Hygiene & Health – Simple steps to making bathing easy!
Everyone knows the importance of personal hygiene. Dealing with this daily can be daunting when you have limited mobility.
If you rely on some type of attendant care or family member, it may not be reasonable to think you can get help on a daily basis as it may be straining to the relationship. Depending on your attendant care services agreement, it may be too costly or just simply not offered, to have someone available for you everyday.
Conventional society has engrained in us that personal hygiene is important, and it is common to expect that people shower everyday. However, many people living with a disability have lost the function to sweat and are sometimes not active everyday so you may not be “dirty” and don’t need to shower as frequently.
Although avoiding emitting odors in public is important for obvious reasons, the bigger factor is how uncleanliness affects your overall health.
Many people with a disability are faced with dealing with bowel and bladder issues and incontinence. Although it is important to manage any odor issues caused by incontinence, it is even more important to properly cleanse yourself to avoid rashes or skin breakdown. Cleaning yourself after an issue of incontinence is crucial in avoiding any skin issues.
The most common method for showering (or bathing) is to use a regular tub with a shower or some type of modified shower. Of course, daily use of a tub or shower can also depend on your level of independence and whether you need to rely on a caregiver or family member.
Using transfer devices or wheel in shower equipment is common. If you have enough strength and function, transferring independently into the bottom of a tub is common. It is also common to use a bath board or bench or a shower/commode. Those who prefer a bath commonly use a tub lift that you transfer onto to be lowered and raised in the tub.
There also alternatives to satisfactorily clean yourself without needing to use a tub or shower. Today there are many cleansing products designed for situations where accessing a tub or shower on a regular basis is not practical.
Whether it is because of lack of attended care or personal preference there are times when you are not going to shower. A good example is if you travel or camp and you just want to “freshen up”, but do not have access to a proper bathroom. If you are sick in bed and not able to get up for a period time. There are wipes and washcloths special designed to cleanse, sooth, and moisturize a person with no water needed. You can also get special waterless cleansing foams for your hair and body. Finally, there also many odor eliminating products specially designed to eliminate odors from incontinence.
Showering or bathing is a personal preference. It is important to know there are easy alternatives to help you to stay clean and healthy.