If you have a senior family member, you might notice them struggling to complete everyday tasks as they age. Many older adults require assistance with daily living, especially when it comes to hygiene. In this article, we’ll review the importance of hygiene, then share top products that can help your senior loved one stay healthy. Read on to learn more about the necessary personal care items for seniors and how they can ease their daily tasks.

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Why Is Personal Hygiene Important?

Hygiene is more than just a cosmetic issue. Having a clean environment and taking care of yourself provides the following health benefits:

  • Strengthened immune system
  • Reduced risk of disease
  • Higher confidence levels
  • Improved concentration
  • Reduced pain

While there are many benefits to maintaining hygiene, it’s easier said than done — especially for older adults with deteriorating cognitive or motor skills. Fortunately, there are tons of personal care products designed to make life easier for our older loved ones.

Top 10 Personal Care Products for Seniors

Here are 10 personal care items that can help older adults meet their daily hygiene needs.

1. Bathing Wipes

Bathing regularly is necessary to stay clean and healthy. However, for older adults who can’t comfortably get out of bed or into the shower, bathing may be difficult to accomplish. Bathing wipes provide a safe alternative to showering — eight wipes are equivalent to a full shower. Many older adults can perform this process themselves (although some may need the assistance of a home care aide).

2. Shampoo Caps

Along with rinsing their bodies, it’s important for older adults to wash their hair regularly. Similar to bathing wipes, shampoo caps enable elderly individuals to stay clean without actually having to enter a shower or bathtub. The cap is placed over hair, which is then massaged for around two to five minutes. Once this process is done, the hair is left fresh and clean.

3. Adult Diapers and Bed Pads

For many aging adults, diapers and bed pads offer enhanced security and cleanliness. Adult diapers, which are generally worn throughout the day, are absorbent and easy to use. Bed pads, meanwhile, are used during the night. They’re secured to the bed and help prevent leaks and odors. Both disposable and reusable varieties are available.

4. Rash Spray

Products like adult diapers provide many benefits to an older individual’s health. Unfortunately, they can also come with side effects, including rashes. If an older adult develops skin irritation, a rash spray or cream can help minimize the discomfort. There are many brands available (which range in price from as low as $3 to upwards of $25).

5. Magnifiers

Many personal care products come with explicit instructions detailing how to use them. Of course, these instructions aren’t very helpful if the user can’t read them. For older adults experiencing visual problems, magnifiers can be a huge help. They transform small words into large print, making it easier to follow product guidelines. Not to mention they can be used for more than just hygiene products — many seniors use visual aids to assist with leisure activities, such as reading novels, using the computer or completing coloring books.

6. Nail Clippers

Nail clippers are a handy tool for trimming nails. There are three main features to look out for when buying them:

  • Easy grip: Ideally, nail clippers should have an easy-to-hold grip to prevent the likelihood of dropping them.
  • Mountable end: This type of nail clipper is mounted to a surface. Older adults can then clip their nails simply by pressing down.
  • Long reach: A long reach nail clipper has an extended handle for clipping toenails.

For older adults who can’t bend properly or are experiencing motor skill issues, mountable and long reach clippers are extremely helpful.

7. Dressing Aid

A dressing aid is a portable device that helps older adults put on clothing. The product consists of wooden rods with hooks, which are used to lift shirts off shoulders, pull pants up from the floor and pull on shirt sleeves. They’re very useful for getting ready in the morning (although they may require some practice).

8. Safety Rails

Safety rails are a common commodity found in senior apartments. They’re usually installed in locations where there’s a higher risk of falling, such as:

  • Next to the tub/shower
  • Next to the toilet

Safety rails not only reduce the risk of injury, they also make it easier to maintain hygiene. For example, many older adults can comfortably take baths as long as there’s a rail in place.

9. Long-Handled Brushes

The older you get, the harder it becomes to stretch your arms and legs. This can cause problems with brushing hair, using the bathroom, and showering. If an aging adult is experiencing pain when stretching, long-handled brushes can help. Products like toilet, hair, and shower brushes come in long-handled varieties to facilitate ease of use.

10. Clothing Protectors

Clothing protectors are a great tool for preventing messes while eating. The most common types are adult bibs and lap trays. Bibs, which are strapped around the neck, cover shirts and help keep tops clean. Lap trays, on the other hand, are spread across the lap to stop food from spilling onto pants.

Care giver combing senior woman's hair.

What If Personal Care Products Aren’t Helping?

While there are many benefits to personal care items for seniors, sometimes they’re not enough to help an older adult navigate their day-to-day life. In these cases, it’s best to rely on the help of a professional care facility, such as Riddle Village. Our senior living community offers several levels of care:

For residents in Personal Care or Skilled Nursing, we provide assistance with activities of daily living as well as a variety of amenities (including fitness activities, cognitive exercises and opportunities for socialization). Our goal is to improve the quality of life for older adults by treating them with respect and dignity. Request a brochure today to learn more!