Of the numerous changes that take place as people grow older, senior bruising is one that can be alarming for family members to observe in their loved ones. It is essential to talk to the senior’s physician whenever there’s a health concern, but it is also important to realize that bruises on seniors are really very common. These bruises can be the result of the thinning of the skin and a lessening of fat that is typical with aging. Even a little bump to older skin can result in much more pronounced bruising than that on younger skin.
Dakota Home Care, the top provider of home care assistance in Bismarck, Mandan, and Fargo, recommends the tips below to help lower the risks for bruising, and to help heal bruises when they do occur:
How Can I Help Prevent Bruises on Seniors?
- Assess the safety of the senior’s home and property, making certain there are broad walking paths clear of objects the individual might trip over or bump into. Our home care team can help assess the person’s home for safety risks as well.
- Encourage the senior to wear long pants and sleeves when performing activities that could possibly result in an injury to the skin, like housework or gardening.
- If the individual smokes, offer support to help them quit. Smoking decreases collagen production, which can lead to easier senior bruising.
- Ensure that the person’s diet includes plenty of vitamin C, which plays an important role in collagen production.
- Find out whether the senior takes any of the medications listed below, as they can raise the risk of bruising (NOTE: Do not stop any medication without the doctor’s guidance):
- Antiplatelet medications
- Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
- NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, and ibuprofen)
What Should I Do to Help Heal Bruises on Seniors?
- Put a cold compress on the bruise for about 20 minutes to reduce the blood flow to the affected area. This can help reduce the size of the bruise and minimize swelling.
- If feasible, raise the bruised area.
- Wrap the area with a compression bandage to help decrease swelling.
Make sure that the individual receives immediate medical help for any bruises that arise for no clear reason, especially if they have started taking a new medication or if bleeding occurs in other areas of the body, like the gums or nose.
- Help with walking to help prevent falls and other injuries
- Baths/Showers and moisturizing
- Examining the skin for bruises or other changes
- And more