Skin Care for the Elderly in a Nursing Home

It is sad to admit, but old people have always been treated more like children than the wise people that they are. It is as if younger people are completely unaware of the fact that these old people were once young like them. Unfortunately, many old people end up in a nursing home when they become unable to care for themselves.

There are many different types of care the elderly must receive, but the skin care issue is definitely among the most important. First of all, there is the issue of bed sores. These are small ulcers that appear on the skin when a person remains stationary in bed for too long. This can also happen to people who are in wheelchairs for extended periods of time.

When it comes to the skin care regimen for people with bed sores, the first thing that is usually done as a preventative measure is to gently move the person ever hour or so. Now, if the bed sores have gotten to an advanced point, it will be necessary to, obviously, use advanced skin care methods, such as an ointment made out of zinc oxide. Also, occasional massaging of the limbs will help to stimulate blood flow.

Speaking of zinc oxide, it is also used in the skin care regimen for diabetic patients. When a person suffers from old age diabetes, the circulation in the legs can become significantly impaired. Thus, the skin can become very brittle, almost like the consistency of paper, and the overall appearance of the legs will be a mass of oozing, exposed skin layers. Applying the zinc oxide, and then some clean bandages, will most likely restore the legs to their original appearance.

There is also the issue of bathing the elderly, because they obviously need to be kept as clean as possible. Especially arthritic people will most likely require sponge baths. Because the elderly have such delicate skin, it is important to use only lukewarm water. The water should absolutely never be too hot, lest it will burn the skin, nor too cold, which could (no pun intended) result in the elderly person catching a cold.

Some people might wonder why ointments are the main form of care for the epidermal layers of the elderly. Well, it is mostly because the immunity system of an elderly person is very delicate, and thus can be easily compromised. If an elderly person took a prescription skin medication, it could compromise their immunity system even further.

One of the most prevalent skin problems that affects elderly people is age spots. Age spots are actually in the same category as moles in terms of the amount of melanin production. Age spots often happen from too much sun exposure.

Obviously, an elderly person should stay out of the sun for the majority of the time. Notice that the word "majority" is used. Vitamin D is derived from sunlight, and it is something that everyone needs at least a little bit of. Vitamin D actually does wonders to combat depression, which is something that many people from any age group suffer from.

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