senior lady looking at arm bruise

Why do older people bruise easily? It happens to all of us, particularly as we get older. Perhaps while using the vacuum, we bump into the side of the coffee table, never thinking twice about it. But by the following day, a spot of purple shades has spread all over the injured area. How could such a nasty bruise be caused by such a small accident?

While it may look worrying, senior skin bruising is fairly common. Thinning skin along with a reduction of body fat can mean that even a small scrape or bump can result in more significant bruising than it would for more youthful skin.

The senior care team at Inspired Home Care, a provider of home care assistance in the Gold Coast of Chicago and nearby areas, offers the following ideas to help reduce the possibilities for bruising, and to help bruises heal better when they do occur.

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Avoiding Bruises:

  • Assess the older adult’s home, both inside and outside, to confirm that there are wide, clear walking paths. Eliminate any dangers that may cause the person to stumble, trip, or bump into objects. Inspired Home Care offers safety evaluations as well, to be sure all the bases are covered.
  • Encourage the senior to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever doing tasks which could cause injury or stress to the skin.
  • In the event that the senior smokes, help them quit. Smoking negatively affects the body’s ability to produce collagen, which can cause easier bruising.
  • Be sure the person’s diet includes ample amounts of vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in the creation of collagen.
  • Recognize that certain medications can increase the risk of bruising (but realize too that the senior should not stop taking any medication without consulting with the physician):
    • Aspirin
    • NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen)
    • Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
    • Corticosteroids
    • Antiplatelet meds

Helping Bruises to Heal:

  • Put a cold compress on the bruised spot for 20 minutes to reduce blood flow to that particular site. This can help shrink the size of the bruise while decreasing swelling.
  • If at all possible, elevate the area that is bruised.
  • Cover the bruise with a compression bandage to reduce swelling.

If a bruise occurs out of nowhere, or if you are at all alarmed by a specific bruise, contact the doctor immediately. This is especially pressing if the senior has begun taking a new medication, or if bleeding is happening in the nose, gums, or another part of the body.

At Inspired Home Care, our home care assistance in the Gold Coast neighborhood and surrounding areas is here to help older adults continue to enjoy a dynamic lifestyle while lessening the risk of injury. Some of the many different ways we achieve this are through:

  • Help with bathing, showering, and other personal care needs, including skin care
  • Help and support as required with walking or transferring
  • Ensuring a clean and organized home atmosphere that is free from fall hazards
  • Engaging together in exercise programs to promote balance and strength
  • Monitoring for and reporting any changes in condition right away
  • And more

Call us any time for additional skin care advice and to learn more about our full selection of customized in-home care services. We’re glad to offer a no-cost in-home assessment at your convenience. Contact us today at 847-787-7572 and let us know how we can assist!