Did you know that hygiene can contribute significantly to the cost of health care, long-term care and the ability to stay independent?
Washing helps to keep the skin intact and prevents infections as well as promoting confidence and a sense of wellbeing, however,
- As we age, it becomes more difficult with daily living activities. Bathing disability is one of those critical activities that can take away independence. Such disability is defined as the inability to wash and dry the whole body without personal assistance.
- As the largest organ in the body, the skins regulatory functions include temperature maintenance, expulsion of toxins through sweat and prevention of dehydration. The skin is part of the body’s defense system against infection, therefore looking after the skin becomes even more critical as we age.
- The delicate skin in many individuals who face bathing disabilities compounds the need to ensure we are actively cleaning and taking care of the skin.
- The cost of wound management is highly significant because wounds are a primary source of allowing infection into the body. Such infections can have a significant impact on the quality of daily life. Ensuring a bathing routine to promote healthy skin requires an individual approach and must take into account the needs of the skin as well as the ability of the individual.
Hygiene is an issue that can be particularly difficult to discuss with the people we are close to. However, these issues can contribute significantly to the cost of health care, long-term care and the ability to stay independent. A recent study shows the following:
- It remains unclear exactly what causes urinary tract infections (UTI), in the elderly, however, 70 percent of UTIs in non-catheterized patients are caused by E. coli. In patients with a catheter, E. coli is responsible for roughly 40 percent of UTI diagnoses.
- Paying attention to hygiene can significantly reduce the impact of E. coli. Meticulous personal hygiene and appropriate incontinent care are crucial in the elimination of reinfection UTIs. In a study of non-catheterized, elderly, long term care residents, results showed a significant reduction in UTI risk factors when correct hygiene protocols were followed.
It is important to discuss with loved ones their ability to bathe unaided and to talk about any difficulties or problems that may exist. Talk about hygiene and what aids are currently available to assist with independent bathing. There are numerous options such as grab bars and walk in baths or showers. Take time to address the benefits of bathing and find an appropriate piece of equipment that may assist and maintain independence.
The benefits of walk in showers or baths
- Walk in baths and showers offer a large variety of features and accessories for enhancing safety, comfort, and accessibility.
- This type of product can provide a safe bathing environment for a person with mobility issues that finds bathing difficult or impossible. The shower or bath may contain built in seats, handheld shower units, multiple grab bars and non-slip surfaces to stand on.
- As well as the benefits to keeping clean, bathing helps with relaxation and or helps with pain and discomfort associated with ailments such as arthritis or fibromyalgia.
- There are also wheelchair accessible showers or baths available with roll-in features. This is because with many baths and showers, there is a small step that can be difficult for someone confined to a wheelchair.
In addition there are widened doors available to accommodate a person in a wheelchair as well as hand held shower options, grab bars and customised seats. Seats can be built into the unit, mobile, or pivoting to help transfer the person bathing from their wheelchair and into the tub or shower seat.
If your bathroom is hindering your efforts at keeping clean and hygienic then get in touch. WIBTRAC have been helping people improve thier bathrooms for over 35 years. Call us free on 0800 9788 171 to discuss your needs.