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Importance, Risk Assessment, and Issues Involving Personal Hygiene

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1. Explain why personal hygiene is important 

Maintaining personal hygiene is very important for individuals. With increasing levels of education, people are becoming more concerned about personal hygiene issues. Personal hygiene is essential for the following reasons-

  • Ensuring sanitation: personal hygiene ensures proper sanitation of human beings. Modern educated individuals tend to maintain their hygiene attributes to ensure appropriate hygiene. When someone is neat and clean, s/he feels immense confidence. His/her self-esteem tends to be higher, and people around him or her used to like him/her. These things trigger the need for maintaining proper hygiene. 
  • Maintaining a healthy sound condition: personal hygiene is an essential factor for maintaining sound health. It is said that a sound mind lives in sound health. Therefore, to think fresh, one needs to stay fresh. Positive thinking is generated inside a healthy body and soul. 
  • Keeping away from diseases: the most apparent reason to stay sanitised is to keep away from diseases. Germs, bacteria, and viruses attack a vulnerable, unhealthy body. On average, the human hand holds 132 different kinds of bacteria. Such bacteria can cause many fatal diseases. Virus fever, pneumonia, typhoid, tuberculosis, diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery etc., spread due to unhealthy and vulnerable body condition. Such infections can even appear deadly sometimes. Therefore, to stay away from these diseases, maintaining personal hygiene is extremely important. 
  • Increasing productivity: study results show that a healthy and sanitised individual tends to work better than others. Eventually, workplace productivity increases and people start to perform better. Physical illness is one of the significant causes of productivity decline. Hence, when personal hygiene is ensured, tasks become easy to accomplish. 
2. Describe the effects of poor personal hygiene on health and wellbeing

The consequences of poor personal hygiene are overwhelming. Sometimes they may even cause many dangerous diseases. For example, taking a bath daily causes body odour and sometimes may cause skin diseases as well. 

Not only that, poor personal hygiene causes social embarrassment as well. For instance, not brushing every day causes bad breath and interrupts normal conversation. People sometimes face humiliating situations due to bad breath from the mouth. Unhealthy physical conditions result in diarrhoea, dysentery, viral fever, cough, skin diseases etc., in severe cases; they might cause asthma, typhoid, tuberculosis and the like. Social consequences of poor hygiene include the following-

  • Unavoidable humiliating situations: people who do not maintain personal hygiene properly face humiliating problems in their social life. For example, people who wear sweater dresses sometimes experience humiliation from their friends. 
  • Explicit or public embarrassment: the consequence can be a public embarrassment as well. 
  • Social boycotting: health and hygiene conscious people often avoid people who do not care about hygiene issues. It may lead to social boycotting. 
  • Problems in a relationship: often, it results in deterioration in personal relationships. People who view hygiene as an essential issue may avoid interaction with unhygienic people (Coney, 2000). 
3. Describe how to maintain the dignity of an individual when supporting intimate personal hygiene
  • Personal hygiene is crucial for one’s own physical needs. Therefore, a minimal level of cleanliness is deemed to be maintained by everyone. Whereas there are many individuals who do not comply with the rules and regulations of hygiene, there also exist people who are over conscious about their personal hygiene. It becomes hard to maintain relationships with such types of people. Many individuals suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Such a syndrome occurs when people maintain an intense level of personal hygiene. For example, many people cannot sleep with others. They always sleep in a single bed separately. This may cause severe problems in personal relationships (Jones, 2002). Their counterparts would react negatively to this, relatives may find it offensive, and friends might be disappointed in such conduct. In such a situation, maintaining dignity becomes very difficult. In such a situation, a person needs to be careful while keeping relationships and interaction with people. Some precautions need to be taken. For example, the person needs to clarify his/her stand on hygiene. S/he must explain adequately and admit that it is his/her limitation, not avoidance or any sort of negligence of people. 
4. Identify risks to own health in supporting an individual with personal hygiene routines

It is desirable to assist others in accomplishing personal hygiene routines. But in many cases, it might bring risk to one’s health. This is particularly more apparent to care workers (Stavans, 2010). Therefore, maintaining one’s health hygiene is essential while assisting others. An individual may face several types of risks while supporting an individual with personal hygiene routines. Such risks can take forms of-

  • Physical risk: a care worker may fall sick when serving a person to achieve personal hygiene. For example, a patient might be suffering from acute tuberculosis and might require 24-hour assistance. Such a situation can pose a threat to the person who will take care of it as well. Hence it is pretty risky.
  • Psychological risk: apart from the physical threat of falling sick, the psychological risk of getting affected by germs and bacteria is also prominent. For instance, it is known to all that many diseases spread through touch, physical contact, or using the same objects of the affected person (Peloso, 2002). In such a situation, the care worker or whoever helps achieve personal hygiene will get frightened psychologically. 
  • Conflict risk: Another possible risk might be the risk of potential conflict between the care worker and the patient. It may arise due to the difference of perception. For example, the care worker might not mind using the same towel as the patient, but the patient might think otherwise.  
5. Identify others who may be involved in supporting the individual to maintain personal hygiene

While maintaining personal hygiene, individuals may receive help from the following types of people-

  • Family members: Family members play a critical supporting role in maintaining an individuals’ personal hygiene needs. For example, parents can arrange separate towels, soap, utensils and other daily usage items for their children. 
  • Friends: friends who view personal hygiene issues positively can help others to maintain hygiene factors. For example, a friend will never offer street food to a friend who is reluctant to eat. 
  • Peers: peers can also render help in maintaining personal hygiene. For example, a colleague or classmate will never use private properties such as a napkin, lipstick, sock etc., of someone who has compulsive complexities. Instead, they will stop others from using those if they are not aware of the situation. 
6. Identify underlying personal issues that may be a cause of poor personal hygiene

There may exist several personal issues that might be the root cause of poor personal hygiene. Such cases may include-

  • Lack of awareness: a particular person might not know enough about the importance and need of personal hygiene (Gronden, 2011). Such lack of attention may be one underlying cause of poor personal hygiene. For example, one might not know that using a standard toilet runs the risk of spreading water-borne diseases. Therefore, they would not take necessary precautions before using them. 
  • Apathy to maintain personal hygiene: some other people know the consequences of maintaining poor hygiene yet do not improve their habit. The underlying reason is the apathy or lack of interest to follow those. For example, many people do not use soap while washing their hands before eating. It is not like they do not know about not washing hands but rather their apathy to washing. Such instances are also noticed in the case of brushing. Many people do not brush after eating, although they do so before eating. 
7. Describe how underlying personal issues might be addressed

There are several ways to address underlying emotional problems. Some of them include the following-

  • Analysing personal behaviour/daily activities: analysing an individual’s daily activities or behaviour can reveal a lot about that person’s issues. For example, a person might leave his/her dishes on the table after having lunch in the office canteen, or might not flash the toilet commode after using it. Such misconduct reveals significant findings of personal hygiene issues. For instance, by observing the behaviour mentioned above of a particular person, it can be said that the person is not careful of his/ her personal hygiene needs. 
  • Addressing the health care practice of individuals: addressing the health care practice can be yet another way of addressing personal issues. For instance, if someone does not take a bath regularly, s/he is supposed to be less careful about personal hygiene. It is said that everyone should visit the dentist at least twice a year for oral cleanliness. If someone does not follow this, it can be assumed that s/he is not conscious regarding this matter.  
  • Educational qualification: yet another important parameter can be the educational qualification of a person. A higher educational qualification usually indicates better personal hygiene awareness. On the other hand, a lower academic level typically indicates less care about personal hygiene. 













  • Gronden, J. (2011). Health care and EU law. The Hague, The Netherlands: T.M.C. Asser Press.
  • Hawkins, D., Coney, K. and Best, R. (2000). Consumer behavior. Dallas, Tex.: Business Publications.
  • Peloso, J. (2002). Health care. New York: H.W. Wilson.
  • Stavans, I. (2010). Health care. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood.
  • Global health: Nutrition and poverty. (2012). Nutrition and Health, 21(2), pp.93-96.
  • Messer, D. and Jones, F. (2000). Psychology and social care. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Stavans, I. (2010). Health care. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood.
  • Witter, S., Ensor, T., Jowett, M. and Thompson, R. (2000). Health economics for developing countries. Amsterdam: KIT Publishers.


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