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Microsoft word - organisation for women _proofread 080709_
PERSONAL CARE AND HYGIENE: FOR WOMEN
Moving from Secondary School to
Higher/Further Education or Employment
Some people with specific learning difficulties find many aspects of personal care
challenging. The following practical ideas have been helpful to many people and
may also be useful to you.
Try using labour-saving gadgets, such as electric toothbrushes and razors to help
you. If you have poor balance, try to carry out tasks when you are seated. This
will improve your stability as well as your co-ordination and fine motor skills. PERSONAL CARE
• Look for modern, non-iron fabrics and styles as many of them are
attractive, easy to care for and easy to wear.
• Patterned fabrics mask stains better than plain ones.
• Buy clothes with few or no fastenings, such as trousers/skirts/shorts with
elasticated waists and t-shirts/polo shirts.
• Avoid clothes with tight neck holes as they are harder to put on.
• Use alternatives to traditional fastenings – poppers and Velcro are easier
to operate than laces, small buttons and zips.
• Store your clothes in an organised way. Put labels on drawers and
cupboards to show their contents or colour code them to help you remember what’s in them. Storing them in the order that you will put them on may also be helpful. For example, underwear and socks in the top drawer, trousers/skirts in the next drawer, t-shirts in the third drawer, then jumpers.
• Storing trousers, skirts, dresses and shirts on clothes hangers and
hanging them up helps keep clothes crease-free.
• Try using separate baskets for storing underwear and socks/tights.
• Peg your shoes together to help you find them more easily the next time
• Placing clothes in order, either on a hanger or on the floor makes it easier
to match colours and see how well they match before putting them on.
• If you have difficulty with new fastenings/buttons, practise them when you
• Match your clothes to the event/activities.
• Before dressing lay out clothes layer by layer, with underwear on top.
• Look for visual clues such as logos, seams and labels that indicate the
garment’s front/back, inside/outside.
• When dressing/undressing, make sure you are in a balanced position.
Dressing while sat on the floor may make the task easier.
• A make-up lesson is a useful way of finding out what colours and styles
suit you. You will also receive tips on easy ways to apply make-up.
• There are many time-saving make-up types in shops today. Look for tinted
moisturisers as an alternative to foundation, lip glosses as an alternative to lipstick and crème eye-shadow which can be applied with fingers instead of powder which usually requires a brush application.
• If you use mascara, think about having your eyelashes dyed instead. This
only needs to be done a few times a year and will save on time and daily smudging mistakes.
• Make sure you are sat down in a well-balanced position before starting to
apply make-up. If your balance is poor, your ability to do any fine/fiddly task will be reduced.
• Putting make-up on in a set order will help it become a routine and habit.
• Using a good magnifying mirror can make it easier to see what you are
• Restrict the number of colours for eye shadow and lipstick. This makes it
easier to get it right. Stick to colours that complement your skin tone and eye colour rather than the colour of your clothes.
• Remember, too little make-up is always better than too much.
• It is also important to remove make-up thoroughly at the end of the day as
well. Using facial wipes rather than cleaners and cotton wool will save time.
• Have a hairstyle that is easy to style.
• There are many different styling products available now that make styling
hair easier to do. Look for blow dry sprays and straightening lotions to save styling time and effort.
• A style that can be almost dried with ‘rough drying’ first and then finished
off with hair straighteners or some styling products to keep it in place is easy to manage.
• Using a long-handled hair brush and/or comb can help you reach and look
• Longer hair can be tied up or held back using a hair clip.
• Let someone else shape your eye-brows for you first, and then maintain
the shape yourself. A local beautician or hairdressing salon will be able to do this for you.
• A good magnifying mirror will make it easier to see what you are doing.
• Have your teeth regularly checked and cleaned by a dentist or hygienist.
• For fresh breath when out, try using sugar-free chewing gum.
• Where possible use electric shavers or use hair removing cream instead
• Pick products that have built-in safety guards.
• A good magnifying mirror will make it easier to remove facial hair.
• Shaving legs may be easier if you sit down on the floor, on the edge of the
bed or the toilet seat. If done while standing in the shower you may feel unstable and this could lead to an accident.
• Consider visiting a beauty salon for regular waxing to limit the amount of
• If balance, fine motor control, body awareness, and organisation are
problematic then menstruation could also be difficult to manage.
• Stick on pads (without side panels or wings) are easier to place and
• If using tampons for the first time, start to put the tampons in while in a
squatting position or on the toilet as this give more stability than standing up.
• Some people need a reminder to change their pads/tampons. A watch or
mobile phone with a timer set to go off every few hours can help.
• The commonest choice for the female is to take an oral contraceptive pill.
In view of HIV and AIDS it is advisable for the male partner to use a
condom as well.
• As some forms of oral contraception need to be taken on a regular basis,
you may need a reminder to take it. The combined Pill contains both oestrogen and progesterone and needs to be taken within 12 hours of the same time each day. The mini-pill has only progesterone in it and needs to be taken at the same time each day.
• A watch or mobile phone with a timer/alarm set can help.
• A buzzer reminder or a talking alarm clock can also be used as a reminder
to take the pill each morning after waking up. If it is part of a sequence of other activities, like teeth cleaning, it is less likely to be forgotten.
• There is an injectable form of contraception which needs to be given every
12 weeks. You would need to speak to your GP or family planning clinic about this.
• Using toilet wipes after using the toilet can be more effective than standard
toilet paper. These are available from most supermarkets.
• If your balance is poor consider having a seat fitted in the shower. Having
a strong handrail fitted by the bath/shower may also be useful.
• A bath mat placed in the bath/shower will ensure you don’t slip.
• A long-handled sponge will help you wash areas of your body which are
• Where turning taps on/off is hard, try long-handled tap turners.
EATING AND DRINKING
• Don’t fill cups with too much liquid.
• Using cups with larger handles provides a better grip.
• A kettle tipper may help make pouring easier and safer.
• Use Dycem or a damp dishcloth under plates to stop them moving.
• If using cutlery and utensils is problematic, try practising using them
correctly at home when there is no pressure.
HEALTH AND WELL BEING
• Integrate activities that will improve your general fitness into your lifestyle,
e.g. walk to the shop, walk up stairs rather than using the lift in shops, go for a short walk regularly, go swimming once a week/fortnight.
• Try non-competitive sports and evening classes so you have more control
• Accept that it may take you longer than your peers to learn a new activity.
• Use the internet as a means of gaining confidence and talking to others.
• Joining an evening or day class to learn or improve a hobby or skill can
help socialising. It is an opportunity to meet others with similar interests and allows conversations to be natural and focused on a shared interest.
• If you are feeling low most of the time for more than a few weeks, and
have difficulty sleeping, concentrating on the things that you enjoy or have lost your appetite, you may be depressed and need to see your GP to discuss this further.
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