Personal care is an important part of everybody's daily routine. However some people with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) have a reluctance, or a reduced ability to complete personal care routines properly. For example, factors such as obesity or lack of coordination can make it difficult for a person with PWS to reach all areas of their own body, and a lack of motivation or time can impact the care and thouroughness of cleaning routines. Poor sequential processing or difficulty in completing multi-stepped tasks, often inhibits the thoroughness of washing, for example: the person with PWS may just stand under a shower rather than wash themselves. While some people with PWS take a lot of pride in their apperarence others are not concerned about their appearance and are insensitive to social hygiene expectations. Lack of routine personal care can lead to health issues such as tooth decay and skin infections. Poor hygeine can also impact negatively on socialisation and create a barrier to forming friendships. It can also trigger conflict with parents, siblings, fellow house residents and co-workers. Some people with PWS are not aware of this issue and may need you to explain it to them and remind them of the importance of routine personal care.
People with PWS are often prone to infections due to skin picking, poor blood circulation, poor hygeine, dry skin and diabetes. Their feet can need extra care such as orthotics and regular moisturising, and even the correct positioning of socks and shoes to prevent blisters.
People with PWS often have dental problems, exaccerbated by teeth grinding and heavy consumption of acidic or sugary food and drinks. A strict routine for effective cleaning teeth is vital to help prevent tooth and gum deterioation. Good personal care ususally require the help of family or carers.