Taking care of your senior family member’s skin is incredibly important, especially as she nears the end of her life. Her doctor may give you a plan for managing her skin care and these general guidelines will help as well.
General Weakness Can Mean More Bruising and Injuries
Near the end of her life, your senior is likely to become weaker, which can lead to a greater risk of falling. A higher fall risk means that your senior is more likely to become injured, including bruises and cuts. It’s vital to ensure that your aging family member is as safe as possible, both by removing safety hazards and helping her to use tools such as walkers or canes that help her to be more stable.
Pressure Sores Are a Big Problem
As your elderly family member spends more time in bed or lying down, she may be at a greater risk of developing pressure sores, also known as bed sores. These raw areas tend to develop around joints and other bony areas. Left on their own, pressure sores can become open wounds, so it’s better to prevent them. You can do so by helping your elderly family member to shift her position throughout the day and by using cushions and blankets to pad vulnerable areas.
Keep Skin Clean and Dry
Skin that is both dry and clean is less likely to experience issues that will lead to wounds and to other problems. Your senior may not need to shower as often as she used to, but that doesn’t mean that her skin doesn’t require cleaning. Sponge bathing with damp cloths can help to keep her skin fresh and clean. Make sure that you gently dry her skin well before rolling her over.
Lotion Can Help Immensely
As people age, their skin is less able to keep up with producing the oils and the moisture that it did in the past. Lotions can help immensely with keeping skin supple and protected. Apply lotion lightly and as often as your elderly family member needs in order to feel comfortable. If she’s feeling itchy or has other skin concerns, look for lotions that help to address these concerns.
If you’re still not sure whether you’re doing everything that you can to help your senior to have the best skincare possible during this time, you can lean on the experience of hospice elder care providers. They can help you to find the right routine for your elderly family member’s needs.