Caring For A Loved One And Their Skin


There is approximately 43.5 million caregivers in the US that are unpaid, meaning they’re usually taking the responsibility of caring for family and friends. Skin thins and loses its elasticity as it ages, making it more prone to dryness, injury and ulcers. These can all be serious for a senior as they can’t fight off infections as effectively, so if you’re their caregiver you need to stay informed of skin conditions, how to prevent them and how to treat them.

Worried About Wrinkles?

As you hit middle age it’s common to start focusing on creams to eliminate wrinkles, but various skin conditions can present themselves posing a bigger problem. 1 out of 10 middle aged men and women will experience the redness, stinging, spots and regular cheek flushing of rosacea, making it a physically and emotionally distressing condition. While there is no cure for rosacea, it can be treated, and triggers can be avoided to improve symptoms. Triggers can be stress, food, alcohol and caffeine, so identifying what causes your flare ups will benefit your skin. Home treatments include regularly hydrating the skin with antibacterial moisturizers, like coconut oil, and cleaning the skin with cold green tea, which is known for its antibacterial properties.

Pressure Ulcers 

Elderly skin can become complicated to care for with a lot of issues, often dependent on lifestyle, habits and genetics. In America 43% of senior citizens require help with daily tasks with many being entirely dependent on caregivers. Being confined to a bed or sitting for the majority of the day can cause skin to breakdown and result in pressure ulcers. These are sores that need regular medical attention and can go as deep as the muscle and bone. They are notoriously difficult to heal; especially as elderly skin doesn’t repair or renew skin cells as quickly as younger skin does. If you’re a caregiver for an elderly person it’s important to regularly check their skin in pressure areas, such as their buttocks and heels of the feet. If skin is discoloured or starting to break down seek medical help to avoid them getting worse, reposition the person regularly and apply barrier creams to reduce the risk of pressure ulcers.

Tips For Caregivers 

As we age we don’t need to bathe as often as we move around a lot less. Frequent washing can cause skin to dry out, so showering or bathing your loved one three to four times a week is better and applying a moisturizer afterwards will help to keep it hydrated. Dry, itchy skin affects more than 30 million Americans, and while it may seem like a small problem, it can quickly escalate into bigger issues for senior skin. Trimming your loved ones nails will reduce the risk of them scratching accidentally catching and tearing the skin, which can easily lead to infections. If they do get a cut make sure it’s kept clean to reduce the risk and monitor how it’s healing.

Being a caregiver is one of the most rewarding things you can do in your life, especially when you’re giving back to a loved one by doing so. It’s also a very emotional and stressful experience as you are responsible for another person’s wellbeing. Skincare is an easy aspect of caregiving to overlook when there is many other medical conditions going on and needs to be met. Having a simple skincare routine to follow with them is the easiest way to also meet their skincare needs.

Guest blogger Jess Walter  is a freelance writer and mother. She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets. You can contact Jess at: jesswalterwriter@gmail.com

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