senior lady looking at arm bruise

We all experience it, particularly as we grow older. Maybe while cleaning, we bump into the side of the coffee table, never thinking twice about it. Nevertheless, by the following day, a mass of purple hues has spread over the wounded area. How could such a nasty bruise stem from such a small mishap?

While it may look shocking, bruising in senior skin is fairly common. Thinning skin in addition to a decrease in fat often means that even one small abrasion or bump can cause more extensive bruising than it might for younger skin.

The home care team at Absolute Companion Care, a provider of home health services in Towson, MD and nearby areas, shares the following strategies to help decrease the chances for bruising, and to help bruises heal quicker when they do occur:

Preventing Bruises:

  • Evaluate the older adult’s home, both indoors and outdoors, to ensure that there are wide, clear walkways. Eliminate any dangers that may cause the person to stumble, trip, or knock into objects. Absolute Companion Care offers safety evaluations as well, to make sure all the bases are covered.
  • Encourage the senior to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever performing tasks that may cause damage or stress to senior skin.
  • In the event that the senior smokes, help them to stop. Smoking negatively affects the body’s ability to make collagen, which can lead to easier bruising.
  • Be sure the person’s diet includes sufficient amounts of vitamin C, which plays an important role in the production of collagen.
  • Understand that certain medications can increase the likelihood of bruising (but realize too that the senior should never stop taking any medication without talking to the physician):
    • Aspirin
    • NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen)
    • Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
    • Corticosteroids
    • Antiplatelet meds

Helping Bruises to Heal:

  • Place a cold pack on the bruised area for 20 minutes to decrease the flow of blood to that particular site. This can help decrease the size of the bruise while reducing inflammation.
  • If at all possible, raise the bruised area.
  • Wrap the bruise with a compression bandage to minimize swelling.

If a bruise occurs for seemingly no reason, or if you are at all worried by a specific bruise, contact the doctor as soon as possible. This is particularly pressing if the person has begun taking a new medication, or if bleeding is happening in the nose, gums, or another area of the body.

At Absolute Companion Care, our home health services in Towson, MD and surrounding areas are here to help seniors continue to have an active lifestyle while lowering the chance of injury. Some of the various ways we achieve this are through:

  • Help with bathing, showering, and other personal care needs, such as skin care
  • Support and help as needed with transferring or walking
  • Ensuring a tidy and organized home atmosphere that is free from fall hazards
  • Assisting with exercise programs to improve balance and strength
  • Watching for and reporting any changes in condition right away
  • And much more

Contact us any time for additional skin care recommendations and to find out more about our full selection of personalized in-home care services. We are happy to offer a complimentary in-home assessment at your convenience. Give us a call today at 410-357-9640 and let us know how we can assist!