As your loved one matures, their hair goes through a number of changes. They may experience a combination of thinning or graying and their hair texture may even change. Additionally, their balance and strength may wane, hindering their ability to wash and style their own hair. A family member or hourly in-home caregiver will likely be needed to assist with managing their hair care routine, from grooming to styling.
If balance in the shower is an issue, bath seats and non-slip floor mats prove to be helpful. Another option is to offer washing their hair in bed using inflatable basins made specifically for this purpose, or consider using dry shampoo from time to time. When it comes to bathing, if you, as a family member, would rather not handle this task, you can leave it in the professional and caring hands of a Bridgewater senior caregiver.
It’s also important to keep in mind that aging hair and scalps have different needs; therefore, different products should be used. Baby shampoo is gentle even on the most sensitive hair, scalp, and eyes. Avoid brushing and instead use a wide tooth comb which is gentler on the hair and scalp. If possible, avoid using any harsh chemicals like dyes and bleach on the hair and refrain from using hot styling tools which can burn and damage both the hair and scalp.
While it is important to help your loved one maintain a healthy level of hygiene, it is not important to keep up with societal standards. If your loved one feels better having their hair washed daily, then wash it daily. If they have no preference, focus on what is necessary for proper health. If their hair or scalp seems to get oily quickly, then wash it gently every other day or so. If their hair or scalp seems dry, then you can stretch the time between washings to every few days or even a week. At the end of the day, as long as your loved one feels good, that’s what truly matters.
After washing your loved one’s hair, it is important to help them maintain the look of their choice. Having the hairstyle of their choice will help them feel better about themselves. There are many studies that prove that how you feel about yourself is directly linked to your outlook on life, and this is as true for your maturing loved one as it is for anyone else. Take special care to maintain their dignity and hygiene, and it will go a long way in helping them to keep a positive outlook despite their decreasing independence.
Another way to help enhance and maintain their quality of life is by getting the help of an hourly or 24/7 live-in caregiver from Home Care Assistance of Bridgewater. Our caregivers are trained, experienced and happy to help with a variety of tasks associated with daily living, such as grooming, bathing, cooking, meal preparation, transportation and much more! To ask about how one of our caregivers could help your aging parent or to schedule a free in-home consultation, call us at 908.450.9400.