The Necessities of Elderly Grooming and Hygiene

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Tips to Help Caregivers Groom Senior Loved Ones in Waterloo, CAN

As seniors age, it can become harder to perform certain daily tasks. Helping with grooming and personal hygiene is important when providing Waterloo in-home care because they can be difficult tasks for some seniors to manage. Grooming requires energy, time, patience, steady hands, and safety. However, there are ways to make grooming and personal hygiene more manageable for your senior loved one.

Hair Care

Managing hair care can become more difficult with age since dexterity and mobility can be reduced due to common senior conditions such as arthritis. However, your loved one will still need regular hair care. In addition to keeping the scalp healthy, having clean and nicely done hair can help boost your loved one’s self-image. Many senior women, for instance, feel better if they regularly get a permanent or even if they just have someone to comb and curl their hair. One consideration you should make is ensuring your loved one has a hairstyle that is easy to manage. Many senior women find shorter, permed hair easier to care for while still feeling attractive.


Bathing on a regular basis provides many of the same benefits for your loved one as it does for you. Keeping up with personal hygiene can help your loved one feel refreshed and positive. It’s also important to help keep your loved one safe during bathing. Be sure you have nonskid mats both inside and at the side of the tub as well as a safety grip bar. It is also a good idea to put in a bath seat to keep your loved one from having to stand in the shower or get down as low as a bath requires. When helping a loved one bathe, ensure all of the needed supplies are within easy reach. If your loved one is uncomfortable about bathing in front of you, you can stand just outside the door after helping him or her into the tub. Seniors can get cold easily, but providing a warm bathrobe to put on right after a bath or shower can help keep your loved one comfortable.

Oral Health

Taking care of teeth, gums, and the mouth is an important step in preventing dental caries and other health issues. Studies have linked conditions as serious as heart disease to infected teeth. Plaque and infection can spread from the oral cavity to other parts of the body, so keeping excellent oral hygiene can not only help your loved one feel better, but also reduce the risk of developing serious health conditions. Dentists recommend seniors use soft toothbrushes since older gums tend to bleed more easily. You can also encourage your loved one to floss by buying pre-threaded floss sticks, which can be thrown away after a single use. If your loved one has problems with agility in the hands, you may need to offer to help with brushing and flossing or hire a Waterloo hourly caregiver to help. One other thing to keep in mind is seniors may experience more sensitivity in the teeth with age, so switching to toothpaste made for sensitive teeth can make brushing more pleasant for your loved one. Denture care is also important. Seniors should brush their dentures twice a day, just like teeth, and clean them in a denture wash product overnight on a regular basis.


Many seniors don’t want to stop shaving as they age. Caring for and keeping a beard neat, even if they have done it for years, can be difficult as they age. Women have often shaved their legs for years and don’t like the sensation of having unshaven legs. While shaving doesn’t necessarily offer health benefits, it can help your loved one maintain positive self-esteem, feel more groomed, and make other personal hygiene tasks easier to manage. Consider having your loved one switch to an electric razor if he or she doesn’t already use one. Electric razors are larger and easier for many seniors to manage, and they also reduce the risk of accidental cuts due to unsteady hands. If your loved one has difficulty shaving, offer to help him or her with this task.


Senior women often have concerns about their aging body and changing appearance. Many feel naked without makeup. However, applying makeup can become harder with age. Consider helping your loved one with her makeup application. Even if all you do is apply a little powder and lipstick, it can go a long way to lifting your loved one’s spirits and making her feel better about her personal hygiene. Though beauty may be more of an issue for a senior woman, there are also things you can do if your loved one is a man. For instance, offer to help with applying a favorite aftershave or cologne or with hair regrowth products if your loved one is sensitive about thinning hair. These small aspects of personal hygiene can make a big difference to your loved one’s emotional wellbeing.

Every senior has unique grooming and hygiene needs. If you are concerned about your loved one’s safety and comfort while performing grooming routines, a professional caregiver from Home Care Assistance can help. In addition to help with grooming, our caregivers can assist your loved one with many other daily tasks, including cooking, cleaning, and exercise. For seniors who need more comprehensive care, we also offer Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care in Waterloo. To schedule a free consultation, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (519) 954-2111.


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