Toileting is one part of your loved one’s care plan that may need to be revised as his or her health needs change. For instance, stiffness in the arm and hand joints could make it difficult for your loved one to tend to personal needs, or incontinence could cause him or her to require more assistance at home. Use these tips to ease the process of toileting for your loved one while ensuring he or she maintains excellent personal hygiene.
1. Create a Safe Bathroom
You may need to modify your loved one’s bathroom to make sure it’s safe to use. However, this typically does not require major remodeling. Simply make sure your loved one’s bathroom is well-lit and has handrails beside the toilet that he or she can use for balance while sitting and standing. A nonskid mat placed in front of the toilet adds an extra level of protection against falls.
Assisting a loved one with toileting and personal hygiene can be a challenging task. Families who need help caring for a senior loved one can turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Grand Rapids, MI, home care. Services available in our customizable care plans include meal prep, mental and social stimulation, assistance with personal hygiene tasks, and much more.
2. Offer Assistive Devices
This is one part of your loved one’s daily routine where you have many options for promoting independence. For instance, your loved one can use special reaching devices to clean up properly after toileting. Personal cleaning wipes and attachable bidets also make it easier to maintain hygiene. If your loved one uses assistive devices, make sure they stay near the toilet so they are always in reach.
3. Choose Accessible Clothing
For seniors with limited mobility, toileting requires more time than it did in the past because trying to undo buttons and zippers may be challenging. If your loved one experiences frequent accidents, consider providing clothing that is easier to get on and off such as pants with elastic bands. Side entry underwear is another option that allows seniors to quickly change out of soiled undergarments.
Choosing accessible clothing is one of the many healthy habits that can help your loved one maintain good personal hygiene. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional at-home caregiver. Grand Rapids families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
4. Establish Scheduled Restroom Breaks
Incontinence can be managed with a schedule that is tailored to fit your loved one’s toileting needs. Observe your loved one’s usual routine to identify times when he or she is most likely to need to use the toilet. For instance, most people need to use the restroom within an hour or two of eating a major meal. It is also important to take your loved one to the restroom before bedtime to reduce bathroom trips in the middle of the night.
5. Consider Professional Assistance
At times, toileting may become too challenging for family caregivers. This is especially true for seniors who value their privacy and may be embarrassed asking their adult children or other relatives for assistance. In these instances, arranging for a professional caregiver allows your loved one to retain dignity, and it offers you peace of mind knowing there is always someone nearby to address your loved one’s toileting needs.
If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Grand Rapids Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To create a customized care plan for your aging loved one, call us at 616-243-0835 today.