Of all the changes that happen as people age, bruising in seniors is one that can be concerning for family members to observe in their loved ones. It is critical to talk to the person’s doctor every time there is a health issue, but it is also important to realize that senior bruising is actually rather common. Bruising in the elderly often is a result of the thinning of the skin and a lessening of fat that is normal with aging. Even a little bump to older skin can result in much more prominent bruising when compared to younger skin.
How Can I Prevent Bruises in Seniors?
- Assess the safety of the senior’s home and property, making sure there are wide walking paths clear of objects the person might trip over or bump into. Carolina Hearts Home Care can help evaluate the senior’s home for safety hazards as well.
- Encourage your family member to wear long pants and sleeves when undertaking activities that might result in an injury to the skin, like housework or gardening.
- If the person is a smoker, offer support to help them quit. Smoking lessens the production of collagen, which can lead to easier bruising in senior skin.
- Make sure that the senior’s diet includes lots of vitamin C, which plays an essential role in collagen production.
- Find out whether the senior is taking any of the medications listed below, as they can increase the risk of senior bruising (NOTE: Never stop any medication without the doctor’s guidance):
- Antiplatelet medications
- Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
- NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, and ibuprofen)
How Can I Help Heal Senior Bruising?
- Put a cold compress over the bruise for 20 minutes to reduce the blood flow to the area. This can help minimize the size of the bruise plus reduce swelling.
- If feasible, elevate the bruised area.
- Use a compression bandage to help reduce swelling.
Ensure that the person receives immediate medical help for any bruises that appear for no clear reason, particularly if the person has started taking a new medicine or if bleeding occurs in other areas of the body, such as the nose or gums.
Carolina Hearts Home Care’s home care team is skilled in senior care in Hamlet and nearby areas and can help manage a variety of concerns, including older skin needs, such as:
- Help with walking to help prevent falls and other injuries
- Showers or baths and moisturizing
- Examining the skin for bruises or other changes
- And more