It’s no secret that our skin changes as we age. In elders, the skin isn’t as firm and supple as it once was, and it is more susceptible to dryness. Dry skin can also lead to scratches, bruising, discomfort, rashes and certain chronic conditions. Part of your role as a family caregiver is to look out for your elder loved one and make sure their physical and mental needs are met. This includes creating an elder care routine that all family members and home care assistants will follow that focuses on your loved one’s skin care.
Here are 7 ways to prevent dry skin conditions in elder loved ones.
1. Drink Lots of Water
Hydration is the key to reducing dryness in the skin. Elders may not consume as much water as they should for various reasons, but the skin needs as much as it can get. Sometimes, chronic conditions like diabetes or kidney issues can trigger skin dryness, so lots of water will benefit the entire body.
2. Use Unscented Lotion and Soap
Elderly skin can be more sensitive to perfumes, dyes and chemicals, leading to itching and rashes. Make sure your elder loved one is using mild soaps, deodorants and lotion as part of their elder care routine.
3. Wear Sunscreen Every Time
The skin grows less resistant to damage form UV rays with age. Also, sunburns can produce more intense negative effects in elders than in others. Whenever they go out into the sun for activities like gardening, walks or sporting events, elders should wear a strong sunscreen to protect them.
4. No Hot Baths or Showers
Hot water from baths and showers can dry out the skin, so make sure your loved one only has warm water during these times. Sitting in hot tubs and even swimming in pools laden with chemicals can increase skin dryness. If your elder enjoys these activities, encourage them in moderation.
5. Invest in a Humidifier
Especially in dry climates, seniors face an uphill battle in keeping their skin from drying out. A room humidifier can launch tiny water particles into the air, boosting humidity and making the skin less dry. A bonus side effect of a humidifier is reduced dry coughing as well.
6. Stop Smoking
Smoking is a bad habit that can affect the skin greatly by making it look leathery and dry. Even if the elder doesn’t smoke, skin can still be affected by being around others when they are smoking.
7. Trim Fingernails
With dry skin, elders will want to get to every itch vigorously. However, aging skin is much thinner and more delicate so long nails can actually open the skin up and cause wounds. Because skin takes longer to heal in the elderly, it’s a good idea to avoid this if possible.
These effective skin care tips for elders will bring them long term benefits because they won’t have to suffer the discomfort of dryness. Also, they will look and feel better overall when their skin is healthy. There’s no doubt that elders care about how they look and feel, so encourage them to follow the tips and techniques that lead to better skin health.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care Services in Highland Park IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.