What to Do When an Elderly Relative's Depression or Lethargy is Interfering with Personal Hygiene
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What to Do When an Elderly Relative's Depression or Lethargy is Interfering with Personal Hygiene

Noticing a decline in an elderly relative's personal hygiene can be daunting and worrisome. Your loved one may be dealing with depression or lethargy, which is preventing them from keeping up their daily self-care routines. Fortunately, there are ways to help seniors suffering from depression or lethargy maintain proper personal hygiene safely and respectfully. 

Causes of Depression or Lethargy in Elderly Relatives

Depression and lethargy can be caused by a range of physical conditions. Depression is an especially common health issue among seniors due to hormonal imbalances, certain medications, chronic pain, or illnesses like cancer. Lethargy may also be due to vitamin deficiencies, dehydration issues, sleep difficulties or hypothyroidism. Mental causes may include social isolation, recent changes in lifestyle like retirement or relocation, as well as mental disorders like dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Signs of Depression or Lethargy in Elderly Relatives

Signs of depression and lethargy in seniors may include:

  • A lack of enjoyment in previously enjoyed activities
  • Fatigue
  • Memory loss and confusion
  • A general mood or demeanor that is uncharacteristically sad or sullen for that person

Another significant sign is a lack of poor hygiene habits, particularly if the person once handled their hygiene well. If you notice your loved one no longer taking regular showers, not brushing their teeth, and neglecting other self-care tasks, it's time to offer assistance.

Strategies for Addressing Hygiene Needs with Your Senior Loved One

Since depression and lethargy can interfere with someone's hygiene habits, it's important to offer assistance in a gentle way. Having the senior help you rather than you doing all of the work is a great first step. Talk openly and honestly about their needs and how helpful it would be to have some support when it comes to personal care routines. You can also point out that proper hygiene will help keep them healthier and feeling better overall. 

Find ways for your loved one to do as much for themselves as possible, like providing equipment such as long-handled showers or toilet aids if needed. Look into shower chairs or bath benches that are easy to set up at home too; products like these make bathing more comfortable for seniors who find bathing difficult due to mobility issues caused by aging.

You could also hire help. If your senior loved one is too depressed or lethargic to get up and handle their hygiene routine alone, a professional caregiver from Senior Helpers may be best suited for the job. 

Get Assistance from Senior Helpers Broward County

At Senior Helpers Broward County, we specialize in providing compassionate and tailored in-home care services to seniors living in Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale, or Broward County. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can help keep your loved one safe, comfortable and healthy with our personalized self-care services. Our team of experienced caregivers understands the importance of maintaining proper hygiene habits among aging adults, so they're prepared to first listen to the senior's individual needs before helping them with daily tasks such as getting dressed, brushing their teeth or bathing safely. 

Whether you need someone for occasional respite relief services or regular assistance for more intensive needs related to personal grooming routines, Senior Helpers Broward County is happy to help. Get in touch today for more information about our personalized home care service plans!