Shaving private areas


#1

Hi, I need some advice because i am not sure how i feel about this.
My son (30’s) lives in a care home for people with profound PD and LD.
He has to wear pads for double incontinence. Recently he was shaved ‘downstairs’ by a carer - he is not able to decide either way and this is the first time ever. He comes home for visits so I was a shocked at first when i changed him - he was bald! I asked the staff and was told its more hygienic. I’m waiting to hear how they actually did it because he has lots of unwanted movements - dystonia and athetoisis with spastic patterns. Plus he doesn’t like the feeling of electric shavers so we wet shave him only on his face.
I am loathe to make a fuss because he seems fine - its just me who feels ‘weirded out’.

Lizzy


#2

Not just you! This would make me really uncomfortable too (pardon the pun - it’ll be really itchy afterwards as well). It’s an intimate process and I’d say it means a best interests decision has been made. The decision should have been documented along with the evidence for why the decision has been made. I’m not sure there’s any evidence that it’s more hygienic and I suspect it’s actually for staff convenience which really isn’t on.


#3

Hello Lizzy. My son is in a similar position and many years ago we made a best interest decision that he should be wet shaved. It came about when he was in respite and following a very loose bowel movement the faeces had spread into his groin area. We were horrified to discover that hadn’t been washed properly afterwards (for two days) and he ended up in agony as the faeces had dried into his pubic hair, removing it was excruciating for my son and very distressing for me and his dad. He has also worn a sheath and urine bag for many years and as the sheath is self adhesive it becomes extremely painful if pubic hair gets trapped in the adhesive. The manufacturer of the sheath recommend that pubic hair is shaved regularly to prevent this from happening. I suggest you speak to your sons staff team to find out who recommended this procedure and on what grounds. I would also suggest you ask them to include you in any best interest decisions relating to your son in future so that you are kept in the loop. In answer to a previous response, staff don’t always do things because it’s easier for them, they do it because it’s better for the person involved. I hope this helps. C. B.


#4

I have come across this before and it was considered a safeguarding concern. It doesn’t matter if individual carers think it is more hygenic, there should be a best interests process for anything this intimate and sensitive. You should have been consulted and you don’t need to worry about making a fuss. I’d suggest you contact a social worker. If you want to talk this through and get some help with raising the concerns, you can contact the CBF on 0300 666 0126 or support@thecbf.org.uk
Holly