senior lady looking at arm bruise

It happens to all of us, especially as we get older. Maybe while cleaning, we run into the side of the coffee table, never giving it a second thought. But by the following day, a patch of sunset-colored shades has spread across the wounded area. How could such an awful bruise result from such a small accident?

While it may look worrying, bruising easily in older adults is fairly common. Thinning skin coupled with a reduction of fat often means that even a little scrape or bump can lead to more substantial bruising than it might for younger skin.

The home care team at Home With You Senior Care, a provider of in-home care in Ellicott City, MD and the surrounding areas, offers the following tips to help decrease the possibilities for bruising, and to help bruises heal better when they do occur:

Avoiding Bruises:

  • Assess the older adult’s home, both indoors and outdoors, to confirm that there are wide, clear walkways. Eliminate any dangers that could make the person stumble, trip, or bump into objects. Home With You Senior Care offers safety assessments as well, to make sure all of the bases are covered.
  • Encourage the senior to put on long-sleeved shirts and long pants when performing tasks which could cause damage or stress to the skin.
  • In the event that the senior smokes, help them quit. Smoking negatively affects the body’s ability to create collagen, which can lead to easier bruising.
  • Make certain the person’s diet contains sufficient amounts of vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in the creation of collagen.
  • Recognize that certain medicines can raise the likelihood of bruising (but realize too that the senior should not stop taking any medication without checking 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 area for 20 minutes to decrease blood flow to that particular location. This can help decrease the dimensions of the bruise while reducing inflammation.
  • If at all possible, elevate the area that is bruised.
  • Wrap the bruise with a compression bandage to minimize swelling.

If a bruise shows up out of nowhere, or if you are at all concerned by a particular bruise, call the doctor right away. This is especially important if the senior has begun taking a new medication, or if bleeding is occurring in the nose, gums, or any other area of the body.

At Home With You Senior Care, our in-home care in Ellicott City, MD and the nearby areas is here to help older adults continue to enjoy a healthy lifestyle while lessening the risk of injury. Some of the many different ways we achieve this are through:

  • Assistance with baths/showers and other personal care needs, including skin care
  • Support and help as needed with walking or transferring
  • Ensuring a clean and organized home environment that is clear of fall hazards
  • Engaging together in exercise programs to improve balance and strength
  • Monitoring for and reporting any alterations in condition immediately
  • And more

Give us a call any time for additional skin care tips and to find out about our full array of customized senior care services. We are pleased to offer a cost-free in-home consultation at your convenience. Reach out to us today at 410-756-0959 and let us know how we can assist!