Happy New Year everyone! Everyone is coming up with new goals and aspirations for this new year ahead of us like always. I think that's great, but so often, we think of NEW and EXCITING things to focus on for the new year. However, sometimes we forget to focus on the things that could benefit us the most!
For some of us, we could benefit greatly from giving our personal hygiene more of our attention. Not only does it improve our own health, but it prevents us from spreading unwanted germs to others.
So, I want to encourage you to read the rest of this brief blog and see what areas of personal hygiene you could improve on this year.
Personal hygiene is the first step in taking care of our health. There are so many things to maintain when it comes to personal hygiene. If you can accomplish all of these tasks on your own, then great! Make sure to stay on top of it, especially if you are a caregiver for someone else to ensure that you are in good health and that you don't spread germs to the person receiving care.
Members of the vulnerable and susceptible population of seniors, or people with chronic diseases/disabilities, need to steer clear of unsanitary and germ-filled environments as much as possible. Their immune systems may not be as strong and it is important to always look out for their overall well-being. Luckily, managing our personal hygiene tasks is as easy as checking off a list. That being said, I have created a list including some of the most important personal hygiene tasks that we all should be practicing regularly.
Before we get to the mass list of personal hygiene tasks, please take the time to read the following paragraph in BOLD.
Washing your hands prevents illnesses, infections, and communicable diseases. I cannot stress enough how important it is for all of us to wash our hands properly and frequently. The Center for Disease Control has a great link including a proper hand washing technique and more information on hand washing. Please click HERE to check out the CDC's link.
Okay, thank you. Now, you can continue on to read the other important personal hygiene tasks we should be completing regularly below:
To promote safety and good health, the following tasks should be performed by all clients and caregivers:
Wash your hands for at least 1 minute after using the restroom, before eating, any time you handle pets, etc.
Shower/Bathe preferably once a day, or a minimum of every other day. Washing your body properly entails washing your face, under your arms, behind your ears, feet, arms, legs, hands, torso, back, and private parts. To lock in moisture, lotion after bathing is recommended to promote skin health.
Wash hair either once a day, or a minimum of every other day
Keep your odors under control by showering/bathing regularly, shaving armpits, using anti-bacterial soap, and using deodorant
Don’t share your hygienic tools like toothbrushes, combs, towels, etc.
Discard all disposable hygienic tools immediately (ex. Q-tips, feminine products, Kleenex, etc.)
Brush your teeth 2 times a day
Change your toothbrush every 3 to 4 months
Trim and clean your nails often to prevent infection and fungus growth
Always wear clean clothing, especially after showering/bathing
Laundry should be done weekly, if not more frequently. Especially make sure to wash any kitchen towels, bathroom hand towels & bath towels after use while having any kind of sickness.
Disinfect any door knob, handle, surface after a period of sickness.
Maintain the cleanliness of your kitchen i.e. dishes, sweep any crumbs or messes, keep refrigerated food in the refrigerator, wipe down counters, etc.
Keep your house clean to prevent illness, infection, and respiratory problems i.e. bathroom & kitchen sinks, toilets, bathtubs, vacuum carpet, sweep & mop floors, and tidy up living rooms, etc.
Clean up any messes left by pets inside the house immediately (feces, urine, vomit, spilled pet food & water, etc.)
Litter boxes should be scooped out every other day to prevent foul odor and promote the cat’s health. Cats can contract life-threating diseases/illnesses if this is not done.
Dog feces left in the yard should be picked up and disposed of at least every other day to ensure that no person can track the feces back into the home and to make sure there is a clear walkway for visitors to enter the home.
Discard all trash into a trash bag and once it’s full take the bag out of the house as soon as possible. Do not leave trash on the floor, or under furniture, to ensure protection from all hungry unwanted pests like rodents, gnats, flies, spiders, and other insects.
This list is not all inclusive, so feel free to share if you have a recommendation on what other things people can do to promote good personal hygiene! I would love to hear from you!
Hope that you got something out of reading this blog today and hope everyone is having a great start to their 2018!
Certified Senior Care Manager