Of all the changes that manifest as people age, bruising in seniors is one that can be frightening for family members to notice in their loved ones. It is crucial to talk to the senior’s health care provider whenever there is a health issue, but it is also important to realize that senior bruising is actually quite common. Bruising in seniors commonly is caused by the thinning of the skin and a decrease of fat that is normal with the aging process. Even a light bump to older skin can result in much more noticeable bruising as compared to younger skin.
CareFor, a leading Georgetown home care agency also serving the surrounding areas, recommends the tips below to help minimize the risks for bruises and to help heal bruises when they do occur:
How Can I Aid in the Prevention of Senior Bruising?
- Assess the safety of the senior’s home and property, making certain there are broad walking paths clear of objects the person might trip over or bump into. CareFor can help assess the senior’s home for safety threats as well.
- Encourage your family member to wear long sleeves and pants when doing activities that could possibly result in an injury to the skin, like gardening or housework.
- If the person is a smoker, provide support to help them quit. Smoking reduces the production of collagen, which can lead to easier bruising in senior skin.
- Be sure that the senior’s diet contains plenty of vitamin C, which plays an essential role in collagen production.
- Check to see if the person takes any of the medicines listed below, as they can increase the risk of senior bruising (NOTE: Never stop any medication without the doctor’s approval):
- Antiplatelet medications
- Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
- NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, and ibuprofen)
What Should I Do to Help Heal Bruises in Older Adults?
- Place a cold compress over the bruise for about 20 minutes to reduce the blood flow to the affected area. This can help reduce the size of the bruise plus reduce swelling.
- If feasible, raise the bruised area.
- Utilize a compression bandage to help prevent swelling.
Make sure that the person receives immediate medical help for any bruises that arise for no clear reason, especially if the person has started taking a new medicine or if bleeding occurs in other parts of the body, like the nose or gums.
As a leading Georgetown home care agency, CareFor is available to assist with a variety of customizable senior care services. Our professional, compassionate senior care team can help with concerns, including older skin needs, such as:
- Help with walking to reduce the risk of falls and other injuries
- Showers or baths and moisturizing
- Checking the skin for bruises or other changes
- And more