Monthly Archives: October 2020

Washing elderly hair at home

Hair is a huge part of how our seniors present themselves to the world out there and she will always want to look her best, whatever the occasion.

However, traveling to a professional hair salon is often out of the question for most of them and we, as caregivers, have to find ways to keep their greying hair well maintained.

And for the most part, it all starts with helping her wash her hair at home.

This article will teach you the best approach to take when washing elderly hair at home and the do’s and don’ts to pay attention to when tackling this essential task.

Let’s dive in:

Washing elderly hair at home – step by step

Keep in mind that if your aged buddy is living with mobility limitations, a little creativity could be necessary in order to help him/her wash her hair smoothly while in a bed/wheelchair.

For example, if you’ll be washing her hair while wheelchair bound, a big-enough portable shampoo bowl could be extremely useful.

Likewise, you might need to take measures such as lining the bed with a couple of towels to keep wetness away if washing her in bed.

Here are the typical steps to follow to make sure all goes well:

Preliminaries- Gather the Required supplies

Before you begin, you’ll want to assemble all the vital accessories and aids.

For this job, you’ll need these basic materials:

  • Towels
  • Shampoo (mild)
  • Warm water – one bucket

Available options:

You may need to wash your aging friend’s hair in either of these positions:

  1. In bed.
  2. In a sink (while sitting in a chair).

How to install suction cup grab bars correctly for the extra security 

How to wash elderly hair in bed- procedures

  1. Line her bed as mentioned earlier and have a bucketful of warm water ready.
  2. Mount a washing basin (preferably inflatable) close to the bed in a way that it will drain into an empty bucket.
  3. Position your mommy’s head into the basin (she should lie flat).
  4. Scoop warm water – you can use a cup/something similar- from the bucket and wet the hair.
  5. Wash their hair (shampoo it lightly). You may comb through the senior’s hair gently to untangle any knots before washing.
  6. Scoop more warm water and rinse the hair thoroughly.
  7. Shampoo again and re-rinse until satisfied.
  8. Move her head from the washing basin.
  9. Help them towel-off.

How to wash elderly hair in sink (while sitting in a chair)

A hair-washing tray is necessary here.

Procedure:

  • Get the person to sit in a chair, facing away from the applicable sink.
  • Put a towel over their shoulders (and upper body) to keep water away from their shirt.
  • Bring the hair washing tray over the shoulders; the U shape opening placed against the neck and the alternate end in the sink.
  • Scoop warm water and wet their hair.
  • Apply shampoo lightly and wash the elderly person’s hair.
  • Pour some more water on the hair and rinse meticulously until you’re pleased with the results.
  • Dry her head with a towel.

Washing elderly hair at home – do’s and donts

These do’s and don’ts will help you make the whole experience more comfortable, quicker, and enjoyable for both you and the person you’re assisting:

Dos

  • Slow down- Work slowly and be on the lookout for signs of discomfort such as facial gestures. That way, he/she will feel that you care and will not mind you stepping in again in the future.
  • Fix a routine – A pre-determined schedule makes our lives more predictable and it helps to have a set hair care timetable for our aged parents. Without one, he/she will feel like they’re being ambushed and they may reject your help.
  • Wear gloves- Because you don’t want to injure her scalp by applying excessive pressure, we recommend that you put on a pair of disposable gloves throughout the task.

Don’ts

  • Avoid being harsh- Always keep your calm even when facing one of those frustrating days. Be patient, communicative, and understanding to win their confidence.
  • Don’t beat yourself- Don’t hit the panic button if you’re unhappy with the way it has gone at the beginning. It may take you a few repeats to master the process.

Washing elderly hair at home – helpful tips

Here now are some tips to help you when washing the hair of an older adult at home- the skin on his/her scalp is likely to be more fragile.

·         Can you take her with you?

If your mommy is not bedridden, why not take her out with you, and have her hair washed at the salon during your next visit?

The change of scenery will do her a world of good- from breathing fresh air, seeing some people, to having some fun.

·         Look for support

We have our own limits and it’s important to acknowledge this when performing the task.

You see, unless you’re a specialist, you may have trouble recreating the complex hairstyle she saw on YouTube- your parent may have seen an agemate showing off a style that really flatters her.

If this is your dilemma, search for and invite a professional at-home hairstylist to do her hair.

·         Stick to the right products

Stay away from products/accessories that could hurt the hair structure, causing breakage and/or hair loss (or keep their use to a bare minimum).

These include gels, mousses, and hair sprays and assistive devices such as standard hairdryers, tongs, and even heated brushes.

Washing elderly hair at home- frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How often should elderly wash hair?

Now, it’s widely accepted that washing the hair of an elderly person once per week is frequent enough to keep their hair clean and scalp in good shape.

That said, you may try to convince him/her to let you wash her head more regularly if you notice that her hair is getting increasingly dirty.

The other option is to apply dry shampoo between washes- it helps absorb oils and hide dirt pending the next scheduled wet washing.

Final words

Caring for our elderly loved ones often involves keeping them clean and well-groomed – it can make a massive difference to your aged relative’s dignity and self-esteem.

And while not all of our elderly loved ones will be comfortable with the sophisticated hairstyles of their youth, it’s important to wash the hair of your dear one frequently.

Following these tips will make the task a joy and something to look forward to for you both.

Be sure to consult with an elderly care provider if you’re still facing problems when you attempt to wash your aging dear one’s hair.

How to remove urine odor from elderly clothes

While it may occur to anyone, bladder control problems are more common in seniors.

Control measures exist including exercises for urinary incontinence and your loved one may improve his/her bladder health gradually.

In the meantime, you, as the caregiver, need to find ways to knock out the unbearable urine odors that tend to linger in his/her clothing even after thoroughly washing soiled clothes.

Here is how to remove urine odor from elderly clothes, bedding, carpets, etc.

How to remove urine odor from elderly clothes

Before using harsh chemicals -these fade some fabrics or cause holes- to get rid of the strong smell of pee from your dear one’s clothing, consider applying less harmful methods first.

Here they are:

1.      Add Baking soda when doing laundry

You can easily clear out the strong smell of urine from your aged parent or relative clothing by adding a few shakes of Baking Soda with each load. 

It doesn’t contain any savage chemicals and is also a fabulous deodorizer.

How to remove urine odor from elderly clothes with baking soda – step by step

Step 1:

Remove pee from your aged buddy’s clothing.

Simply soak the urine up using a paper towel or rag before anything else.

Step 2:

Wash the load of soiled clothing in your washer.

For this step, you should use the hottest water the fabric your cleaner allows.

Don’t apply the baking soda yet- use a powerful detergent first.

The idea, at this stage, is to remove the urine that is still fresh.

Step 3:

Now mix a half-cup of baking soda together with your trusted detergent to the load of laundry (follow the instructions for the quantities).

Be sure to let the washing machine complete a regular washing cycle – you must again use the hottest water the fabric permits.

Step 4: Dry completely

Dry the clothes completely before storage to prevent musty smells.

Be sure to follow normal care label instructions when drying.

Useful tips

  • Consider pre-soaking the urine-stained clothes in a solution of warm water and baking soda if you’re still struggling to cut out the overwhelming smell.
  • If overpowering urine odors persist, repeat the steps highlighted above with your load.

2.      Wash them with Nature’s Miracle

Use the popular Nature’s Miracle 32 fl oz Laundry Booster if baking soda failed to effectively eliminate the unpleasant odor from the pee-stained clothing.

For starters, this is an enzyme-based cleaning product that works wonders on urine stains and smell remaining in clean clothes.

And like baking soda, it’s kind on various fabrics and non-toxic for pets and children.

Add it to your preferred laundry detergent before attempting to clean your clothes.

How to remove urine odor from elderly clothes with Nature’s Miracle – procedure

Simply add ¼-cup of the product per laundry load along with your usual detergent then leave the washing machine to run its course.

The enzymes in the fast-selling pet stain remover are potent enough to break down dogged urine odor even in clothes that are seemingly soiled ‘beyond redemption’.

Useful tips

  • For heavy-duty pee stains and smell, add ½-cup of the product per laundry load.
  • For high efficiency with washing machines, follow the manufacturer-specified detergent measurement recommendations.
  • If you’re unsure about discoloration, test for colorfastness by pouring a little additive inside seam before tossing the fabric to your machine.

Side Note: You can replace Nature’s Miracle with the plant-based Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover. It’s safe and super effective on urine smell lingering on fabrics too

3.      Pour Vinegar into the laundry

Vinegar is another naturally-occurring liquid that gives great success when used to eradicate urine smell on clothes.

The aqueous combination of acetic acid and other natural chemicals in vinegar not only neutralizes the urine but also helps break down the concentration of urea and other waste products that cause the nasty odor.

Procedure

Pour white vinegar (a cup or so) into both the bleach dispenser and fabric softener of your washer, along with the standard measurement of laundry detergent.

Run the load as you always do and you should finally wipe out the unpleasantness!

Alternative methods

You can also try these more straightforward techniques with vinegar to suppress the disgusting urine smell:

  • Just add a ½-cup of white vinegar along with your favorite detergent when washing soiled clothes- This removes most odors that stick to the garments.
  • Wash the clothes as you always do, but add 1-cup of white vinegar to your final rinse. In addition to doing away with the urine odor in the clothes promptly, this removes any residue left in fabrics by the detergent.

Side Note: Try apple cider vinegar if white vinegar fails you.

How to install suction cup grab bars – step by step

Chemical Products for removing urine odor from elderly clothes

If you’d rather go the chemicals way, the following products work like a charm on urine that sticks to your grandpa/grandma’s otherwise clean clothes:

1.     Borax

Borax absorbs a huge variety of odors and stains and can be a helpful option for urine smell that won’t go away from clothes as well.

Just add a ½-cup of the chemical to the wash load together with your favored detergent. 

Proceed to wash and dry the clothes in your typical manner.

Caveat: Borax can kill kids or pets. You may also experience a lethal skin reaction, irritation in your eyes, or respiratory issues with Borax. Use it with care.

2.     Ammonia

Ammonia is an extremely powerful laundry aid and adding it to the laundry can help fight off the urine smell clinging to his/her bedding and clothing.

Ammonia is especially superb on bath towels and is one of the best solutions if you notice that urine smell is consistently hanging on in his/her towel.

Steps

  • Load the towels into the washer.
  • Set it to the hottest available wash cycle.
  • Add laundry soap (your usual amount) to the washing machine.
  • Pour two cups of sudsy (soapy) ammonia into the washer- let it fill with water first.
  • Leave it to run the first complete wash cycle.
  • Turn it back on and run another rinse cycle.
  • Dry the towels (on medium heat).

Also try:

For the heaviest urine odor on clothes, fill the washing machines with warm water then add 1-cup of ammonia.

Allow the urine-stained clothes to soak for 2-3 hours (or overnight, if needed) before washing.

Wrap up

With the above tips, you can effectively remove urine odor that lingers on your loved one’s sheets and clothes.

Away from that, it’s important to follow each product’s usage instructions to the letter or you’ll be risking ruining the clothes and beddings or even your (or his/her) health.

How to get up off the floor with bad knees

Aging comes with a lot of pride – there’s a wealth of experiences we can look back to and tons of achievements to toast to.

But we also face a couple of niggling issues that we have to adapt to including knee pain- it’s quite common in our golden years, often brought by osteoarthritis (the wearing/tearing of knee cartilage).

The issue makes getting up off the floor, no matter what took you to the floor, an immensely tough challenge without assistance and can limit us significantly.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way: there are ways you can get up the floor despite your painful knees without bothering your caregiver or grandchild.

Read on to discover how to get up off the floor with bad knees.

How to get up off the floor with bad knees –step by step

First, we’ll assume that you’re on the floor:

Step 1: Get onto all-fours

It’s good to keep a chair in front –you may need extra support since you’re just starting out- at first.  

Also consider using some form of protection for your knees when kneeling – a mat or even a thin cushion would suffice.

Procedure:

  • Start by rotating your body onto one hip. Choose the side that you find comfier.
  • Next, slowly move your whole self as if to go to one side and onto your two hands and the knees.
  • You’re now resting your body on all fours- both hands will be right under the corresponding shoulder and your knees straight under the hips.

Tip: Be sure to engage your core while in this position. It helps make you more stable.

Getting onto all-fours from a lying down position

Even when lying down, the easiest way to get yourself onto your all fours is by swaying onto your side then pushing your body up onto both hands and knees.

Here is how you can quickly and safely move onto all fours in this case:

  • Rise up into a sitting position and rotate to your favored side.
  • Now bend your first knee (go for the strong leg) and proceed to bring it onto the floor, in front of your body.
  • Next lift your strong arm and place it on the floor, again in front.
  • Bend the other knee and put it down onto the floor followed by the remaining arm.

Step 2: getting up

To begin with, plant your hands either on the arms or seat of your chair for support.

Now raise the first knee (this should be your stronger knee) and plant the foot close to the chair.

While holding on to the chair tightly, clasp the toes of your back foot under then begin to shift your weight to the ‘leading’ leg – simply push it back onto a standing position.

This will enable you to bring the ‘trailing’ leg up. You want to transplant the foot on the floor as well.

Lastly, with your knees still bent, lean over the chair (this transfers your weight there), slowly but surely stand up.

Step 3: Repeat

Repeat the above steps as many times as possible.

The idea is to understand each and every step of the way for your security- a single miscalculation can lead to tragic consequences including a catastrophic fall.

How to get up off the floor with bad knees – useful exercises

Still unable to get up from floor?

Don’t panic- your body needs good strength at various points during the above getting up off the floor exercise and you may struggle if you’re not sufficiently strong.

For example, you need fairly strong chest muscles to shift your weight to all fours.

Likewise, sound leg and glute strength to confidently step one foot forward.

All is however not lost- these easy but helpful drills will help you build the required strength.

Remember that both are safe for seniors with troubled knees.

Create time for them then retry:

Wall-Facing Chair Squats

The only requirement for this plain sailing exercise is a regular table chair.

Procedure:

  • Face your chosen wall.
  • Stand about a foot away from the wall, keeping your chair right behind you.
  • Place your feet parallel while maintaining hip-width gap in the middle.
  • Now lower yourself down onto the chair (to sit on it) slowly- Ensure you have braced your core while at it. This creates stiffer support (in the lower body section) and strengthens the key muscles, particularly around your knee joints.
  • Redo this 8-12 times.

Seated Leg Extension workout

  • Find a stable chair (without wheels) and place it anywhere free in the room/outside.
  • Next, sit upright on the chair- toward the edge- while keeping your feet a reasonable but comfortable distance apart.
  • Lift your first leg as high as you can and hold it for 2-3 seconds then bring it back down.
  • Now raise the opposite leg and hold up in the elevated position for an equal duration of time. Return it to position and repeat with the previous leg.
  • Keep repeating with the alternate leg for between eight to ten times.

This exercise works the upper muscles of your legs- the quadriceps- and can help you build the necessary strength.

Side note: Avoid retrying the ‘how to get up off the floor with bad knees’ steps immediately after these two exercises. It’s important that you catch some breath in between.

Final thoughts

While most of these tips are easy to master, it may take you a few rounds of practice to become fully confident of rising off the floor on your own.

Don’t panic- practice, practice, and practice more until you feel sure that you can safely get up and down from the floor without assistance.

We urge you to give it your best shot- a bad knee shouldn’t condemn you to a 100% late-life dependency lifestyle.

That said, consult your doctor before attempting any of the above, especially if you’ve serious arthritis or you have had a surgery in the past.