Few things are more uncomfortable than dry skin, especially for seniors. Because their skin doesn’t function as well as it once did due to age, elderly adults can feel itchy and dry all day and night. When they scratch, they run the risk of raising welts or breaking the skin, causing an infection. Family caregivers and senior care providers must really focus on quality skin care on behalf of the elderly adult, so they can be comfortable and healthy.
The first thing to do is for family caregivers and senior care providers to ensure the skin is healthy from the inside out. They must encourage aging adults to drink plenty of water and take vitamins. A healthy diet is important to good skin health and keeping it supple. When seniors are dehydrated and malnourished, their condition is reflected in dry skin.
The next treatment that ensures soft skin is applying moisturizer as needed, several times per day. When elderly adults are finished with their bath or shower, family caregivers or senior care providers should apply a quality moisturizer to prevent dryness. Seniors should only shower in lukewarm water and be patted dry with a soft towel instead of scrubbed dry.
The type of skin care products can also have a lot to do with how dry seniors get during the winter months. Family caregivers and senior care providers should only use mild soap and non-perfumed moisturizers and lotions. Elderly adults should also avoid laundry detergent, fabric softener and dryer sheets that are heavily perfumed. The irritation can lead to dryness and other skin rashes.
Cold weather is hard on skin because it is usually exposed to extreme temperatures of heat and cold. Windy outdoor weather saps the skin of any moisture, and dry forced heat indoors does as well. Family caregivers and senior care providers can use a humidifier in the aging adult’s room if their skin is quite dry. Humidifiers pump the air full of moisture, helping the skin to stay hydrated.
The final thing that family caregivers and senior care providers can do to help seniors with dry skin is to encourage them to break bad habits. Smoking is one of the leading causes of dry skin. The harsh chemicals are hard on the skin and harms the body as well. Seniors that have a habit of scratching themselves can also cause more harm than good. Family caregivers and senior care providers can keep the senior’s nails trimmed short so that they aren’t sharp enough to break the skin.
Dry skin may not seem like a big deal, but it can be quite annoying and painful for aging adults. When family caregivers and senior care providers work together to eliminate dry skin, the aging adult will be much happier and healthier in the long run.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Senior Care Services in Evanston IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.
Lifelong Learning for Seniors
Senior Care in Evanston IL
Of all the research out there on memory loss, one of the messages constantly given is that keeping the mind involved and stimulated in some kind of activity may help combat memory loss issues. In fact, a 2009 study done by the American Association of Neurology showed that seniors who regularly participated in activities like reading and other things that involved learning and stimulating the mind, had between a 30 and 50 percent less chance of developing memory loss issues, when compared to those who didn’t.
Seniors can learn in many different ways. And for those who want to continue learning, no matter their age, there are plenty of opportunities to do so—both in person and online.
If the senior you care for has a desire to participate in some kind of lifelong learning activity, here are some community-based options that may be available to them. The local YMCA or senior center probably has classes seniors can participate in, possibly at a free or discounted senior citizen price.
The local community college or technical college likely has classes for continuing education that would be of interest to some seniors. They don’t have to pursue a degree or anything that extensive. It could be as simple as a creative writing or knitting class, or a photography or basic First Aid class. Local departments of recreation sometimes offer classes in how to learn certain games or hobbies. There also may be churches, community groups or other organizations that offer classes on things. There is also an online site called Meet Up that has plenty of groups for social activities for people of all ages.
For seniors who are homebound or want something where they can learn at their own pace on the Internet, there are also plenty of options. Almost every college or university out there offers some portion of their courses online. Rarely are they offered free, and they may not even be offered at a discounted or affordable tuition for seniors. However, there are a few options which offer a wide variety of free online courses.
One such site is MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). Here a person can enroll in one or more free courses on practically anything they can think of. The course usually run six to eight weeks and students who successfully complete the course can download a certificate saying so. If a student wants to take a course that offers a degree, there is, of course, a charge. These types of courses are a fantastic way to experience different instructors and professors from institutions all around the world and gain additional knowledge—for free.
Source for group activities: www.meetup.com
Sources for free online courses: www.mooc-list.org, Coursera.org
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Evanston, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.