Winter weather can be hard on an elderly person’s skin. Cold, damp, wind and dry air can strip the skin of moisture that it needs to stay healthy. However, with a winter weather skin regimen, elderly adults can be more comfortable and avoid the unpleasant health problems that dry winter skin has. Family caregivers and elderly care providers must work hard to ensure the elderly adult’s skin care is ready for the winter.
An elderly person’s skin doesn’t function as well as it once did. It loses a lot of the elasticity and becomes thinner. It’s easier to tear the skin by scratching, so seniors must be careful. Of course, vigorous scratching due to illness, injury or age-related condition can damage the skin and leave the aging adult vulnerable to discomfort, pain and even infection.
Here are 7 tips on caring for an elderly adult’s skin during the winter months:
- Moisturize Frequently: Winter weather can leave the skin feeling rough, dry and even leave open cracks that can lead to infection. Seniors and elderly care providers can apply a rich moisturizer to the skin after their morning shower and again in the day as needed. The lotion locks in moisture and boosts health.
- Eat a Nutritious Diet: A person’s skin needs proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, so family caregivers and elderly care providers must make healthy meals and snacks for the aging adult. Vitamins C, D, E, and K are some of the best ones for skin health.
- All About Hydration: Skin is only as healthy as the body’s eating and dietary habits. A balanced diet paired with plenty of fluids daily is the winning formula for healthy skin.
- Lukewarm Baths and Showers: Extreme temperatures can also trigger skin problems, so it’s a good idea to only use lukewarm water for baths and showers. Dependent seniors may need help from elderly care providers in this area.
- Don’t Rub with a Towel: Instead of scrubbing the skin dry with a towel, opt for the pat technique. This keeps more moisture in the skin and preserves some elasticity.
- Use Mild Soaps: When there are too many chemicals and dyes in an aging adult’s soap, they can accelerate skin problems. Family caregivers and elderly care providers should choose soap and body wash products that will not irritate the elderly adult’s skin.
- Stop Smoking: It’s never too early to try quitting the habit. The harm that smoking does to the skin is well-documented, and the rest of the health benefits of quitting make it well worth it.
It takes a lot of work to keep an elderly person’s skin healthy during winter. However, when the body’s largest organ is well-cared for, seniors benefit from the protection it provides. Anyone who helps the senior with their bathing and grooming can implement a lot of these tips for healthier skin during the winter, which results in a happier and healthier elderly adult.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Red Lodge, MT, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 406-839-2390.