Supporting your independence with a personal carer
Personal care means anything done that is of a personal nature. This may include tasks that are personal to you, such as bathing, showering, applying creams and lotions, dressing and toileting – extending to continence management and general laundry, all in the comfort of your own home.
Working to your regular routines, and ensuring that support is tailored to your specific requirements, a fully trained private carer or support worker offers discreet and professional personal care in the way that’s most comfortable to you.
We believe in the importance of a continuous service and the same familiar faces, especially when it comes to personal care. Speak to us to find out more about how we can support you or a loved one.Request a callback Request a brochure
What is personal care?
Personal care is the support and supervision of daily personal living tasks and private hygiene and toileting, along with dressing and maintaining your personal appearance.
Personal care for the elderly can cover, but is not limited to:
- Bathing and showering, including bed-baths
- Applying lotions and creams as required
- Dressing and getting ready for bed
- Oral hygiene
- Applying make-up, and hair care
- Support with shaving
- Foot care, especially if you are diabetic need to be extra vigilant with your feet
- Helping you to the toilet, including using a commode or bed pan
- Changing continence pads, along with cleaning intimate areas
- Support moving position in bed, to stretch and prevent bed sores
- Changing or maintaining a stoma or catheter bag, or other form of clinical intervention
In getting to know you as a person, your care plan will outline your likes and dislikes, the hygiene or beauty products you want to use and what – and who – you feel most comfortable with. Particular tasks, such as shaving and diabetic foot care, will always be outlined in your support plan with specific instructions for your carer.
Each carer is expertly trained to provide personal care in a way that is discreet and respectful of your personal boundaries. They undertake extensive training where they learn the importance of enabling your dignity and independence at all times.
Even though carers are trained to provide all aspects of personal care, there may be some things you’d prefer to do for yourself. A good carer will always give you space when you want it and encourage your independence wherever they can.
The options for personal care
Like all forms of care, support with personal care is built completely around your individual needs and personal routines. If you like to wash before breakfast or have a bath before going to bed, a carer will happily follow your schedule, letting you live the way you want.
With home care, you have the choice of having a visiting carer – someone who visits at set times of the day or even overnight – to provide the support you need. If you require ongoing support, it may be best to have a live-in carer, living at home with you to provide 24 hour care. Read more about what live in care covers here.
Many carers support with other tasks in addition to personal care. In fact, they’re also trained to administer medication, help those with limited mobility to move safely around the home (especially using hoists and supports) and can prepare meals, complete household chores and even offer companionship, ongoing support and encouragement.
Please get in touch with our team to find out more about what a carer can support with. Your local Helping Hands specialist can visit you at home to discuss the options and arrange the type of support you’re looking for.
Arranging professional personal support for a loved one
Sometimes personal care matters can be difficult for a close family member of friend to carry out, with some feeling awkward about a change in relationship or uncomfortable about completing the more intimate tasks.
In instances like these, it can be much easier for a trained carer who is accustomed to supporting with personal care to step in and help. Choosing someone that your loved one feels comfortable with – whether they are male, female, young or old – means that carer becomes a regular friendly face offering gentle encouragement, and even an extra source of support.
Please get in touch if you’d like to speak to one of our home care experts about elderly care or the other types of support we have available.
Personal care for someone living with dementia
It is common for someone who is living with dementia to need support with personal care matters. But this can be difficult if that person is experiencing anxiety and confusion over who people are and shame and embarrassment over more intimate activities such as bathing and dressing.
We train our carers to try and understand any sources of anxiety or resulting aggression from someone who is living with a type of dementia. They offer gentle encouragement and support to help your loved one feel at ease. Sometimes it’s as simple as offering extra space, or even demonstrating the task for them.
Building trust is always essential, and a regular carer can build an ongoing relationship and rapport. That carer will promote independence as much as possible, allowing your loved one to make choices themselves, such as what they’d like to wear, and keeping to the daily routines that are most important to them.
Over half of our customers are living with some form of dementia, which is why we provide dementia training to each of our carers. We have plenty of experts and specialists here who can help with promoting your loved one’s independence and advise on tactics if you or your family are struggling.
Find out more or get in touch if you’d like to speak to one of our specialists.
Support with a stoma, catheter or other form of clinical intervention
Having a stoma or catheter doesn’t mean that you can’t live independently and comfortably at home. With an expert team of registered nurses at Helping Hands, many of our carers are trained in changing catheter bags, stomas and different types of continence pads, always putting your dignity and comfort first.
It can be distressing when accidents happen, but your carer will make sure that you’re fully comfortable. They’ll help you change into clean clothes, with your dignity always their main focus.
Personal Care FAQs
Personal care is an umbrella term commonly used to define the range of services put in place to support an individual with personal hygiene and toileting, along with dressing and maintaining your personal appearance.
Personal care can include but is not limited to; bathing and showering, including bed-baths, applying lotions and creams as required, dressing and getting ready for bed, oral hygiene, continence care and much more.
Washing your hands is one of, if not the most important personal hygiene practice. While there are many other important aspects of personal hygiene, by far the most important step you can take to prevent the spreading of germs is washing your hands.
Your local authority might be able to help with some of the costs of personal care, but you may be liable for full payment yourself. It is worth contacting your local council to see if there is any additional funding support available.
Need more information?
We’re here seven days a week to talk through your home care needs and find the best option for you. Call 03300376958 or request a callback and we will call you.
Page reviewed by Louise Bradley, Regional Care Director on November 8, 2021