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.
Preparing for Respite Care in Your Elder Care Journey with Your Loved One
Elder Care in Highland Park IL
Respite care can be one of the greatest blessings you can encounter during your elder care journey with your aging parents. If you are the primary caregiver you devote an incredible amount of time to making sure that your elderly parents get the care, support, and assistance that they need, but this can often result in you forgetting to take care of yourself, your marriage, your relationship with your children, and your other obligations in life. When this happens, the stress can put you at serious risk of mental, emotional, cognitive, and physical health problems that can greatly diminish your quality of life. You might feel, however, that you do not have another option if you are an only child, the only child that lives close to your parents, or you do not have a regularly elderly health care services provider to be there with your parents. This is when respite care comes into play.
A respite care provider is one who can step in to provide personalized care and assistance to your aging loved one when you are not available to offer that care. This can be for just a few hours on an afternoon so that you can attend a function at your child's school or get your haircut, or even a few days so that you can take a much-deserved getaway with your partner. However you choose to use it, respite care gives you that additional "safety net" of care when you need some time to yourself but also want to make sure that your loved ones are getting everything that they need to stay safe, happy, healthy, and comfortable.
Taking time away from your elder care responsibilities with your parents can be a fantastic way to unwind, de-stress, and rejuvenate yourself, but it can also be stressful to feel ready for this change. Taking the time to prepare for your period of respite care with your parents is a vital step in making sure that all of you can make the most out of this experience.
Some ways that you can prepare for a period of respite care in your elderly care journey with your aging loved ones include:
• Talk about it. Make sure that your parents know about the upcoming "break" and let them know that they will have a care provider coming in to help them. Reassure them that their routine will stay as close to the same as possible and that if anything happens the care provider can handle it, and will call you to ensure that you can get home if necessary.
• Stock up the closets. The last thing you want is for you to leave on your trip only for your parents to find out that they have no toilet paper or are running low on pain reliever. Go through the home in the days leading up to your respite care break and evaluate all of the things that they might need. Stock up on essentials such as toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, detergents of all kinds, bath and body care products, and medications or first aid supplies that they use regularly so that you know they have everything that they need, when they need it.
• Prepare meals. Feel confident that their diet routine will stay on track and relieve the care provider of some hassle by preparing and freezing meals ahead of time. Leave instructions with how to heat up or finish preparing the meals and what types of sides or other foods they should eat, such as a salad or a fruit side. Label them clearly and consider adding color-coded stickers to other ingredients or to containers that go together for ease of serving.
• Give yourself permission. The most important thing that you can do is tell yourself that the decision you are making is acceptable. Give yourself permission to enjoy your time off and reassure yourself that your parents will not only be fine, but they will actually enjoy the time with a new and interesting companion while you are gone.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elder care in Highland Park, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.