Introduction and Background
Personal Hygiene is a very important facet as it helps in preventing ill-health among elderly people (Landi and et. al, 2007). For these individuals it is imperative that, they take steps for maintaining personal hygiene as it can have a central role to play in the process of delivering high quality care services. This research study undertakes the task of explaining role and thus focuses on importance or necessity of personal hygiene so as to prevent ill-health in elderly individuals in London Boroughs. There are a number of aspects which have to be kept in mind in this regard. For instance, personal hygiene includes washing hands at regular intervals, maintaining personal cleanliness of surroundings, bathing, oral care, etc. These all help in personal hygiene and thus assist in preventing different illnesses and diseases which may arise if attention is not paid on maintaining the same (Ekwall, Sivberg and Hallberg, 2005). Recently, many research investigations and studies have been observed that, personal hygiene has a very crucial role to play in the process of averting different illnesses and diseases. Such issues are all the more very common among elderly people, as they are the ones who can succumb to it very easily (Sjögren and et. al, 2008). Main purpose of conducting this research investigation is to evaluate the role and importance of personal hygiene in reducing issues of illnesses among elderly people in London Boroughs. In this regard it can be said that, maintaining personal hygiene among such individuals is imperative, primarily because of reason that, it helps in ensuring those various diseases that may arise due to non-maintenance of different personal hygiene factors (Wilhelmson, 2005).
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Various authors in the past have said that, lack of effective and well maintained personal hygiene is important because it result in development of different illnesses or diseases but also these issues can give rise to different mental disorders among the elderly people. In this sense, it can be linked with dignity among individuals (Multanen, 2015). Health and Hygiene go hand in hand which means that, if proper hygiene is maintained among elderly people, then it would result in maintaining their health. Further, if proper personal hygiene standards are maintained in an elderly person, then it could be said that, their health related condition is very good. In this sense, it can be said that, maintaining personal hygiene helps in preventing different health related issues from rising and developing in an elderly person (Stevenson, 2008).
Conducting Any Research Investigation
For Conducting Any Research Investigation in an effective manner, it is important to obtain thorough information regarding the topic under study. This way researcher can increase knowledge base and use different kind of information in a proper manner so as to ensure that aim of the research is attained. Through the chapter of literature review, various past studies and investigations pertaining to the topic are assessed in compliance with aim and objectives of present research. These way readers can also obtain thorough knowledge about topic and understand various technical jargon and statements. In this section of the present study, different studies conducted in the past associated with the topic have been studied and evaluated.
Importance of personal hygiene among elderly people
Personal Hygiene is one of the most important aspects of elderly care, as it determines effectiveness and efficiency of care services which is being provided to such individuals. In this regard Willis and et. al (2006) states that maintaining personal hygiene can help in ensuring that proper care is delivered to elderly people and also that, they are able to lead a comfortable as well as a healthy life (Evren, 2011). In recent years it has been observed that, health care standards among elder people has reduced drastically, due to which chances of these people falling prey to different diseases and illnesses has increased substantially, as recalled by Ekwall, Sivberg and Hallberg (2005). Thus it can be said that, good personal hygiene will help in not only promoting psychological well-being in concerned individuals but also help in maintaining good physical health (Hassan, 2012). Sjögren and et al. (2008) reviewed the effects estimates and methodological quality of randomized controlled trails (RCTs). During this study, RCTs gave positive effects of oral hygiene on diseases such pneumonia and respiratory tract infection among elderly people. On the basis of this research it can be said that, maintaining certain personal hygiene levels and standards is very important among elderly people (Importance of Good Personal Hygiene, 2010). Further, Stevenson (2008) in his study states that, personal hygiene is also related with aspects of dignity, self respect, etc. Herein the author suggests that, for elder people it is imperative to maintain standards of personal hygiene, as it is directly related with their image among people. For instance, if such an individual maintains such standards, like if they cut their nails or bath every day, then they would feel good about themselves and be able to present a positive image among people (Saga, 2005).
Role of personal hygiene in reducing occurrences of illness among elderly people
Multanen (2015) states that in order to ensure that elderly people do not have to face issues regarding different health related illnesses, personal hygiene is of great importance. In the past various authors and academicians through their studies have shown that in context of elderly care, maintaining levels of personal hygiene are of significant importance (Willis and et. al, 2006). Herein Stevenson (2008) believes that by accomplishing this aspect, effective health care services can be delivered to concerned people. Hassan (2012) supports it by saying that special attention must be paid towards cleanliness of the skin, as it can become a primary source of infection in body of the concerned person. This aspect becomes all the more important considering fact that in old age skin becomes very fragile and vulnerable (Teeri, Leino-Kilpi and Välimäki, 2006). In this regard, Saga (2005) found that care for elderly people is one of the pressing issues for the society. Therefore to maintain long and healthy life, self-care or personal hygiene is of significant importance. This means that health care bodies must take steps to ensure that such kind of care is delivered to the concerned individuals and thus enabling them to lead a healthy as well as comfortable life (Holt, 2012).
Effect of personal hygiene on non-health-related quality of life among elderly people
Maintaining personal hygiene not only influences an individual in terms of their health related condition, but it also has an effect over other aspects of their life which may not be linked with health related concepts (Fialová and et. al, 2005). It can be supported through fact that personal hygiene influence dignity and self respect of such people. World Health Organization (WHO) defines health and well being as “complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of infirmity” (Soldato, 2007). This means that if an individual is to be declared as healthy and fit, it is imperative that they fulfil these criteria as well. To be able to do so, personal hygiene would be very important. According to Sjögren and et. al (2008) personal hygiene can have a significant impact over non-health-related aspects of quality of life of an elderly person. One of them is that of dignity (Teeri, Leino-Kilpi and Välimäki, 2006). Further Willis and et. al 2006) believes that personal hygiene can have a prominent impact over social lives and status of such people. If good levels are maintained in this context, then it can be said that elderly individuals would can enjoy a good social life and status in the society (Landi and et. al, 2007).
Methodology is related to different tools and methods that can be used in order to conduct a research study and also authenticate and validate the field of investigation. In the present research, theory of positivism has been used (Munkejord, 2009). Main reason behind using this theory in this scholarly work is that it would help in keeping role of the researcher to a minimum. This way authenticity of data collected through different sources can be preserved, ensuring that most optimum results are obtained.
It is very important that a particular design is selected and used while conducting any study, mainly because of reason that it has a significant impact on overall efficiency and effectiveness of the investigation. It can be stated to be a form of “blue-print” of the study (Maxwell, 2012). Quantitative research design has been used in this research, as it is a type of social survey. This design would be highly effective and useful in meeting aim of the study.
A very crucial part of conducting a research investigation is to decide on ways to collect data or information for the study. There are mainly two types of sources of data collection – primary and secondary (Olsen, 2011). In this investigation, primary data will be gathered by way of questionnaire survey among students of St. Patrick College, currently working in different care homes. This will enable the researcher to contact many people in less amount of time. Further, secondary data would be collected by way of reviewing past books, journals, articles, etc. on the topic.
In the present study on personal hygiene the quantitative technique has been used so as to analyse the collected data from college going students. 1-way ANOVA test was used to analyse the data collected through questionnaire survey of college students working in care home. Here two variables have been used. Independent variable is Personal Hygiene Level (with three levels – poor, normal and high). The dependent variable will be the number of incidents of illness.
In order to overcome limitations as described above, a Gantt chart had been used. Through this tool researcher had complete information about time at in hand so as to effectively complete the study and ensure that aim and objectives of the researcher are fulfilled (Guercini, 2014).
Reliability and validity
Validity is thought to be a very integral part of an efficient research, as through it the researcher aims to convey accuracy and correctness with which the final results reflect goals of the study (Johnson and Troike, 2002). Validity of research study was ensured by undertaking an accurate primary study from college going students. Data was not manipulated so as or suit the needs of research.
While reliability refers to making sure that there is no discrepancy or shortfalls in the study and irregularities in the final results obtained (Morse, 2008). Reliability of present study was made sure by taking authentic sources for secondary literature. Copyright sources were only used. Proper in texting was also done.
In order to overcome the above mentioned limitations, the researcher made sure to use skimming technique while studying the secondary literature based on topic, this technique saved the time of researcher that was then devoted to analysis section. In the same way, for overcoming the lengthy procedure issue with respect to data collection, prior information was given to college authorities about the research. This ensured that college students were prepared for the survey well in advance.
As per provisions given in Data Protection Act 1998, attention was paid to ensuring that information collected through primary sources is not revealed or accessed by any third person or by unauthorized people (Noor, 2008). This way ethics in context of data collection process was maintained while conducting the present study. In addition to it, attention was paid to not harm to any of the participants consulted in the research, as well as various other sources from which data was collected.
Main aim of conducting this research investigation was to determine the role and importance of personal hygiene levels and susceptibility to illness among elderly people. For the same primary data was collected through questionnaire survey while it was analysed through 1-way ANOVA test. In the following paragraph, thorough discussion has been made about these findings.
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Conclsion And Recommendations
For conducting this research, variety of tools and techniques were used. For instance, primary data was collected through questionnaire survey among 10 students of St. Patrick's College, working in care homes. While secondary was collected through process of reviewing past published books, journals, etc. During the course of study null hypothesis was rejected while alternate hypothesis was accepted, indicating that there is a significant relationship between personal hygiene levels and susceptibility to illness. In addition, it was also found that this aspect of health and social care influences such individual in terms of their mental well-being as well. For instance, if appropriate personal hygiene levels are maintained, then the concerned individual can feel confident about themselves.
On the basis of this study, it can be recommended that management of care homes must pay a lot of attention towards personal hygiene levels of elderly people. In this context, they should ensure that these people change their clothes everyday and wash the dirty ones regular. Further, they must also be instructed to brush their teeth everyday and other such oral care measures must also be taken. These patients must also wash their hands before and after meals, after using toilet, coughing, sneezing, etc. These measures will help in ensuring that adequate personal hygiene levels are maintained among these elderly people at the care home and thus enable them to lead a healthy lifestyle.
In the same way, there may also be a need to make changes in the policy and procedures linked to maintaining personal hygiene in hospitals. In the same way, research may also be needed to be carried out on the strategies that are presently used for maintain personal hygiene. Here, view point of healthcare professionals can be taken.
Landi, F. and et. al., 2007. Physical activity prevented functional decline among frail community-living elderly subjects in an international observational study. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.
Fialová, D. and et. al., 2005. Potentially inappropriate medication use among elderly home care patients in Europe. Jama.
Teeri, S., Leino-Kilpi, H. and Välimäki, M., 2006. Long-term nursing care of elderly people: identifying ethically problematic experiences among patients, relatives and nurses in Finland. Nursing ethics.
Willis, S. L. and et. al., 2006. Long-term effects of cognitive training on everyday functional outcomes in older adults. Jama.
Rosenthal, R. and Rosnow, R., 2008. Essentials of Behavioral Research: Methods and Data Analysis. 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill Companies.