Health and Fitness
Ways to Maintain Proper Hygiene for Seniors: Hygiene Needs for the Elderly

Ways to Maintain Proper Hygiene for Seniors: Hygiene Needs for the Elderly

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Maintain Proper Hygiene for Seniors

Last Updated on November 24, 2022 by ashley.davis


It is incredibly crucial to ensure proper hygiene for seniors and that their needs are met. Sometimes, it is easy to overlook these things, but it can lead to many issues for seniors, in particular. We can’t stress the importance of hygiene for seniors. 

Personal Hygiene Needs for the Elderly: Why Is It Important?

The meaning of personal hygiene varies from person to person, but everyone agrees about its importance. Every aspect of hygiene we’ve listed below is crucial, and seniors who take care of their hygiene can lead a much healthier life. Personal hygiene for senior citizens may include:

  • Proper handwashing and safe food preparations. 
  • Effective showering or bathing.
  • Taking care of your gums and teeth. 
  • Grooming your hair, skin, and nails. 

Here are some of the benefits of hygiene care for the elderly:

1. Maintaining physical health 

If you want to maintain a happy and healthy lifestyle, proper hygiene for seniors is a must. Unfortunately, our immune system grows weak as we age, which means we make more of an enemy with germs and viruses than ever before.  

To begin with, handwashing should become a regular habit. There is no alternative to this. You can do this every time before handing in food and after visiting different facilities.

After that, many seniors use medications that can cause the skin to become fragile. This makes it easier for germs and viruses to attack our skins. You can prevent this by alerting in areas where germs may be abundant, like hospitals or public transit. And you should always carry and use a sanitizer or antibacterial soap. 

2. Feeling better about yourself 

You will feel good about yourself when you look good. Seniors who make sure their hair, skin and nails are in good condition represent themselves positively to the outside world. You will feel more confident and optimistic with a much better mentality. Thus, your life will be well then just simply living out the rest of your days after retirement.

Maintaining good hygiene may become harder to keep up with as you age. Yet, it is possible to manage hygiene with proper attention. If you’re prone to forgetfulness, place reminder signs near each sink. Bathing can be easier and safer with safety seats and grab bars in the tub or shower. It’s a good idea to use high-quality soap and lotion to keep your skin healthy as well. And healthy skin is an excellent defense against physical and mental illness.

Most salons also offer hair washing for relatively low prices. You can take a weekly hair and nail appointment, if possible. This will not only encourage excellent hygiene but will also help you maintain your confidence. 

3. Hygiene affects health 

Hygiene and good health go side by side. They are essential for happiness at any age. Unfortunately, seniors endure a double whammy: they become increasingly vulnerable and less capable as they age. Observing your elderly parents’ cleanliness can be an early indicator of other health-related issues. Seniors who want to remain self-sufficient must practice basic hygiene in order to stay healthy.

4. Bathing help must be provided when needed  

Bathing or showering becomes an issue during our old ages. This happens due to incompetence in mobility or balance. Seniors may need regular caregiver help for this task. Bathing or showering is one of the top reasons why seniors choose Memory Care facilities

Proper cleansing removes bacteria that cause foul odor and could lead to infections. Cleaning your whole body regularly keeps you aware of any bacterial irregularities. Also, it helps find issues earlies so that you have the best chance to solve them.

Finally, cleanliness gives us an invigorating feeling. Thus, if you need help bathing or showering, never hesitate to reach out to caregivers or mediaries like BoomersHub.

10 Most Effective Personal Hygiene Needs and Practices for the Elderly

Good hygiene practices have a significant impact on how you feel and function on a daily basis. So make sure you’re looking after yourself. These 10 hygiene suggestions will help you keep your personal hygiene in check so you can feel better about yourself.

1. Stay hydrated

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day. It’s important to drink enough fluids, especially water, every day to stay hydrated. Seniors may need to drink more than 8 glasses of fluid per day, so be sure to check with your doctor to see how much fluid you should be drinking based on your individual needs.

2. Washing your face every day

Washing your face helps to remove dirt, oil, and makeup that can clog pores and cause breakouts. It’s also important for preventing wrinkles. Also, brush your teeth twice a day or after every meal.

3. Using deodorant

This helps to control body odor and sweat. Pay attention if you notice that you are suddenly sweating more than usual or that your body odor has changed, make an appointment with your doctor right away as this could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

4. Bathing or showering regularly

Bathing or showering helps to remove dirt, sweat, and bacteria from the skin. It’s also a great way to relax and destress.

5. Washing your hands often

Handwashing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of illness. Be sure to wash your hands after using the restroom, before eating, and after coming into contact with any potential irritants or contaminants.

6. Trimming your nails

Keeping your nails trimmed and clean helps to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. It’s also important for maintaining good hand hygiene.

7. Shaving

Shaving helps to remove dead skin cells, which can clog pores and lead to breakouts. It’s also a great way to make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward when you leave the house each day.

8. Moisturizing

Moisturizing helps to keep the skin hydrated and prevents dryness, irritation, and wrinkles. Be sure to use a moisturizer that is appropriate for your skin type.

9. Brushing your hair

Brushing your hair helps to remove tangles, knots, and dandruff. It’s also a great way to distribute natural oils throughout your hair for added shine and softness.

10. Wear clean clothes

Wear clean clothes every day. If you have trouble doing laundry yourself, ask a friend or family member to help out or hire a professional service. Make sure your clothes are washed in a scent-free detergent to avoid irritation

What Are Some Good Personal Hygiene Functions for Seniors?

There is a multitude of things you can follow to maintain good personal hygiene. They will help you to sustain an overall healthy lifestyle. Good cleanliness habits can help you strengthen your immune system, reduce your risk of disease and improve your general physical well-being. And, fortunately, there are numerous proper hygiene for seniors to practice that can help them lower their risk of being unhealthy.

Do you want to have better personal hygiene? It’s as simple as following the tips above and making sure that your daily routine includes some time for self-care.

Good personal hygiene can make a huge difference in the quality of your life. It is important to take care both physically and emotionally, which will allow you more freedom than ever before! So you must take the necessary steps yourself to improve your situation.

Bathing or showering

  • Bathing or showering in a tub is a much safer and simpler choice than a shower. But, seniors should make this choice on their own.
  • Seniors have a high chance of slipping and falling in the shower. So, take safety measures that include handrails, non-stick strips and benches.
  • Always try to follow a bathing schedule. Before showering, get everything ready. This includes soap, shampoo and towels. 
  • Always stay calm in the shower and take it slow. 

Dressing well 

  • Be available to assist and encourage self-dressing.
  • Allow them to choose their own clothes with respect. Also, you can lay out multiple outfits for them to choose from.
  • Keep an eye out for clothing that is overly fit or irritating.
  • Buttons and clasps can be more challenging to use than slip-on clothing, zipper, and Velcro.

Haircare routine 

  • Wash hair on a frequent basis, if not every day.
  • If using the bathroom is problematic, you can wash your hair in the kitchen sink.
  • Encourage them to choose an easy-to-manage style, but offer them flexibility.
  • Bring your loved ones to the hair salon if they enjoy it for better styling.

Oral care solutions 

  • Clean your teeth a minimum once each day, and visit the dentist on a regular basis.
  • Those who find it difficult to grasp a regular toothbrush may benefit from using an electric toothbrush.
  • Check dentures for damages and fittings on a regular basis, and remove them from the mouth for 6 hours each day to let the gums recover.

Why Hygiene Maintenance is Important for Chronic Wounds and Ulcers?

Some elderly people are at risk for developing chronic wounds such as venous ulcers, diabetic foot injuries, etc. And as we age, healing takes longer. Under such circumstances, it is essential that you maintain their hygiene routine when caring for an elderly loved one with these ailments.

But, it may not be easy to dress wounds at home compared to maintaining other personal hygiene care routine for the elderly. Besides, it may not always be practical or safe either. So, hiring professional caregivers can be a great alternative to take adequate care of these chronic injuries.  These professionals are trained in cleaning and dressing chronic wounds and ulcers. 

Dismissing the importance of good hygiene is not an option for the senior elderly. It directly impacts their overall health and well-being. Here, we are listing the importance of personal hygiene in points so that you can understand how essential it is to have a personal hygiene routine in place. 

  1. Good hygiene is a must for everyone, especially the elderly and rest of their family members who care for them. It is also an important part of maintaining your physical and mental health. Simple activities such as bathing, brushing teeth or hair can make them feel positive and give them something to look forward to each day. Besides, it can make them feel more confident about themselves and their appearance in general! 
  2. Personal hygiene is directly related to good health. The elderly are more susceptible to skin diseases and health issues when they don’t maintain cleanliness.
  3. A proper personal hygiene routine can do wonders for their self-worth and self-esteem. Cleaning and maintaining your appearance can have a huge impact on how you feel.

We frequently overlook the significance of hygiene in our daily life. So let’s make a conscious effort on this front. 

What Are the Tips and Techniques to Fulfill Hygiene Needs for the Elderly?

Bathing regularly is possibly the most crucial activity to ensure that their hygiene is up to the mark. Unfortunately, aiding elderly people with bathing can be time-consuming and difficult if you aren’t aware of several common concerns. Below are a few more helpful tips you can apply:

hygiene needs for the elderly
Maintain Proper Hygiene for Seniors
  • Bathe and other hygiene duties should be done at the same time each day. Seniors can use the same procedure each time. This will help bathing go more swiftly and efficiently. This also applies to routines like drying off after a bath.
  • Some elders prefer to shower rather than bathe. So, make sure you are aware of the preferences of the old person you are aiding. Showering rather than bathing can be easier and safer for some seniors. It can make them less hesitant to perform this essential primary hygiene activity.
  • When assisting older people in taking a bath in a tub, fill it with only four to six inches of water. Also, if possible, remain close by throughout the time to check on them from time to time.
  • If the senior you’re caring for is shocked or disturbed when entering a filled tub that they haven’t seen being filled, make sure they’re in the bathroom when you are filling it.
  • Fill the tub before bringing the elderly person into the bathroom if they are frightened or upset by the sight or sound of running water.
  • Don’t be concerned if bathing takes a long time. Usually, it’s for showers and baths to take all morning at first. Then, take it one process at a time while washing or bathing and clean yourself properly.

Some more things to bear in mind

Don’t become overly tense about the details. Instead, simply ensure that all of the vital body parts and locations have been thoroughly cleaned.

  • Always bear in mind any specific needs that the older person may have, and be prepared to alter your tactics and approaches to meet those needs. While most elders find the sound of running water pleasant, certain seniors, particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, may find the sound of running water disturbing.
  • Some seniors may be embarrassed about being completely naked in front of someone else. If the elderly person you’re assisting is concerned about being entirely naked, cover him or her with a towel or a shower blanket while showering or bathing.

What Are Some of the Grooming Techniques & Tips 

Grooming techniques involve how caregivers can help seniors to groom their hair, nails, teeth and other body parts. Here are some tips and techniques to help ensure proper hygiene for seniors.

Hair grooming tips

  • If the senior had a regular hair maintenance routine before they needed grooming assistance, strive to maintain that habit.
  • Make sure to suggest styles that are simple to maintain while getting a haircut.
  • Washing hair in the kitchen sink, especially if it has a hose or spray attachment, maybe more convenient.

Shaving techniques

  • Shaving is one of the most challenging things to conduct well when it comes to assisting elderly people with grooming.
  • Allow seniors to shave for as long as necessary, with you only acting as a watchful eye.
  • You might realize that using an electric razor really aids in the removal of hair from the face and also from other body parts.
  • It’s possible that plucking specific facial hairs is more helpful than trimming.

Nail care & maintenance tips 

  • Motivate seniors to care about their nails on their own for as long as they are able. While watching television or listening to music, some seniors may discover that nail care is a lot more fun chore.
  • Trim their fingernails and toenails a minimum of 2 times every month.
  • Toenails and bunions can make it difficult for seniors to walk comfortably. A trip to the podiatrist, which is usually covered by health insurance, may be useful.

Oral health & maintenance techniques

  • Encourage older people to brush their teeth and dentures at least twice a day if they have them.
  • Ensure that the elderly person you’re helping goes to the dentist on a daily basis.
  • Regular dental examinations are especially crucial for seniors and older people who wear dentures, as ill-fitting dentures can cause mouth sores and contribute to bad eating habits.


  • Some elderly women often find themselves struggling with applying makeup as they grow older, until one day they simply stop altogether. You can help make elderly women who have given up on makeup feel better by assisting them with makeup applications. Even applying some powder and light-toned lipstick can work wonders. 


As your loved one gets older, it’s crucial to keep up with their personal hygiene. But it’s not always simple to intervene if you notice they’re struggling. Infections and skin problems can occur as a result of poor hygiene. So, you or your loved one’s carer may need to persuade them to accept some assistance gently.

Seniors might be more prepared to accept the assistance if they believe it will allow them to maintain some level of independence. At the end of the day, there should not be any compromise in proper hygiene for seniors. 

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