Caregiving: Soiled Clothes and Linens: It happens!

Here is a topic that is not often shared, so let me do the honors. Our older adults often sit and lay more than they move around. When it comes to caring for the elderly, hygiene issues are surprisingly common and soiled clothes and linen can add to the equation. This is especially true as physical and mental decline occurs. It is so important, however, to keep a routine of getting up, getting dressed, and at bedtime ensuring bed linen is fresh and free from wrinkles and crinkles. If you are turning up your nose due to clothes and linen, its time to wash!

Keeping clothes, bed linens and pillows clean can be time consuming, especially with all the other shenanigans going on in the caregiving space. There no doubt that we want our loved-one clean while up during the day and at bedtime. Changing clothing and bed linen can occur many times during the day. It is necessary in some cases, but we know it is worth the effort…RIGHT? We never want soiled clothing or soiled bed linen to cause a problem with the skin of our loved one. We also have to be mindful of potential infection for those who may have depressed immune systems.

Be Careful with Cleaning Products!

Another thought I’d like to share centers around the type of products you use to clean the clothing and linen of your loved-one. All products are not created equal. What I will suggest is that you avoid using massive amounts of any cleaning agents(detergent or bleach) when washing the items of older adults. Bleaching linen should be done with caution. A lot of cleaning products contain ammonia. Be careful with ammonia products; don’t mix with bleach.

Finally, with all clothing and bed linen, make sure they are breathable and light weight. There is nothing like being comfortable in the clothes you wear and bed where your rest and sleep. Cotton is often a good choice because it is comfortable and it feels good. As your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, my goal is to share tips and strategies to prevent problems. When we know better, we do better…RIGHT? Be well!

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