One of the most unsettling changes that happen as loved ones age is the increase in bruising. It is essential to talk to the person’s health care provider every time there’s a health problem, but it is also important to realize that senior bruising is actually quite common. Bruising in seniors is often caused by the thinning of the skin and a reduction of fat that is typical with aging. Even a slight bump to older skin can result in much more noticeable bruising than that in younger skin.
Heaven at Home Senior Care suggests the following tips to help reduce bruising in seniors:
How Can Bruising in Seniors be Prevented?
- Ensure that the person’s diet contains plenty of vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in collagen production.
- Assess the safety of the person’s home and property, making certain there are wide walking paths clear of objects the individual might trip over or bump into. Heaven at Home Senior Care can help assess the senior’s home for safety hazards as well.
- If the person smokes, offer support to help them quit. Smoking decreases the production of collagen, which can result in easier bruising in senior skin.
- Encourage the person to wear long sleeves and pants when performing activities that could possibly result in an injury to the skin, such as gardening or housework.
- Check to see if the senior is taking any of the medicines listed below, as they can raise the risk of bruising (NOTE: Do not stop any medication without first consulting the doctor):
- Antiplatelet medications
- NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, and ibuprofen)
- Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
How Can I Help Heal Bruises in Seniors?
- To reduce swelling and the size of the bruise, place a cold compress over the bruise for 20 minutes to minimize the blood flow to the affected area.
- If possible, raise the bruised area.
- Wrap the area with a compression bandage to help prevent swelling.
For any bruises that appear for no obvious reason, ensure that the individual receives immediate medical attention, especially if the person has started taking a new medication or if bleeding occurs in other parts of the body, like the nose or gums.
Heaven at Home’s care team is skilled in a variety of senior care services and can help with concerns, including older skin needs, through services such as:
- Baths/showers and moisturizing
- Examining the skin for bruises or other changes
- Support with walking to help prevent falls and other injuries
- And much more