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My loved one needs a little assistance

Older woman and younger woman cooking - how to care for a loved one who needs a little assistance
What you need to do to care for your loved one, giving them the right level of support, depends on their physical condition.
 
If they can get about, doing their daily routines almost independently or with only some assistance, this section is for you. Here you can gain practical tips on how to provide them with the best possible care.

Encouraging good hygiene

Personal hygiene is an important daily routine. Perhaps your loved one can take care of themselves and get washed without your help. Or with just a little assistance from you. If so, that’s good. Try to encourage them to keep cleaning themselves, independently, as long as they can. You might like to check now and then, though, to see if they need your help.

Elderly skin needs special care

You’ve probably noticed that as we grow older our skin ages too. It becomes quite fragile. This is why elderly people need a special hygiene routine, one designed for their delicate skin. That’s especially the case if they experience incontinence, since urine and feces irritate and damage their skin. Gentle cleansing and protection help prevent skin irritation and infection. So it’s good if your loved one follows a hygiene routine that’s designed for their delicate skin. It will help them feel clean, comfortable, refreshed and healthy, which can boost their confidence. 
 
There are three steps to taking care of their skin: cleansing, restoring and protecting. To see products that cover those steps, and are designed for fragile, elderly skin, explore the TENA skin care range.

Incontinence products

If your loved one can dress himself or herself, they can probably handle incontinence protection on their own, too. That’s especially likely if they wear an easy-to-use product like disposable incontinence pants. TENA Pants are as easy to put on as normal underwear. They help your loved one to be independent and to keep their dignity. At the same time they provide reliable protection against leakage.  
 
To find the right incontinence product and level of absorption for your loved one, see the TENA product selector
 
For a step-by-step guide to putting on and changing our incontinence products, visit our page on changing.
 
To find more about the TENA product range, see TENA products.

Helping them stay safe

Your loved one may be quite independent and not need much help. It’s still important to remember, though, that elderly people’s bones are fragile. Even a small accident or fall could injure them and stop them getting about. So, to help them prevent injuries, try to make their/your home as safe as possible for them to move around in. Read more in our Home Saftey section.

Helping with their diet and fluid intake

Your loved one might be inclined to drink less, fearing that the more they drink, the more they’ll need the toilet. If they do this though, it can make their urine more concentrated. That could increase risks to their health. So try to encourage them to drink as they normally would, whenever they’re thirsty. 
 
You can help make sure they eat a good, nutritious diet by eating with them. However, mealtimes are about more than just nourishment. They’re also times for socializing, chatting, sharing stories and having a laugh. Why not invite other family members and friends to eat with the two of you? Socializing helps to keep your loved one to feel connected: an important aspect of their life, which we expand on below.   

Feeling connected to others

Even in later life, we still love to have our hand held, our back rubbed, or our body hugged warmly. This becomes even more important if we’re spending most of our time alone. 
 
Experienced caregivers say that just doing little things together – even seemingly trivial activities – can help you to brighten up your loved one’s day. See here for ideas to inspire you.

Find people to support you

Experienced caregivers recommend finding others to help you take care of your loved one. They could be family members, friends or local community or government social services. Find out more about how to get help, here.

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