How Seniors Can Care for Their Skin in the Winter Months

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Your senior loved one’s skin may become fragile with age. As the sebaceous glands release less oil, his or her skin could also become dry, especially during the winter season. Brisk Canadian winds and cold air trigger cracking, itching, and chapping. Here are a few ways your loved one can counter the effects of winter on his or her tender skin. 

Use Moisturizers

Seniors can prevent dry skin by applying ointments, lotions, and creams. Help your loved one smooth an emollient product over his or her face, neck, arms, and legs. Your loved one should also apply cream on his or her face before leaving the house and use lotion after washing the hands. He or she should choose moisturizers with antioxidants and hydrating agents, including coenzyme Q10, vitamins A, C, and E, aloe, cucumber, green tea extract, hyaluronic acid, and alpha-lipoic acid. Emollients should also be oil-based since they’re more protective against wind and snow than water-based products. Before going outside, have your loved one apply lip balm with SPF 15. At bedtime, gently rub lotion into his or her hands.

The cold winter months can affect a senior’s overall health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Brampton, ON, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Increase Fluid Intake

Encourage drinking an adequate volume of water daily because dehydration makes the skin dry and dull. If your loved one has parched lips and dark-colored urine, he or she needs more fluids. Nutritionists advise a daily volume of water equal to half of an individual’s body weight. For example, if your loved one weighs 160 pounds, he or she should sip a total of 80 ounces or 10 cups of water each day. Keep a water bottle within easy reach of your loved one at all times. If the taste of water is too bland, add a squeeze of lemon, orange, or lime, or brew naturally sweet herbal tea that doesn’t need sugar. You can also substitute low-sodium soup and vegetable juice for water.

Adapt Bathing Habits to Winter Weather

If your loved one enjoys taking long showers, make sure the water isn’t too hot. Taking a hot water bath can make the skin dry. Encourage your loved one to use a moisturizing body wash for bathing. Before a soak in the tub, add bath oil. Afterward, help your loved one dry off by gently patting his or her skin with a soft towel. Then, apply moisturizer.

If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Brampton seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.

Raise Indoor Humidity Levels

To monitor the humidity levels, install a digital or analog hygrometer. When the hygrometer drops to 43 percent, turn on a humidifier. By keeping air moisture above this percentage, you can lower your loved one’s risk of flu by airborne viruses. As an alternative to a humidifier, simmer water in a stove pot and suffuse the air with fragrance by adding potpourri made with cinnamon sticks, citrus peels, whole cloves, vanilla, nutmeg, allspice, peppermint leaves, or dried lavender. Let the potpourri simmer for 10 minutes, then turn off the flame.

Eat Foods That Are Healthy for the Skin

Nuts and seeds contain vitamin E, which promotes skin regeneration and growth, and omega-3 fatty acids that shield skin from ultraviolet light. Adding ¼ of an avocado to meals also supplies vitamin E and healthy fats. Olive oil is full of vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and monounsaturated fat that offer triple protection from the effects of winter. Sweet potatoes and carrots contain vitamin A and beta-carotene that ward off dryness and wrinkles. Cucumbers have vitamins A and C that increase elasticity in skin, while lycopene in tomatoes thwarts damage caused by free radicals. To increase lycopene absorption, serve tomatoes cooked with a little healthy fat. Fruits contain water and several antioxidants. If your loved one is diabetic, choose low-sugar fruits such as blueberries, kiwis, and strawberries. Other healthy fruit options include cherries, apples, oranges, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, and grapes. Eggs provide protein, which regenerates skin cells. Soy is another protein-rich food, preserving collagen via plant hormones called isoflavones.

Caring for a senior loved one during the cold winter months can be a challenging task. Families who need additional assistance caring for an elderly loved one should consider hiring a professional in-home caregiver. Brampton, ON, seniors and their families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide high-quality in-home care on an as-needed basis. Our caregivers take pride in helping seniors remain healthy while promoting their quality of life. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your senior loved one, call us at 905-951-8885 today.