Many Faces of Aging

We all notice an extra wrinkle or a gray hair here or there, but as we take care of aging loved ones, it’s sometimes surprising to see the many challenges they – and by extension you – might face. Some challenges we can lessen, and others we can at least be prepared for. 

Skin Care

As we age, skin becomes thinner and drier, and it injures more easily and heals more slowly. All of that makes aging skin prone to problems from itching and flaking to serious infections and ulcerations. Be sure to check for sores or redness, potential signs of pressure sores – also called pressure ulcers or bedsores – which are injuries to skin and underlying tissue from prolonged pressure on the skin. 

How to avoid pressure sores:

  • Avoid hot baths and frequent showers
  • Use mild soap
  • Gently apply moisturizer to the skin after every shower or bath
  • Always wear sunblock outdoors
  • Stay hydrated
  • Use a room humidifier in the winter and in dry climates
  • MOVE! If your loved one is mobile, encourage walking. If not, reposition or transfer every 30 to 60 minutes

Stay Hydrated

Dehydration can lead to serious health problems. With age, the body’s ability to conserve water is reduced and the sense of thirst grows weaker. Sometimes chronic illness and certain medications dull the desire to drink water, but the need remains.

  • Drink small amounts of fluids throughout the day instead of large amounts all at once
  • Foods high in water such as fresh fruits and vegetables help meet daily needs
  • Have water, juice or milk with every meal, and keep favorite drinks nearby

Warning signs of dehydration:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Dark urine
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth/nose
  • Dry skin
  • Cramping


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