Chapter 1: Personal hygiene

Skin care

Rubbing lotion and massaging it into her hands and feet seemed to be one of the few things she enjoyed when she was so sick, and I felt more connected to her knowing I could do this small comforting gesture for her.

Anyone who remains lying or sitting in one position for more than a couple of hours is at risk for skin breakdown. This can lead to pressure sores, also known as pressure ulcers or bedsores. These skin problems can be painful and decrease a person’s quality of life.

If the person who is ill cannot change position in bed or is limited to sitting in a chair, they need to be helped to change position every hour or two. Good skin care, repositioning, and pressure reduction are all necessary to prevent skin problems and to keep small problems from getting worse. Click the tabs below for helpful tips and guidelines.

Watch the video for a demonstration and tips on caring for the skin.

Personal Hygiene - Caring for the Skin from Canadian Virtual Hospice on Vimeo.