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More Than Skin Deep: The Importance of Senior Skin Care

senior lady applying moisturizer to face

Learn the importance of senior skin care and how to help with common problems.

While a great deal of emphasis is placed on senior health, and for good reason, there is one area that’s less often stressed but equally important: senior skin care. Senior skin problems can be much more serious than simply dryness or flaking. Some of the top skin concerns for seniors, and how to prevent them, include:

Bruising

More fragile blood vessels in senior skin means a greater chance for extensive bruising, which can occur even in minor injuries or at times, when there’s been no injury at all.

You can ease the discomfort of bruises by placing a cold compress on the bruised area to reduce the inflammation and size of the bruise, and elevate the area if possible. Additionally, be aware of certain medications that can lead to more bruising, such as over the counter NSAIDs and prescribed blood thinners. Talk with the senior’s doctor if any bruising is noted while he or she is taking these medications.

Bed Sores

Pressure sores are common in seniors who are bedbound or who spend a lot of time in one position in a wheelchair, and can be extremely painful as well as enhance the risk for infection.

Prevent bed sores by repositioning a sedentary senior at least every two hours, especially relieving pressure on the senior’s heels, ankles, elbows, back, and tailbone. Foam or gel mattress toppers can also help.

Check the senior’s skin often, and if any pressure sores are noted, keep the wounds clean and dry, and talk with the doctor or a nurse from Nightingale Homecare for assistance with treatment.

Shingles

Shingles are an extremely painful and uncomfortable rash caused by the varicella-zoster virus. Signs of shingles include pain, numbness, tingling, or burning, along with blistering.

See the doctor immediately if shingles are suspected, as there are prescriptions medications that can help with pain and discomfort, as well as in accelerating the healing process. The best way to prevent shingles is through vaccination.

Skin Cancer

Seniors are particularly at risk for three types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma, melanoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. Watch for any changes in the skin, including moles that are asymmetrical, more than one color, have irregular edges, or have changed in any way. A doctor or dermatologist can perform regular skin exams to catch and treat skin cancer early.

Note as well that senior skin problems can arise from other serious health concerns, such as heart or liver disease, diabetes, malnutrition, and more.

Nightingale Homecare, the top provider of Phoenix in-home care, as well as throughout the surrounding area, is always here to help ensure seniors stay healthy, safe, and well, including monitoring a senior’s skin for any changes or concerns. Contact us for a free in-home consultation any time at (602) 504-1555 to learn more about our home health care services for seniors.

Senior Education: It’s Never Too Late to Learn Something New!

Senior Education

Senior education and lifelong learning provide a wealth of benefits.

Remember how that first day back to school felt? Wearing a new outfit, cracking open a new textbook to Page 1, writing that first word with a perfectly sharpened new pencil? The anticipation of learning something new can – and should – resound with us for a lifetime. Maintaining a lifestyle of learning throughout aging can impact older adults in a variety of significant ways, making it worth exploring with the seniors in your life.

For one thing, finding meaning and purpose in life is crucial for us all, and especially vital in our senior years, when we need to reshape our identity after years of a fulfilling career, taking care of family, and engaging in hobbies and activities that may no longer be appealing or possible due to health conditions or the general effects of aging. It can be a helpful exercise to sit down with your senior loved ones and ask something like, “If there was one thing you wish you knew more about, what would it be?” or, “If you could have studied something different in school, what would you have wanted to learn?” With that information in hand, you can explore opportunities to make that dream a reality!

We also know that lifelong learning raises a senior’s self-esteem and sense of self-worth, while creating new opportunities for socialization – something that is imperative to overall health and wellbeing, and often a problem for older adults who feel isolated and lonely. Whether learning is in-person or online, seniors gain a sense of belonging to a group of like-minded people with a similar interest, fostering the chance for friendships to blossom. Nightingale Homecare can help with our non medical home care programs in Phoenix and surrounding areas.

And while seniors may at first balk at the idea of becoming a student once again, believing that all of the other students will be so much younger, research shows that 40% of students in a study of ten courses were actually over the age of 56.

Once a senior is on board with the idea of pursuing educational opportunities, a simple Google search will reveal classes that are available either in your local area or online. Then, let our team of aging care specialists help!

At Nightingale Homecare, the leaders in senior home care in Phoenix and the surrounding areas, we’re always available to help older adults set and achieve new goals in a variety of ways:

  • Transportation to in-person classes
  • Help with setting up and accessing online learning programs
  • Companionship to offer motivation and encouragement
  • Even taking care of housework and meals so seniors can study!

Contact our senior care team at (602) 504-1555 to get started on a brighter future for a senior you love!