3. Personal Hygiene


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Text and video by Fundacja “Małopolska Izba Samorządowa”, Kraków, Poland. Design and layout by e-Training Solutions, Berlin, Germany. Cartoons by Boris Luve.


When we get older the human’s motor functions gradually deteriorate. Activities that once did not cause the slightest problem are beginning to be challenging. Inadequate hygiene is often the first sign that the person we take care of is not coping well on their own. It is associated with limited mobility, fear of falling in a slippery bathroom or health.

Elderly loved ones may have difficulty standing in the shower, getting in and out of the bath, or maintaining enough balance to stand in front of the sink. Seniors may refuse help with personal hygiene, resulting in a constant struggle between the caregiver and elderly individual. In some instances, our loved ones may simply forget to wash and bathe. When these types of situations occur, it is important to provide support and offer assistance with essential hygiene tasks.

It is worth remembering that assistance in personal care and hygiene may be troublesome for an elderly person. It is important to foster feelings of trust and respect, when you help the elderly person in the hygiene treatments.

In this module you will find out, how to help the elderly with personal hygiene, while maintaining their dignity.

Learning Objectives

In this module, you will learn about:

   Basic hygiene procedures ensuring the maintenance of cleanliness and personal hygiene of the elderly
   Rules for performing hygienic procedures in an elderly person and their specificity depending on the health condition and independence of the elderly


Expected Learning Effects

After completing this module, you will be able to:

   Maintain the personal hygiene of an elderly person and their environment
   Provide assistance to the elderly person in related activities with changes in body position and in movement
   Organize the housing conditions for the elderly person requiring care, i.e. prepare a room and basic equipment for the elderly person
   Provide the elderly person with comfort and safety and respect for personal dignity


3.1. Personal hygiene of the elderly
3.2. The Oral Hygiene
3.3. The Body Hygiene
3.4. The Head Washing
3.5. Changing the Underwear
3.6. Changing the Linen
3.7. Moving and Position Changing
3.8. Bedsores
3.9. Hygiene Checklist for the Elderly
3.10. Assessment


Estimated time to complete the module:

3 hours



This E-learning module is an open educational resource. It is mobile-friendly and device-independent. The module is designed for individual learners, however it can also be used as a part of a instructor-led training program.

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