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Support individuals to maintain personal hygiene Essay

1.1 Explain why personal hygiene is important

Good personal hygiene is important in many ways to individuals. The main reason is regarding the health and wellbeing. We can maintain good personal hygiene by assisting with showering, washing hair, which can all help kill harmful bacteria’s that could lead to health risks and illnesses. These products also prevent odour build up, that can lead to unpleasant smells. Good personal hygiene also creates a more comfortable life for the individuals by not feeling embarrassed of themselves.

1.2 Describe the effects of poor personal hygiene on health and well-being

There are many effects that can come from not maintaining good standards of hygiene. Hair can become greasy, skin can be dry, and bodily odours can start to arise. These are caused from a build-up of sweat from the glands within the skin which can lead to an increase in bacteria. Bad breath is another effect of poor hygiene. It commonly develops from not regularly brushing your teeth which allows bacteria’s to form, and also by having food stuck in the teeth as this can rot over-time, producing bad smells. This can get worse if not treated, leading to Dental Diseases such as Gingivitis, where the gums become inflamed and are prone to further infection which may ultimately destroy teeth.

Keeping clean hands is also important, as this ensures that any bacterium that may come into contact with hands does not have the chance to spread. Not washing your hands with soap and water on a regular basis throughout the day could greatly increase the risk of an individual contract a number of illnesses such as the common cold, influenza and Salmonella. Very important to wash under nails as well because most bacteria’s can be found there.

2. Be able to support individuals to maintain personal hygiene

Support an individual to understand factors that contribute to good personal hygiene

Using a friendly approach, talk positively and sensitively to the person about the importance of good personal hygiene and reassure them that you are there to help them if they need that help bearing in mind their right to independence and their ability to act independently and explain that their privacy is just as important to you as it is to them.

Address personal hygiene issues with the individual in a sensitive manner without imposing own values It is important to be sensitive and not impose your own values upon the individual. There may be cultural issues or issues around privacy that have to be considered. Explain to the individual that you will always respect their right to privacy and that you are there to help them.

Support the individual to develop awareness of the effects of poor hygiene on others

Washing your hands will help eliminate the spreading of germs. If you choose to not wash your hands, this can cause you or someone else to get sick. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, spending time in a public place and before eating food. This will help keep you away from germs and lessen the chance of you spreading germs to someone else.

Support the preferences and needs of the individual while maintaining their independence

You have to treat all individuals with respect and dignity when considering their needs and preferences. This involves asking them their opinions on every aspect of their daily lives, including their intimate hygiene and caring needs.

Describe how to maintain dignity of an individual when supporting intimate personal hygiene

I discuss the care needs with the individual. I look at their care plan and if they do not agree with something on the plan I discuss this with them and then report and record the conversation with the manager and it is arranged that the individual should be re-assessed and an updated care plan should be in place.

Identify risks to own health in supporting an individual with personal hygiene routines

Possible risks come from moving and handling injuries and cross infection from the individual. That is why it is very important to be well trained when it comes to moving and handling and always wearing gloves and aprons.

Reduce risks to own health when supporting the individual with personal hygiene routines

You have to be confident when it comes to moving and handling (for example using a hoist or rolling an individual in bed) and even if you are wearing gloves you should still wash your hands after every visit.

Identify others who may be involved in supporting the individual to maintain personal hygiene

Others can be:
1. family members
2. advocate
3. nurses
4. other healthcare professional

For example I visit Mrs R. four times a day but the palliative care team is assisting her with personal hygiene every morning.

3.1 Identify underlying personal issues that may be a cause of poor personal hygiene

There are many conditions that can affect the way in which personal hygiene is maintained. These can be physical, psychological, social or as a result of a period in hospital. Poor personal hygiene can result in a risk of infection and illnesses and also cause many social issues to arise as a result of odours and appearance.

3.2 Describe how underlying personal issues might be addressed

I would discuss with them in a gentle manner and record their response and also report it to the line manager who can contact the individuals’ social worker. For example Mr B. is happy to let a male carer to assist him with a shower but if a female carer turns up, then he would send her away immediately.

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