the bathroom. Between the slippery nature of a shower, the occasionally wet floors, and several hard, sharp objects, like the edge of a sink or tub, there's a lot of ways that a simple fall could end up causing serious harm to a loved one. Having a personal caregiver on-hand can mean the difference between falling and not falling. Even if your loved one wants their privacy and feels they can handle the situation alone, having a caregiver around means that they'll have someone available for immediate help if something goes wrong.
One other thing that elders often struggle with is recognizing injuries and open wounds on themselves when they're out of sight. Several conditions, like diabetes, can end up causing a condition called neuropathy. Neuropathy deadens nerve endings, making it harder to feel warning signs like pain. Without these internal warning signs, they may not be aware of any physical problems their body has. Again, this can lead to worsening injuries or infections. If a personal caregiver is helping them in the bathroom with things like showering and dressing, they can spot any problem areas and either attend to them or make an appointment for your loved one to see a medical professional for further assistance.