The skin is a very important part of the body. The skin is the body’s largest organ that plays a critical role in regulating body temperature and protecting the body’s muscles, bones, and organs from infection and disease. As we age, our skin often becomes wrinkled, thinner, and loses fat, which can cause scratches, cuts, and bumps to take longer to heal.
The National Institute on Aging reports that skin health and care are vital to healthy aging. Seniors often suffer from dry skin and itching, bruises, wrinkles, age spots and skin tags, and skin cancer.
Dry Skin and Itching
Seniors often suffer from dry skin and itching, which can be caused by not drinking enough water, spending too much time in the sun, living in a dry climate, smoking, feeling stressed, losing sweat and oil glands, living with diabetes or kidney disease, using too much soap or perfume, and taking medications with skin-related side effects.
Seniors often bruise more easily than younger people do. Bruising can be caused by medication side effects and loss of elasticity and fat. If your senior parent’s skin bruises easily and takes a long time to heal, review their medications and talk to their doctor.
Age Spots and Skin Tags
Age spots are flat, brown spots often caused by sun exposure. Age spots are larger than freckles and commonly appear on the face, hands, arms, back, and feet. “Skin tags are small, usually flesh-colored growths of skin that have a raised surface. They become common as people age and grow on the eyelids, neck, and body folds such as the armpit, chest, and groin”, according to the National Institute on Aging.
Skin cancer is most often caused by long-term sun exposure. The National Institute on Aging reports that there are three types of skin cancers. “Two types, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, grow slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body. These types of cancer are usually found on parts of the skin most often exposed to the sun, like the head, face, neck, hands, and arms. The third and most dangerous type of skin cancer is melanoma. It is rarer than the other types, but it can spread to other organs and be deadly”, according to the National Institute on Aging.
While sun damage may lead to permanent wrinkles and age spots, dryness, and cancer, there are still ways to protect and nourish the skin. Mayo Clinic provides five skin care tips to help you and your senior parent promote healthy aging:
- Avoid long-term sun exposure. Sun exposure can cause wrinkles, age spots, skin cancer, and other skin problems. Encourage your senior parent and other family members to wear protective clothing (long-sleeved shirts, pants, and wide-brimmed hats), seek shade (avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun's rays are strongest), and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
- Don't smoke. Smoking can cause wrinkles and age skin. Mayo Clinic reports that smoking “narrows the tiny blood vessels in the outermost layers of skin, which decreases blood flow and makes skin paler. This also depletes the skin of oxygen and nutrients that are important to skin health. Smoking also damages collagen and elastin — the fibers that give your skin strength and elasticity. In addition, the repetitive facial expressions you make when smoking — such as pursing your lips when inhaling and squinting your eyes to keep out smoke — can contribute to wrinkles. In addition, smoking increases the risk of squamous cell skin cancer.”
- Eat a healthy diet. Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins may help to promote healthy skin. Drinking water helps to keep your skin quenched and hydrated.
- Treat skin gently. To help treat skin gently, moisturize dry skin daily, use sunscreen, pat skin dry (avoid harsh wiping), use mild cleansers and avoid harsh soaps and detergents, and take warm baths and showers (hot water can be harsh on the skin).
- Manage stress. Uncontrolled stress can make the skin more sensitive and cause skin problems. To encourage healthy skin and a healthy state of mind, take steps to manage stress, such as eating healthy, reading, exercising, journaling, and taking time for yourself.
If your senior parent needs help with going to the doctor, making appointments, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and managing their medications, call SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, or Anaheim Hills. SYNERGY in-home caregivers provide quality, compassionate, top-notch care to help your aging parent maintain a healthy and independent lifestyle. SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, and Anaheim Hills in-home caregivers provide many in-home care services, which include:
Errands and Transportation Support
- Incidental transportation
- Schedule planning and assistance
- Errand services, such as grocery shopping, pharmacy visits, etc.
- Complete meal preparation
- Assistance with meal planning
- Mealtime feeding assistance
Light Housekeeping Assistance
- Assistance with light gardening
- Kitchen cleaning and organizing
- Bathroom cleaning and organizing
- Laundry and ironing
Personal Care Assistance
- Dressing and bathing assistance
- Assistance with getting in and out of bed and chairs
- Assistance with getting to and from the restroom
- Assistance with incontinence or adult briefs
- Friendly and supporting conversation
- Help with planning social activities
- Light exercise encouragement
24-Hour and Live-In Care
- Dependable and reliable service
- Communication with family members
- Maintaining a care journal
- Medication management
- Rotating caregivers
If your senior parent is in need of in-home care and support services, call SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona, Riverside, or Anaheim Hills to ensure that they maintain a healthy and independent life in their home.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills
SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is the name you can trust in Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange and Placentia for personal home care. SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. SYNERGY HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at http://www.synergyhomecare.com/agencies/ca/anaheim-hills/ca25 . The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 714- 706-1613 and [email protected] .