People often forget that the skin is an organ and one of the most important organs your body has. It is the largest organ in the body and in addition to providing overall protection, it helps with temperature regulation and sensation.
As people age, the skin barrier gets weaker because of a reduction of cell turnover that can lead to dry, thin, and itchy skin. Infections become more likely and wounds may take longer to heal. This is why it’s so important to help your loved one keep her skin healthy. Skincare shouldn’t just be an afterthought. It should be part of your loved one’s daily routine.
Your loved one might be able to follow these recommendations or may need help from a home care attendant who visits the house to help with some of them. The skin that your loved one is unable to reach – such as her feet or back – can get the care it needs with the help of a home care provider who can reach those areas easily.
Here are five daily practices your loved one can easily implement to keep her skin looking and feeling great.
- Moisturize. Make sure your loved one has a good quality moisturizer. It should contain fatty acids and emollients that are similar to the skin’s lipids. The goal is for it to lock in moisture and prevent water loss. While your loved one can probably put lotion on her hands and face, having a home care attendant help with the bottom of her feet or her shoulders is a good idea.
- Drink Lots of Water. Drinking water not only prevents dehydration but staying hydrated keeps skin from drying out and getting cracked. If your loved one is home most of the day, she may not feel thirsty, but she should still drink her recommended amount of water a day. Getting her a water bottle that shows how much she should drink a day and filling it each morning can help her stay on track with her water consumption.
- Stay out of the Sun. Your loved one should always have all exposed skin covered in sunscreen when heading out for a day outside (or just a few hours). A home care provider can help with applying it to the back of her neck or legs – areas that are often forgotten. If she’s wearing sandals, don’t forget all those little areas of skin that peek out between the straps.
- Eat well. What she eats matters for keeping her skin healthy. Foods such as berries, melons, avocados, green vegetables, walnuts, and oily fish like salmon can help maintain healthy skin.
- Wash with Care. Your loved one’s skin needs gentleness when it’s being cleaned. When bathing, make sure your loved one’s soaps are gentle and mild. She should also avoid scrubbing her skin and instead use a soft washcloth. Keeping the water temp warm or cool instead of hot or cold will also help prevent skin damage.
A little TLC is all it takes to keep your loved one’s skin healthy.