Some types of elder care might seem simple. But, they are actually complex and need careful attention. If you hire someone to take care of your elderly loved one, make sure that they can properly take care of them. One aspect of elderly care that is oftentimes overlooked is skin care. But, like any other type of care, skin care is important. You can learn more about proper skin care here.
Elderly people are more likely to suffer from skin infections than younger people. Because of this, it is important that their skin is well taken care of. Generally, elderly people have thinner skin than young people. Their skin takes longer to heal than the skin of younger individuals. This means that proper bathing and cleaning are vital for an elderly person to have healthy skin. Caring for an elderly person’s skin can be a tedious task. The caregiver wants to ensure that the right amount of moisture is absorbed into the skin. The caregiver also wants to make sure that the skin does not become too dry. In an elderly person, an untreated skin infection or disease can cause serious harm or even be fatal.
Common Skin Conditions in the Elderly
- Senile Purport. This happens due to the thinness of the skin and blood vessels that are close to the surface.
- Stasis Dermatitis. This generally refers to itchy skin. It is more common in elderly woman than men.
- Exfoliative Dermatitis. This is a more severe form of dry and itchy skin in which the skin peels. This is a worrisome issue in the elderly because excessive itching can lead to infection.
- Skin infections. Such as ringworm, other parasitic infections, bacterial infections.
- Skin growths. These can be both cancerous and noncancerous so it is important to have a doctor examine them.
- Viral skin disorders.These are serious and can be complicated issues. A common example is shingles.
Nursing home staff can treat many conditions relating to the skin quickly and effectively. The milder conditions can get treated with over the counter lotions and medications. Skin growths should be observed over time and examined by a doctor. If nursing home staff believes your loved one has a skin infection, they should contact a doctor.
The elderly have special needs when it comes to skin care that should get met by nursing home staff members. Some things nursing home staff members can do the help the condition of your loved one’s skin are:
- Avoid frequent hot showers. High water temperature can dry out an individual’s skin more than lukewarm water. With excessive exposure to high water temperatures, your loved one’s skin may become dry.
- When bathing an elderly person, they should use mild soaps and cleansers. In addition to this, moisturizers or lotions should get applied after bathing.
- Those who are immobile should receive special attention and get moved around. This will help to prevent any developing bedsores.
There are also steps your loved one could take to help improve their skin health. Some common steps include:
- Stop smoking.
- Use sunblock.
- Remain properly hydrated.
- Use a humidifier in dry climates and during the winter months.
- Avoid saunas and other hot, dry places.
Your loved one’s skin care is important to their health. To ensure that their skin is well taken care of, nursing home staff should be observant of skin health. If you think that your loved one’s skin care was neglected, talk to the caretaker about this issue.