is reader supported. I may earn a small share of sales from some of the links on this page, at no extra cost to you. Learn More.

Personal Hygiene and Grooming Checklist for the Elderly

Personal hygiene and grooming are important for everyone no matter how old or their state of health. However, seniors need to take care of these two topics more so than anyone else. Never forget basic hygiene like hand washing or keeping fingernails trimmed. Brush your teeth every morning and evening. Hygiene and grooming go hand in hand so look after your hair and use a fragrance.

As we get older our immune systems become more susceptible to infections and our skin becomes more fragile and thinner, sometimes made worse by our medications.

RELATED: Guide to hygiene assistive devices

Personal Hygiene Checklist:

A simple checklist will help your senior (whether it’s you or an elderly relative) to look after their body and build self-confidence.

Basic Hygiene

You should do certain tasks regularly, some more often than others. A good hand washing habit will help protect from common infections picked up during the handling of public property. Always wash hands after visiting the toilet, before handling food and before meals.

Germs live on the surfaces on the bus or train, public grab bars, and door handles. So, always wash as soon as you get home. Always use a good quality soap, or antibacterial handwash for better protection and wash hands for at least twenty seconds. Don’t forget to clean under the fingernails with a nailbrush as many infections start here.

Wash your face at least in the morning and evening. This will remove dust and grease that accumulate in wrinkles and the pores and so prevent skin problems. If the senior wears face makeup, remove every trace of it before bed.

Keep fingernails trimmed, either curved and following the profile of the finger or straight across. Cut toenails in a straight line. Don’t forget to remove all sharp corners with a nail file after trimming.

Body hygiene

There’s no need to take a shower or bath every day as you can strip natural oils from the skin exposing it to invasion from bacteria and fungal infections. Two or three times a week is usually ample, but ask your doctor because you might have an underlying health condition that needs frequent washing.

Don’t forget to wash those parts that collect grime and produce sweat. Feet and between the toes, the genitals, armpits and anywhere there are wrinkles and skin folds. Wash thoroughly with soap and water, and pat dry afterward.

After washing use a good un-perfumed skin moisturizer to replace the natural oils and keep the skin flexible.

Oral hygiene

Brush your teeth every morning after breakfast and the last thing at night, at least. After meals, floss to remove any food particles. Visit the dentist every six months or as often as the dentist advises. Replace your toothbrush every three months and if possible, change to an electric version.

Use a good quality toothpaste recommended by your dentist. Finally, if you wear dentures, soak them in a sterilizing solution overnight and brush them to remove food particles. Rinse the dentures after every meal.

Check your body

Possibly, one of the most important reasons to regularly wash your entire body, is that it allows you to inspect every square inch for abnormalities, cuts, skin problems or unusual lumps. If you find any that you’re not sure of, see your doctor immediately.

Grooming Checklist:

Grooming and personal hygiene go hand in hand and show to the world that you take pride in your appearance and look after your body. Grooming is very important for the elderly as it provides self-confidence when dealing with other people and the world at large.

Whereas hygiene practices look after the body, grooming improves your outlook on life and provides reassurance that you’re doing everything you can to look after yourself.


Look after your hair, washing it when you shower. If you can’t manage to shampoo because of mobility problems, then go to a salon or ask someone to do it for you. Use a mild un-perfumed shampoo because the scalp can be very sensitive.

Although there is nothing right or wrong about having long or short hair, have your hair trimmed and shaped properly to improve your appearance and self-confidence.


Once again, having facial hair or not, is a purely personal preference. However, keeping it neat and tidy gives your senior self-confidence. Shaving armpits and legs is also a personal preference, but if you like to shave, take care not to cut the skin as they take longer to heal for seniors. Use only senior-friendly razors, check the best shavers for seniors.

Nail care

It’s important to look after your nails both from a hygiene and appearance point of view. Keep nails trimmed as mentioned before, but if you like to look good, visit a beautician for a manicure and pedicure. It’s important to regularly look at your nails so you can check for cuts and fungal infections. Especially, toenails that spend a lot of time covered up. Use the right tools to trim, check some of the best toenail clippers.


Well applied make up gives a person an extra boost to their self-confidence. However, don’t overdo it. Keep your makeup understated unless you’re confident that you know exactly what you’re doing.

If you can afford to visit a professional make up artist before going to a special occasion, you will feel like a million dollars. When the time comes to remove the makeup, do so with a good removal cream and apply moisturizer to your face immediately afterward.

Use a Fragrance

Both men and women benefit from wearing a fragrance. There are many types available, ranging from under-arm deodorant, to aftershave lotion, to cologne or full-on perfume. You take your choice depending on the purpose and your budget.

There’s nothing wrong with just smelling of soap and water, but using a fragrance will give that added confidence boost and finish off your grooming perfectly.

Wear Clean and Neat Clothing

Unless you have messy hobbies such as restoring vintage cars, house restoration or gardening, you’ll want to always wear clothing that has been newly cleaned and is in good repair. However, this doesn’t mean you have to buy expensive new clothes all the time.

Just keep your existing clothes clean and neat and they’ll last many years. Furthermore, if you’re tired of your existing clothes and want a change, thrift stores sell good quality but pre-used clothes. So, you don’t have to spend a fortune to look good.

What’s next?

Stay active, walk, run, exercise and take care of your hygiene. While you spend your time in the bathroom, you should prevent yourself from falls, check bathroom grab bars and non slip bath mat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *