The harsh cold temperatures of Winter can do more than just feel freezing and make you want a hot cup of tea by the fire; it can damage your skin by stripping its natural protective barrier. When this happens, gaps are formed in the skin’s outer most layer which allow water to escape leading to dehydration and sensitivity. Seniors may describe having dry, itchy skin or even have skin conditions worsen such as rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.
There are simple ways that you or your senior’s caregivers can help them be proactive about their skin so that they can enjoy the season as comfortable and content as possible. Making small but regular changes to their elder care routine can be very beneficial for the health of your senior’s skin.
It might seem obvious that you need to be sure your senior has a heavy warm jacket or extra blankets to bundle up from the cool air this Winter, but make sure you think of their hands, neck, face, and feet as well. Gloves, hats, scarves, and protective footwear are important in cold temperatures.
Making sure that your senior makes moisturizing a daily part of their elder care routine is important. Sensitive areas that are prone to winter dryness such as hands, feet, arms, and legs, can be coated with a good lotion or moisturizer to help prevent that dry, itchy feeling. Don’t forget the lips, which are sensitive and can easily split and crack in cold weather and wind and can be difficult to heal. Encourage your senior not to lick their lips and to use a lip moisturizer regularly and proactively.
Another key action that you can take to ensure that your senior’s skin stays hydrated and healthy this Winter is to install a humidifier. There are systems that can be installed in your senior’s home which can blow a mist of moisture through their heating and ventilation system, or you can purchase smaller, portable units that can be placed in heavily-trafficked rooms of the home.
Encourage your loved one to drink plenty of water and fluids during the colder months as well as during the warm ones to help keep their bodies, and their skin in a good, hydrated condition.
Make sure that your senior, during their normal elder care routine, is not over-bathing and that the water that they are using is not too hot, which can lead to the drying of their skin. If your senior has professional caregivers that help with their elder care, make them aware of their tendencies to get dry skin and ask that they make small changes to help improve and protect their delicate areas.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Little Falls, MN please contact the caring staff at Alternative Senior Care today. Providing Home Care in Central Minnesota and Surrounding Communities. Call us Today (320) 352-3350.