In recognition of National Healthy Skin Month, medical experts, health educators and more are spreading the word about how important the skin is to overall health and wellness. In elderly adults, this is especially true because the condition of the skin can directly influence how well a person keeps bad microbes out and keeps in plenty of good things for the body. Aging skin doesn’t function as well as it once did, which makes it very important to keep it healthy and functioning.
The good news is that with regular care and attention, family caregivers and elder care assistants can help elderly adults with ensuring their skin is as healthy as possible. Healthy skin retains moisture, produces vitamin D, prevents dehydration, blocks harmful bacteria and microbes, regulates temperature and so much more. The skin is actually an organ, the body’s largest, so when it functions properly it can influence overall health in elderly people. When it is struggling, it can lead to bigger problems.
Here are just a few ways that family caregivers can promote healthy skin in the aging adult they care for:
- Nutrition and Water. The most important thing that can be done to care for skin is to eat a healthy diet and drink plenty of water. Because elderly adults often experience a diminished appetite and may not want to drink as much, it can be hard for them to take in the proper nutrients their skin needs. A healthy diet can boost aging skin to its healthiest levels, while staying hydrated keeps the skin more supple and full of fluids.
- Regular Cleansing. Skin of all ages needs to be washed regularly, but aging skin can be particularly sensitive to harsh chemicals and irritating dyes and perfumes. A gentle cleanser used regularly can keep an elderly person’s skin clean and supple without drying it out or causing itching or rashes.
- Pat Dry. After a shower or bath, it’s important to pat the skin dry with a fluffy towel. Scrubbing or rubbing can actually injure an aging person’s thin skin. Patting dry also allows moisture to stay absorbed in the skin, helping with hydration.
- Moisturize. Elderly people have naturally dry skin, so regular moisturizing is very important. A heavy moisturizing lotion applied one per day and after every shower or bath can keep the skin healthy and hydrated.
- Burns and Bites. An elderly person’s skin is particularly susceptible to sunburn so it’s important that they use a powerful sunblock whenever they are going to spend even a few minutes outdoors on a bright sunny day. Insect bites can be particularly irritating and lead to infection after vigorous scratching. Bug spray and loose, long sleeves and pants can prevent bites in most cases.
- Skin Conditions. It’s not uncommon for seniors to develop skin conditions like psoriasis, eczema and epidermolysis bullosa. If family caregivers or elder care aides notice any unusual rashes, patches, scales or blisters on the elderly person’s skin, they should get them into a clinic for a visit. The doctor can prescribe topical and oral medicine to help take care of the problem.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Professional Elder Care in Lake Park, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at 561-829-3080 Today.