If you’re wondering why your elderly loved one no longer looks after
himself the way that he used to, it may help you to realize that it’s
fairly common for seniors to exhibit a decrease in their
personal care. There are several potential causes of hygiene changes in your senior
An Attempt at Control
As individuals age, they can experience a reduced sense of control over
their life. Because of this, some seniors choose not to bathe or change
their clothing because it is something that they retain control over.
In these cases, it’s common for loved ones to resist making changes
in their hygiene practices the more that they are pressed to do so.
A Case of Depression
Often partly due to a decreased feeling of control, it’s not unusual
for seniors to develop depression and lose interest in taking care of
themselves. If you notice hygiene changes that are accompanied by lethargy,
consider scheduling a checkup with your loved one’s doctor.
A Decrease in Senses
Reduced senses of sight and smell are common symptoms of aging. If you
notice that your loved one’s hygiene practices are declining, this
may be because he cannot see or smell as acutely as you can, and isn’t
aware of the situation. Gentle reminders or suggesting a daily time for
bathing may be helpful for your parent.
A Failure in Memory
Even if your senior loved one isn’t afflicted with a memory disease,
it’s important to bear in mind that for these individuals, it’s
common for their days to blend together, and they may not realize that
they skipped a day of bathing or already wore a particular shirt. It can
be helpful to accept that this can be a normal part of aging, and to hire
an in-home caregiver if necessary.
If you have a senior loved one that would benefit from in-home personal
care, call Home Helpers today at (215) 334-2600. We specialize in high-quality
home care in Philadelphia and offer several programs, such as our Friendly
Visit Program, Total Care Plan, and Rapid Care Response, to
provide care services for seniors.