Tips for Seniors
By Toni Lynn Davis, MHA, CNHA, FACHCA
CEO and President Green Hill Inc.
As we age our skin becomes much thinner and therefore more vulnerable, injuring much easier and healing slower than when we were younger. Seniors are prone to skin problems ranging from itching, scaling, and mild dryness to serious skin conditions such as infection and ulcerations. A severe skin infection or non-healing wound in the elderly can be a chronic and painful condition, and in some cases fatal. The sun is especially dangerous for elder skin and seniors should take care to protect themselves and their skin. Here are some tips for seniors to protect their delicate skin.
1- Moisturize daily
Skin gets thinner as we age and requires moisturizing to maintain elasticity and impede cracking and bleeding.
Use a humidifier in dry conditions. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
Eat food full of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants like salmon, tuna, mackerel, berries, spinach, broccoli, and other leafy green vegetables to aid in skin health.
4- Use sunscreen daily
“Sun exposure is the most common cause of pre-cancers and skin cancer.” – Skin Cancer Foundation.
For the elderly with delicate skin sun exposer is a greater risk. Use sunscreen of 50pf or higher daily and reapply often if you go outside in any season.
Wear a hat and protective clothing when in the sun for prolonged period of time – more than 30 minutes.
See a dermatologist annually for a skin check for melanoma.
5- Use only natural products without chemicals and additives
Skin absorbs the compounds of what is applied directly into the blood stream. Make sure your creams, soaps, and sunscreens are as natural a product as possible.