senior lady looking at arm bruise

We all experience it, particularly as we grow older. Maybe while using the vacuum, we bump into the side of the coffee table, never giving it a second thought. But by the next day, a blotch of sunset-colored shades has spread across the injured area. How could such a nasty bruise result from such a slight accident? Understanding bruising is key to improved skin care, and is especially important for older adults.

Although it may look alarming, bruising in the elderly is relatively common. Thinning skin combined with a reduced amount of body fat can mean that even one small abrasion or bump may result in more significant bruising than it might for more youthful skin.

The elder care team at Anthem Home Care, a top provider of elder care in Portland, TX and surrounding areas, offers the following information to help decrease the possibilities for bruising on mature skin, and to help bruises heal better when they do occur:

Preventing Bruises:

  • Assess the senior’s home, both indoors and outdoors, to confirm that there are wide, clear walkways. Get rid of any hazards that may cause the person to stumble, trip, or bump into objects. Anthem Home Care offers safety evaluations as well, to make sure all the bases are covered.
  • Encourage the senior to put on long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when doing tasks that could cause damage or stress to mature skin.
  • If the senior smokes, help them to stop. Smoking adversely affects the body’s ability to create collagen, which can lead to easier bruising.
  • Make certain the person’s diet includes adequate amounts of vitamin C, which plays an important role in the creation of collagen.
  • Understand that certain medications can raise the likelihood of bruising (but realize too that the senior shouldn’t discontinue taking any medication without checking with a doctor):
    • Aspirin
    • NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen)
    • Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
    • Corticosteroids
    • Antiplatelet meds

Helping Bruises to Heal:

  • Place a cold compress on the bruised area for 20 minutes to decrease blood flow to the area. This can help decrease the size of the bruise while reducing swelling.
  • If possible, elevate the bruised area.
  • Cover the bruise with a compression bandage to reduce swelling.

If a bruise appears for seemingly no reason, or if you are at all alarmed by a particular bruise, get in touch with the doctor as soon as possible. This is especially pressing if the senior has started taking a new medication, or if bleeding is happening in the nose, gums, or other area of the body.

At Anthem Home Care, a top-rated provider of elder care in Portland and the surrounding areas, is here to help older adults continue to enjoy an active lifestyle while reducing the likelihood of injury. Some of the many different ways we accomplish this are through:

  • Help with bathing, showering, and other personal care needs, including skin care
  • Help and support as needed with walking or transferring
  • Ensuring a clean and organized home environment that is free from fall hazards
  • Assisting with exercise programs to build up balance and strength
  • Watching for and reporting any alterations in condition immediately
  • And more

Contact us any time for additional mature skin care tips and to learn more about our full range of personalized in-home care services. We’re pleased to offer a free in-home consultation at your convenience. Give us a call today at 361-643-2323 and let us know how we can assist!