Grooming Tips for Caregivers | Caregiver Action Network

Grooming Tips for Caregivers



Helping your loved one with grooming tasks can be an uncomfortable situation. It is important to try to allow your loved one to perform grooming tasks on their own, with your supervision as needed, for as long as they safely can. When your loved one can no longer properly groom themselves, use these tips to help them out.

  • Stick to a regular grooming routine. This is especially important if your loved one has dementia. Use your loved one’s favorite toiletries, but make sure they’re safe and simple to use: for example, cardboard nail files are less threatening than metal nail clippers.  
  • Most people like having their hair washed regularly. Many people enjoy the feeling of having their hair washed and feel better when it is done. However, some people don’t enjoy it at all. If this is the case, balance the advantages of clean hair against the disadvantages of creating tension between you and the person you are caring for.
  • Going to the hairdresser or barber on a regular basis gives your loved one a routine to stick to, especially if it’s something they’ve regularly done for a long time. Visiting the hairdresser routinely also prevents the need to wash their hair at home as frequently. Or find a hairdresser who will come to the house. This may be a time when you can have your hair cut too. Stick with haircuts that are easy for you and your loved one to maintain.
  • If you are washing the person’s hair yourself, a hand-held shower hose may work best.  Think about using a shampoo which will not sting if it gets into the person’s eyes or a hairwash shield to prevent water from running onto the person’s face. Another option is a ‘no rinse’ shampoo that can clean the hair without using water.
  • When it comes to assisting your loved one with hair removal, it is easiest and safest to use an electric razor. For hard to reach spots like the nose or ears, plucking normally works best.
  • It’s important to clip fingernails and toenails as often as needed to keep your loved one from scratching himself or herself. Watch out for bunions, corns or severe cracking when you’re tending to your loved one’s feet.
  • A little makeup can go a long way. This may seem like an unnecessary luxury for your loved one, but if they always used makeup in the past, even a little foundation and lipstick can make your loved one feel like a new person.

This article is courtesy of Active Daily Living.