#78 - Dignity & Hygiene
Many individuals with disabilities are dependent on caregivers to present them to society with the dignity they deserve. Some hygiene and care will require creativity, persistence, and continual reminders that it matters and our loved one is worth it.
Geege Tayor is widely known in the autism community as a mother who places high standards on the way her son is presented to the world. Geege goes the mile as her son’s dignity surrogate and as a result has several hygiene tips and tricks that she has refined over the last 16 years.
The first half of the conversation is a discussion about going the extra mile to ensure our loved ones are presented to the world with dignity and why it matters. The second half covers Geege’s tips and tricks for dental hygiene, fashion, acne, shaving, showering, and haircuts.
Mentioned in This Episode:
The episode begins with a lengthy discussion on what it means to be a dignity surrogate for our loved ones and the importance of presenting them to the world with dignity.
Stay consistent and use the same person for haircuts. Ask if you can come after hours (tip accordingly). Know some months will be better than others. Just come with your bag of tricks (Geege shares hers in this episode) and stick with it.
When shaving, use a small straight razor rather than the bulky3 headed razor for the upper lip. Shave everyday at the same time until it becomes routine. As with the haircuts, consistency is the key.
Brushing teeth can be tricky. Again, be consistent and do the best you can. Keep trying different things. There are toothbrushes that sing, vibrate, etc. Geege uses the Collis Curve Toothbrush, a curved toothbrush that hugs the teeth and gets the job done faster. Again, just do best you can, make it routine during several times throughout the day, and stay consistent. Pootie likes the taste of mouthwash so Geege will dip a washcloth in it and rub his teeth and cheek. With this method, he lets her stay in his mouth longer. She will also wash Pootie’s chewies to keep his breath fresh.
If you need a quick clean or have someone who won’t get in the tub, squirt bottles with a warm soapy mix can be used to squirt in places needing attention.
It’s good to have several methods for the same purpose in the hygiene routine so all bases are covered and if one thing doesn’t take care of it, the next thing might.
You can see these hygiene tips via video on Geege’s instagram (@geegetaylor) account and their weekly youtube show Planet Poot.
Episode 10: Dignity and Disability with guest Nicole Feeney