It can often prove difficult when a family member or patient is palliative and needs to maintain hygiene levels, comfort and dignity. Many people who are palliative are often bed-bound getting hot and uncomfortable, and some cancers can cause heavy sweating.
The person you are looking after will need bed sheets changing frequently and washing regularly. If they can’t get out of bed or wash themselves, you will need to give them a bed bath using Nilaqua. If trying to wash traditionally ask your district nurse to show you how to do this, or may be able to arrange for someone to come in each day to do it.
Sometimes it’s possible for the person you are caring for to have a bath at the local hospice’s day centre. The district nurse or palliative care nurse can usually arrange this.
However as this is not always possible I have compromised a list of essentials items for washing those who are palliative and why…..
- fragrance free body wash – preferably “rinse free” so you can wash around sutures and minimise pain especially if they are bed bound. Not all patients are sensitive to fragrance after chemotherapy but quiet a few are.
- waterless toothbrushes, we recommend smilesaver as it does not require any rinsing or swallowing (foam free) so that if you are lead down there will be no spills.
- waterless shampoo. Anyone who has tried to wash hair in bed will know it is a nightmare, there are many dry shampoo’s on the market, yet if you want an effective deep clean, not a cover up. Please look for a towel off shampoo as it removes grease and dirt with the towel, leaving you feeling like you have just stepped out of the shower.
- Disposable Eco Towel, great for hospitals and hospice stays where you want to minimise the chances of cross infection when you have low immunity.
- shampoo cap, each cap contains a rinse free shampoo which cleans the hair. These can be microwaved for a warm wash but are single use. So the rin