Elder Care in Norwalk CT
Between the cold temperatures of winter air and the effects of home heating systems, your elderly loved one’s home is likely to be filled with very dry air during this part of the year. When most people think of air quality, they are likely to consider factors such as dust, allergens, and pollutants, but may ignore a very important factor - humidity. The truth is that very dry air can have uncomfortable consequences and health effects in your elderly loved one. If your elderly loved one’s home has dry air, here are just a few things you need to know about the effects of dry air and what you can do to combat them.
How does dry air affect elderly adults?
When the air is dry, sinuses can dry out. When elderly adults have dry nasal passages and sinuses, it can make them more susceptible to colds and infections and cause nosebleeds. Dry sinuses can be painful and uncomfortable, as well. For those suffering from asthma, this can trigger an asthma attack. In addition, dry air can also lead to dry skin and lips. Elderly adults are already at an increased risk for dry, flaky, and itchy skin, so dry air can make this risk worse. Dry skin can be itchy and uncomfortable and more susceptible to cracking and chapping.
How can caregivers help combat dry air?
The best way to keep the air in the home from getting too dry is by running a humidifier. Keep a humidifier running in your loved one’s bedroom overnight and in the rooms that your loved one spends much of their time in, such as the living room. Humidifying the air can greatly reduce the effects of dry air on your loved one. Keeping the home well—insulated is another way to keep the air in the home from getting too dry.
If your loved one is already suffering from the uncomfortable effects of dry air, there are a few things your can do to ease them. Drinking water is one way your elderly loved one can replenish lost hydration and help sinuses and skin to retain moisture. In addition, elderly adults should take care not to take long or very hot showers and baths, which can further dry out the skin. After bathing, elderly adults should apply a gentle moisturizer to skin to prevent the skin from drying out.