senior lady looking at arm bruise

We all experience it, especially as we grow older. Perhaps while vacuuming, we bump into the edge of the coffee table, never thinking twice about it. Nevertheless, by the following day, a patch of sunset-colored shades has spread across the injured area. How could such a nasty bruise be caused by such a slight accident?

While it may look shocking, bruising in the elderly is quite common. Thinning skin in addition to a reduction of body fat can mean that even a small abrasion or bump can result in more substantial bruising than it might for younger skin.

The home care team at At-Home Care Company shares the following tips to help lower the chances for bruising, and to help bruises heal faster when they do occur:

Preventing Bruises:

  • Evaluate the senior’s home, both indoors and outdoors, to verify that there are wide, clear walkways. Remove any dangers that may make the person fall, trip, or bump into objects. At-Home Care Company offers safety evaluations as well, to make sure all bases are covered.
  • Encourage the senior to wear long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when performing tasks that could cause injury or stress to the skin.
  • If the senior is a smoker, help them to quit. Smoking negatively impacts the body’s ability to create collagen, which can cause easier bruising.
  • Be sure the person’s diet includes adequate amounts of vitamin C, which plays a vital role in the creation of collagen.
  • Recognize that certain drugs can increase the risk of bruising (but know too that the senior should never discontinue taking any medication without consulting with a doctor):
    • Aspirin
    • NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen)
    • Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
    • Corticosteroids
    • Antiplatelet meds

Helping Bruises to Heal:

  • Put a cold pack on the bruised spot for 20 minutes to decrease blood flow to that particular area. This can help shrink the dimensions of the bruise while reducing swelling.
  • If at all possible, raise the area that is bruised.
  • Cover the bruise with a compression bandage to lower swelling.

If a bruise shows up for seemingly no reason, or if you are at all worried by a specific bruise, get in touch with the doctor as soon as possible. This is specifically crucial if the senior has started taking a new medication, or if bleeding is occurring in the gums, nose, or other part of the body.

At At-Home Care Company, a top-rated provider of respite care in Des Moines, IA and the surrounding communities, we are here to help older people continue to have an energetic lifestyle while reducing the likelihood of injury. A few of the various ways we achieve this are through:

  • Assistance with bathing, showering, and other personal care needs, such as skin care
  • Support and help as required with transferring or walking
  • Assisting with exercise programs to promote balance and strength
  • Watching for and reporting any changes in condition immediately
  • And a lot more

Contact us any time for additional elderly skin care advice and to learn more about our full range of individualized senior care services. We are happy to offer a free in-home assessment at your convenience. Reach out to us today at 515-292-2650 and let us know how we can help!