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A comparative study of the personal hygiene of two groups of elderly women was carried out. The control group consisted of 35 healthy women aged 70-86. The experimental group consisted of 28 women aged 66-96 who were hospitalized in long-term care wards and who received help with their personal hygiene. The results show that care givers lack knowledge about the normal physiological ageing process in women, which prevents them from applying the eighth component of Virginia Henderson's nursing theory. In the group who received help with their personal hygiene, 25 (89%) had abnormal genital problems.