Skin Care Guidelines for the Senior Years

How to Care for the Skin Properly in the Golden Years

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Proper skin care during the golden years is essential. The skin is the body’s first line of defense against infections. As people age, immune function decreases, making them more susceptible to bacterial infections caused by breaks in the skin. Here are some essentials of proper skin care during the golden years. 

Hydrate Frequently

Older adults are at higher risk for dehydration than younger people. If your senior loved one is dehydrated, his or her skin may become dry, itchy, and susceptible to breakdown. Make sure your loved one drinks plenty of decaffeinated beverages throughout the day to stay well hydrated. While orange juice and other fruit drinks can prevent dehydration, they’re often high in sugar content. 

Moisturize Often

Seniors should moisturize their skin after bathing or showering. Apply moisturizer while the body is still damp so it can absorb the product more effectively. 

Chronic health conditions such as renal disease, liver problems, gallbladder disorders, and diabetes can cause dry and irritated skin. Having any of these chronic illnesses could cause your loved one to scratch his or her skin, resulting in injury. 

If a moisturizing product fails to ease itching, dryness, or irritation, make an appointment with your loved one’s physician. Persistent itchy skin may indicate high bilirubin levels. Bilirubin is a pigmented substance that often increases in the presence of liver disease. 

Seniors with mobility limitations or health issues may find it difficult to care for their skin properly. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care Fremont families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Consume Plenty of Vitamin C

As people age, they may need to consume more vitamin C–rich foods. Vitamin C promotes collagen production, which is important for healthy skin. Encourage your loved one to eat more citrus fruits and leafy green vegetables. 

If your loved one cannot tolerate vitamin C–rich foods, ask his or her healthcare provider about taking a supplement. In addition to enhancing the condition of the skin, diets rich in vitamin C can reduce the risk of gum disease, which is also more common in seniors. Vitamin C can aid in protecting the skin inside the mouth.

A home caregiver can help your loved one plan and prepare meals that contain all the necessary nutrients. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of respite care. Fremont seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable home caregivers.

Monitor Circulation

If your loved one has impaired circulation as a result of diabetes or cardiovascular disease, he or she may be more likely to develop stasis ulcers or bedsores. Monitor your loved one’s skin for signs of poor circulation, including cold skin, lack of hair growth on the lower legs, shiny skin on the lower extremities, and excessively red skin. 

If your parent develops any of these symptoms, he or she may need to see the doctor for a physical examination and an ultrasound study of the veins. This is a painless test that uses sound waves to assess peripheral blood flow. Massaging the limbs, getting daily exercise, elevating the legs, and eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can promote circulation, which lowers the risk of stasis ulcers and bedsores. 

Skin care is just one of the many everyday tasks that can be challenging for some seniors. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a trusted provider of homecare services. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today.