Your elderly family member’s skin can experience some big changes as she nears the end of her life. You might worry about protecting her skin and keeping it clean and dry now, which might be easier if you have a solid plan in place.
Make Sure You Have the Right Tools and Equipment
As your elderly family member nears the end of her life, she may not be able to participate as much in personal care tasks such as bathing. She may still be somewhat mobile, with assistance, so having the right tools in the bathroom, like a shower bench, can make bathing safer and so much more comfortable for her. Other tools, such as long-handled shower heads, can also make it easier and safer for you to help your senior to bathe.
Watch for Pressure Sores
Your senior is likely spending quite a bit of time either in a favorite comfortable chair or lying down. This can start to create pressure sores, also sometimes called bed sores. Helping your elderly family member to change her position every couple of hours can help to relieve the pressure on her skin and hopefully prevent these types of wounds.
Do What You Can to Avoid Friction Burns
One problem that you might run into when you’re helping your senior to move is that you might avoid pressure sores, but friction burns can still be a problem. This happens when your elderly family member may be a little heavy for you to move and her skin slides against the sheets. Try to avoid these by asking others, such as palliative care providers who are there with you, to help you move your senior.
Moisturizer Can Help with Dry, Itchy Skin
If your senior is not eating and drinking much anymore, her skin may start to dry out a bit. As that happens, it can start to feel dry, tight, and itchy. Lightweight moisturizers that don’t clog pores can really help to relieve that tight, itchy feeling without making her skin feel more uncomfortable. If you can encourage your elderly family member to drink a little more water, that can help to ease skin discomfort, too.
Make sure that you talk with your elderly family member’s doctor about changes that you notice in her skin. Her doctor can let you know what else you can try that might help with the issues you’re seeing.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering palliative care in Yardley, PA, please contact the caring staff at Serenity Hospice today. Call (215) 867-5405.