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Tips to Help Protect Your Elderly Loved One’s Skin

By Debbie Waddell, 10:30 am on

Skin is the body’s largest organ, and arguably the most important because it acts as a shield to protect the more delicate organs within. When the protective layer of fat beneath the skin gradually goes away with age, skin can become dry, brittle, and more affected by the damaging rays of the sun. Luckily, a few changes to your elderly loved one’s habits can make maintaining skin health simpler. The senior care experts at Placer County Home Care Assistance have a few tips that can help protect your loved one’s skin.

Bathe Less Often

Soap and hot water remove protective oil from your loved one’s skin, causing dryness and itchiness. Bathing two to three times per week is sufficient for most aging adults, but those who exercise often, garden, or swim regularly may need additional bathing to remove excess sweat, dirt, and chlorine. Encourage your loved one to try bathing less and to use warm water instead of hot. 

Moisturize Immediately After Bathing

After bathing, your loved one should pat his or her body dry and immediately apply a skin moisturizer. Doing so can help replace the protective oils that were lost and retain the moisture the water provided. Your loved one should continue to apply lotion throughout the day to particularly dry areas, such as the arms, hands, and legs. Because perfumed moisturizers may irritate your loved one’s sensitive skin, find a skin moisturizer that is free of perfumes and dyes.

Stay Out of the Sun

The ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage your loved one’s delicate skin, causing sunburns, dark age spots, rough skin, dryness, and the development of small blood vessels around the eyes, nose, and cheeks. The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which can result in excess sun exposure. Encourage your loved one to stay indoors during this time period. Wearing sunscreen, a wide-brimmed hat, and sunglasses when outdoors can minimize your loved one’s exposure and protect his or her skin.

Use a Humidifier in the Winter

During the cold winter months, your loved one’s skin may dry out more than usual, which can result in itchiness and painful cracking. Using a humidifier can add humidity to your loved one’s home, which can help keep his or her skin from drying out excessively.

Activities like bathing and grooming can become more difficult with age, but are crucial in keeping the skin healthy. If your loved one needs help with these or other daily activities, turn to Home Care Assistance. We offer hourly and live-in care in Placer County, and our caregivers are trained to help seniors during stroke recovery as well as those who have developed Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s. For more information on how our in-home care services can keep your loved one comfortable and healthy, call one of our friendly Care Managers at 916.226.3737 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

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