NUR-101 Nursing Assisstant Training Institute – Elsie has dementia. She is a resident in a high-care nursing home. She needs significant help with personal care


Elsie has dementia. She is a resident in a high-care nursing home. She needs significant help with personal care, including showering, grooming, dressing, feeding, toileting and transferring.

Damien is a young man with MS. He has sound cognitive ability but is dependent on his wife for assistance with all activities of daily living. His wife needs to go to hospital so she has arranged for home nursing while she is unable to look after Damien. Damien will tell the carers what he requires and how he likes things to be done.

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Jessie carers for her mother, Maria, who lives next door to her. Maria is frail cognitive function and able to undertake most activities of daily living without assistance. Jessie is having a baby in four weeks’ time.

Jessie has arranged for her mother to go into respite care for a month after the baby is born so she has some time to recover from the birth and get used to her role as a mother. She is relieved that Maria will be safe and have meals cooked for her.

Describe the differences between the giving of personal care for each of these situations.

Is it a ‘one-size fits all’ approach, or is care planned for the individual needs of each client?


Personal Care in Different Caregiving Scenarios: Tailoring Care for Individual Needs


Personal care plays a crucial role in maintaining the well-being and quality of life for individuals requiring assistance with daily activities. However, it is essential to recognize that the provision of personal care is not a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Caregiving must be planned and customized according to the unique needs and circumstances of each client. In this essay, we will explore and compare the giving of personal care in three different scenarios: Elsie’s dementia care in a nursing home, Damien’s care at home while his wife is unavailable, and Jessie’s arrangement of respite care for her frail mother, Maria.

Personal Care for Elsie in a High-Care Nursing Home

Elsie’s situation involves significant dependency on caregivers due to her dementia. As she needs help with various activities, including showering, grooming, dressing, feeding, toileting, and transferring, her care plan must be comprehensive and tailored to her specific needs. Caregivers in a nursing home setting are trained to provide specialized assistance for residents with dementia, focusing on promoting comfort, safety, and maintaining dignity. They must possess the knowledge and skills to manage behavioral challenges and adapt their approach based on Elsie’s unique preferences and abilities.

Showering and Grooming: Given Elsie’s cognitive impairment, caregivers need to employ gentle and compassionate techniques, providing clear verbal instructions, visual cues, and maintaining a calm environment. They should adapt to Elsie’s comfort level and ensure her privacy is respected throughout the process.

Dressing and Feeding: Caregivers must assist Elsie in selecting appropriate clothing and ensure she is dressed comfortably. They should be patient and supportive, allowing her to participate as much as possible. Feeding assistance may involve modifications, such as using utensils adapted to her needs, maintaining a consistent routine, and monitoring her food intake.

Toileting and Transferring: Caregivers must be trained in proper lifting techniques to help Elsie safely transfer from bed to chair or toilet. They should also provide regular toileting reminders, maintain a clean and accessible environment, and ensure her dignity is preserved during these intimate activities.

Personal Care for Damien at Home with Home Nursing

Damien, a young man with multiple sclerosis (MS), requires assistance with all activities of daily living. However, he has sound cognitive ability, allowing him to communicate his needs and preferences effectively (Charvet et al., 2018). In this scenario, home nursing care is arranged while Damien’s wife is unavailable. The focus here is to provide support according to Damien’s instructions and promote his independence as much as possible.

Communication and Autonomy: Home caregivers must actively listen to Damien’s preferences and ensure they are incorporated into the care plan. They should collaborate with him, respecting his choices and empowering him to make decisions about his personal care.

Mobility and Accessibility: Given Damien’s MS, caregivers should ensure that his home environment is adapted to accommodate his mobility needs (Charvet et al., 2018). They may provide assistance with transferring between surfaces, utilizing mobility aids, and creating an accessible living space.

Personal Hygiene and Nutrition: Caregivers must understand Damien’s specific hygiene requirements and accommodate any adaptations needed (Goldenhart, 2022). They should follow his instructions regarding grooming, bathing, and dressing. Regarding nutrition, caregivers should respect Damien’s dietary preferences and assist him in meal planning and preparation accordingly.

Personal Care for Maria in Respite Care

Maria, Jessie’s mother, is a frail individual with cognitive impairment. However, she is relatively independent in undertaking daily activities. Jessie arranges for Maria to go into respite care for a month after giving birth, ensuring Maria’s safety and well-being while Jessie recovers and adjusts to her new role as a mother.

Safety and Meal Preparation: In respite care, the focus is on maintaining a safe and supportive environment for Maria. Caregivers should ensure the living space is free from hazards and that Maria’s individual needs are met, considering any mobility or cognitive challenges (Reinhard, 2008). Meals should be prepared in accordance with Maria’s dietary requirements and preferences.

Social Engagement and Mental Stimulation: Caregivers should provide opportunities for Maria to engage in social activities and cognitive stimulation. This can include group interactions, gentle exercises, reminiscence therapy, or activities tailored to her interests and abilities.


In conclusion, personal care should never be approached as a “one-size-fits-all” model. Each client’s unique needs, abilities, and circumstances must be taken into account when planning and providing care. Whether it is the comprehensive care for Elsie in a nursing home, tailoring care for Damien’s specific instructions at home, or ensuring the safety and well-being of Maria during respite care, individualized care plans must be developed. By understanding and accommodating the distinct requirements of each client, caregivers can provide compassionate, respectful, and effective personal care, optimizing the overall well-being and quality of life for those in need.


Charvet, L., Shaw, M. J., Sherman, K., Haas, S., & Krupp, L. B. (2018). Timed instrumental activities of daily living in multiple sclerosis: The test of everyday cognitive ability (TECA). Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, 23, 69–73. 

Goldenhart, A. L. (2022, September 26). Assisting Patients With Personal Hygiene. StatPearls – NCBI Bookshelf. 

Reinhard, S. C. (2008, April 1). Supporting Family Caregivers in Providing Care. Patient Safety and Quality – NCBI Bookshelf. 


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