When you’re looking into home care services for your mom, you keep seeing personal care services like help with grooming and assistance with hygiene. Aren’t grooming and hygiene the same thing? They’re similar, but there are differences that you should be aware of. One is more about how you look, while the other is about being healthy. It’s important to understand the differences to ensure you arrange the right services for your mom.
What Hygiene Entails
Care needs for hygiene are tasks that help with health and infection prevention. It’s about keeping germs from building up on the skin and other areas of the body. Think of hygiene as cleanliness. Hygiene includes washing your body in a shower, washing dirt from the hair, washing hands to stop the spread of disease, and cleaning up after using the toilet. Putting on appropriate clothing that is clean is part of a daily hygiene routine.
Changing bed sheets at least every two weeks is a hygienic task. As sheets build up bacteria and insects like dust mites, changing and laundering sheets is important. This is why families need to discuss housekeeping services in addition to personal care services.
Brushing and flossing her teeth are part of a daily hygiene routine. Taking care of her bridges or dentures is part of hygiene. Hygiene also includes making sure the skin isn’t dry and cracked or showing signs of infections or irritation, and applying lotions and creams that treat those issues.
What Grooming Entails
Grooming is an aspect of hygiene, but it’s not as strongly tied to infection and disease control. It’s more about how you look. For example, trimming your nails is a grooming task. It can be tied to hygiene if the toenails are so long that they cut other toes and cause open wounds that can be infected. But, the act of trimming nails is part of grooming. Pushing back or trimming cuticles is also part of grooming.
Trimming a mustache, beard, or shaving facial hair is grooming. Grooming tasks also include adding cologne after getting dressed, applying deodorant to prevent body odor, and styling the hair. Applying lip balm or facial moisturizer is part of grooming.
What Happens if Your Mom Needs Help?
Pay attention to your mom’s self-care. If you notice she smells, she’s likely not showering enough. Incontinence may be a concern, and that requires special care to prevent skin irritation and UTIs.
Your mom’s grooming and hygiene tasks must be supported as much as is necessary. She needs to be encouraged to maintain her independence, but she shouldn’t risk her safety trying to do things that have become too difficult. A home care advisor can answer your questions and get your mom set up with the home care services she needs.