an initiative of ACCORD

Special Care

Aged care

Good personal hygiene is important for people of all ages. However with increasing age can come a range of challenges to maintaining good, independent personal hygiene:

  • Decreased mobility can make the bathroom a potentially dangerous environment. Slippery tiles, as well as difficulty getting into the shower or bath, standing without support, turning, bending and transferring weigh can all lead to increased risk of falls. Bathroom modifications and home care aids such as rails, shower chairs and non-slip mats could help promote independent bathing. Another option could be to intersperse showers or baths with sponging and body wipes.
  • Decreased strength or grip can make turning on taps difficult.
  • Dementia can make bathing and toileting very difficult, as people can lose their ability to recognise or use the shower and toilet. This can result in incontinence, poor hygiene and risk of infection.
  • Aged skin can be much thinner, more fragile and prone to bruising and cuts than younger skin.

Also, trapping of moisture under skin folds (as may occur after incontinence, or if the person has difficulty drying themself) can make these areas highly sensitive, itchy, and at risk of developing fungal infection. Wearing natural fabrics and use of topical creams can help provide relief.

Because aged skin produces less sebum than younger skin it can become dry and cracked. Use of mild cleansers, bath oils and moisturisers can help restore skin suppleness.

If independent personal hygiene becomes too difficult, it may be necessary to have an in-home carer and an occupational therapist recommend modifications to the home environment.

See for more information on aged care.

Infant care

Babies and toddlers are completely dependent on their parents or carers to maintain their personal hygiene and, eventually, to teach them to care for themselves. It is important to teach and model good hygiene practices from an early age.

Babies need to be bathed regularly. There are many specialised cleansers, skin care products and baby shampoos designed specifically for a baby’s delicate skin. It is important to thoroughly dry the skin, paying particular attention to skin creases where moisture can accumulate and cause irritation.

You will also need to change the baby’s nappy frequently to prevent sore skin and bad smells from developing. Specialised baby wipes can make the task of cleaning after urination or defecation easy.

Wound care

If you have a minor injury to the skin such as a cut or scrape, gently clean the area with cold water. Minor wounds are best left uncovered unless there is risk of cross-infection or of dirt getting into the wound. In these cases a dressing should be applied to cover the area.  Depending on the injury, and if you are concerned about infection, you may also need to wash with a skin antiseptic or apply an antiseptic cream and cover the area.

useful stuff...

The human body may be home to 10 times as many bacteria as human cells. Researchers believe the human body has over 500 bacterial species living in and on it.7 Trouble getting a date? 75% of women in a New York survey said they would only date a guy who showered daily.8   20-30% of handbags have faecal bacteria on the underside.22 In 2006, women spent an average of 54 minutes and men 43 minutes per day on personal hygiene.9
Please contact us for more information
Design by IDENT