Your elderly family member’s skin care needs are an important aspect of her long-term care. Medications, health issues, and even the weather can all have an impact on how healthy your senior’s skin is right now.
Watch the Water Temperature
Water temperature matters a lot more than most people realize. When water is too hot, it can burn, of course, but there’s more too it. Hot water, or warm water for longer periods of time than is really wise, can be incredibly drying for skin. It’s a much better idea to use water that’s just warm enough and only for as long as necessary to get your senior clean. Dry skin is more likely to become chapped or to experience other small injuries that can become really uncomfortable.
Use Lotion and Moisturizers, But Sparingly
Lotion and moisturizers are incredibly helpful, especially if your senior has dry skin already. They help to keep moisture in the skin, which is where it needs to be. But if you use too much or the lotion is one that can clog pores, that becomes another problem entirely. Use these types of products sparingly, because you can always reapply later if your senior needs more.
Humidifiers Can Help Skin Issues
If your senior’s home is too dry, such as when heat is on in the fall and winter, a humidifier can make a big difference for her skin. The dry air can actually pull moisture from your senior’s skin, making her feel itchy and uncomfortable. Humidifiers can also help your elderly family member to feel more comfortable in other ways, for instance she may find that she is able to breathe more easily when the air has a little more humidity.
Your Senior Might Need More Help
Your elderly family member’s needs can change quite a bit over time. She may find that it’s difficult for her to keep up with her skin care needs on her own. If she’s comfortable letting you help her, that might be an option. But some seniors are nervous about having family members help them to bathe or to apply lotion to their skin afterward. Home care providers can help. Home care providers know what it’s like for your senior to be in this position and they can help her to feel more comfortable both in terms of her skin care and emotionally as well.
Your senior’s skin covers her entire body, so it’s important that her skin is cared for properly over time. Make sure that you talk with her doctor about anything that seems to be going on with her skin so it can be resolved as quickly as possible.