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.