What personal care tasks will a home carer help with?
Personal care can be challenging and additional support may be needed. This article explains how a self-employed carer can provide help at home.
Care at home enables your loved one to remain in their own home and maintain their independence. Personal care gives your loved one the support they need with bathing, dressing and their personal appearance, all in the comfort of familiar surroundings.
What is personal care?
Personal care at home will enable your loved one to maintain their familiar routines in the place where they’re most comfortable. A personal carer can help with a wide range of tasks, including washing, dressing, and going to the bathroom. Personal care routines can include applying creams and lotions, helping with hair and makeup, providing support for shaving and changing and maintaining a catheter bag or stoma.
Signs that your loved one needs personal care
Does your loved one seem to be wearing the same outfit every day? Have they stopped bathing regularly or brushing their teeth? As we age, personal care can become more demanding, and it can be more difficult to bathe, dress and use the bathroom. The signs that your loved one requires personal care may be subtle. If your loved one is struggling to look after their personal hygiene, it could be the right time to discuss employing a personal care assistant.
Arranging personal care
There can be several reasons for needing to arrange personal care for a loved one. They may need support in their own home after an illness or surgical intervention. Alternatively, their regular carer may be uncomfortable about performing more intimate personal care routines.
Elder can arrange for specialised personal care that offers the right level of extra support for your loved one and their individual needs.
Choosing the right personal carer
As they’re often going to be moving into your loved one’s home, and become a fundamental component of their life, it’s essential you take the right steps to choose the right carer for you. As part of this you should consider personality as well as experience and training.
A personal care assistant should offer a friendly face and gentle encouragement. Above all, they should be someone with whom your loved one is comfortable and that they trust.
When considering home care for your loved one, it is crucial a carer respects personal boundaries. A carer should be respectful of the care recipient’s wishes and work to support their independence and dignity.
A personal carer should also work with your loved one to create an individual care plan based upon specific instructions. They’ll spend time getting to know your loved one’s likes, dislikes and favourite products and will follow their particular guidelines.
Colin and Dulcie’s story
Dulcie is 102-years-old and lives with her son Colin, his wife Mary, and her Carer Sarah. She has dementia and has had full-time live-in care for over two years.
We talk to the family about the challenges of finding the right care solution for a fiercely independent woman - and how the positive benefits of live-in care with Sarah has transformed all of their lives.
What are the options for personal care?
Personal care is designed to follow your loved one’s routines, whether they enjoy a shower in the morning or a bath before bedtime. A personal carer can also offer support with other housekeeping tasks. The carer can also be relied upon to cook a tasty meal or make sure that your loved one takes their medication at the right time.
Personal care and dementia
Personal care and hygiene, in particular, can become difficult for people living with dementia. They may forget to wash or find it difficult to accept help with washing and bathing.
If a loved one is living with dementia, assistance with personal care can help to keep them comfortable at home. When opting for care in the home, it’s important to consider a few ways to make your home safer for someone living with dementia beforehand. This will mean a specialist caregiver will be able to support your loved one to the best of their abilities.
When they start, a trained dementia carer will understand the situation and be able to cope with any anxiety, embarrassment or aggression that they may encounter.
A regular personal carer will build a strong relationship with your loved one based on trust and understanding. The carer will offer support and encouragement and stick to well-established routines so that your loved one feels relaxed in their company. That could be as simple as asking what their favourite products are or handing them the soap when it’s time to wash.
The role of any carer is to support the care recipient’s independence. In the case of dementia care, a personal carer will help their client make their own choices when it comes to their personal care. A home carer will also support a loved one with domestic tasks to wash and decide on the clothes they’re going to wear as part of a routine discussed and agreed upon together.
Personal care and stoma or catheter
Living with a stoma or catheter can be easier with a personal carer. If your loved one needs help to live independently after a surgical intervention, a personal carer can be an ideal solution. The carer can assist in managing the condition by providing support in the home where your loved one is most at ease.
A competent carer will help a loved one to maintain quality of life, even in the face of a challenging situation. They can assist with cleaning and changing the pouch, helping your loved one to avoid skin conditions and stay healthy.
The benefits of personal care
Personal care is vital for the health and well-being of your loved one. The needs of your loved one will be taken care of with sensitivity and dignity, and they’ll enjoy a better quality of life and higher self-esteem.
Promoting good personal hygiene helps to prevent illness and the spread of infection. It also promotes better mental health and allows your loved one to remain in their own home in safety and comfort, enjoying an independent lifestyle.
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24-hour Live-in Home Care: What's the Cost?
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An Overview of Elderly Live-in Care
Rather than having to move out of familiar surroundings and learn to adapt to a completely new way of life, care-at-home packages allow your loved one to remain in the familiar surroundings of their own home, with help available throughout the day and night to provide assistance wherever, and whenever, it is needed.
Care for the Elderly: Grooming and Hygiene Guide
Maintaining good personal hygiene is important as your loved one ages, but it is not always easy to intervene if you feel they are not coping well. Poor hygiene can result in uncomfortable infections and skin complaints, so to avoid this, you or your loved one’s caregiver may have to encourage them tactfully to accept some assistance. They may be more willing to agree to the support on offer if they realise that it will enable them to retain a level of independent living.