Senior woman practicing good hygiene habits by washing her clothes.

Good Hygiene Habits and Rules for Seniors to Follow

Good Hygiene Habits and Rules for Seniors to Follow

At any age, practicing good hygiene is important. But especially in today’s climate, paying close attention to your personal habits can make a huge difference in your health and overall wellness.

No, you don’t have to change everything about your current lifestyle, but you should aim to make improvements to prioritize your health to ensure you can maintain your independence for as long as possible. One of the first things caregivers typically notice about aging loved ones is when they start to slack on personal hygiene. So by making it a priority in your everyday life, you can stay healthy, happy and independent for longer.

Top 5 Personal Hygiene Habits

When it comes to hygiene, there are more than just five things you should focus on, but by making the effort to prioritize these 5 habits, you can make a major difference when it comes to your long-term health.

  1. Always wash your hands – After you put away the groceries, take out the trash or bring in the mail, wash your hands. Spend at least 20 seconds scrubbing your wrists, fingers, palms, and fingernails to ensure you are killing any germs that may be living on your hands.
  2. Bathe regularly – Many doctors recommend that seniors only bathe every other day. This prevents the skin from drying out and causing more problems. However, you do want to bathe regularly to shed the body of dead skin particles and any lingering dirt or germs.
  3. Give yourself a manicure – Ok, you don’t have to do a full manicure, but it is important to cut your fingernails and toenails to prevent ingrown nails, hangnails, or infections.
  4. Brush twice a day – If you want to be an A+ student, aim to brush your teeth after every meal. If that’s not an option, ensure you at least brush in the morning and at night and floss daily. Be sure to also schedule regular cleanings at your dentist’s office twice a year.
  5. Get a full night’s rest – You already know the important role sleep plays in your life as you age, but it can also impact your health. Losing sleep can lead to a decrease in your body’s natural defenses and immune system.

Other Good Hygiene Practices

While the emphasis gets placed on personal hygiene, there are other aspects of general hygiene that can play a role in your overall health and wellness. For example, keeping your home free of germs and dust can help you breathe better and prevent the spread of infection from touching dirty surfaces. Dust and vacuum your house regularly, while also paying close attention to the bathroom and kitchen. Use disinfecting wipes and sprays to keep surfaces free of germs.

When it comes to washing your clothes, you might feel tempted to wear your winter jacket all season without washing it. It is recommended that you wash your clothes, undergarments, hats, gloves, and coats regularly to prevent the spread of germs and to kill any bacteria that could be living on these fabrics. This is especially important during cold and flu season when germs spread rapidly.

It can sometimes feel a little overwhelming to keep up with everything at once. Do your best to implement healthy habits into your regular lifestyle so practicing good hygiene becomes second nature to you.

Find the Right Level of Support at St. Joseph of the Pines

As you age, you might find that you are struggling to keep up with all the tasks associated with daily living. St. Joseph of the Pines offers low maintenance living for seniors looking to get the most out of their retirement years. We provide all of our residents with the right level of care and support they need to maintain health and independence. We encourage you to contact us to schedule a tour of one of our North Carolina campuses to learn more about what we have to offer.

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