Skin and body care in the elderly is a much underestimated topic. Find out what is important and what care-giving relatives should pay attention to here.
Skin and body care in geriatric care does not have to be complicated. With just a few simple rules, you can increase the well-being of the elderly and thus preserve the overall health of the elders.
Why skin and body care in the elderly is important?
The skin of older people has changed compared to younger years. Among other things, the aging process makes them extremely sensitive, their elasticity is greatly reduced, wrinkles and pigments change the consistency and appearance. The skin gland functions diminish, in the genital area, the skin is very often attacked by more or less strong incontinence. Age skin therefore requires special care products. Those who care for older people, should know the relevant skin lesions.
Basic rules of skin and body care in geriatric care
The basis of proper skin and body care in geriatric care is based on two factors. This includes, on the one hand, the use of the right care products and, on the other hand, the implementation of care. In any case, you should resort to gentle care products and observe a few moves.
Care products for older skin
On the market different care series are offered especially for the aging skin. They are usually very good, but not always cheap. Nonetheless, nutrients and vital substances are extremely important in the care products.
Use care products:
• Avoid soap, prefer to use washing lotions
• Well suited are not too oily lotions and ointments
• Happy soothing bath oil additives
• Please no Franzbranntwein or other Einreibungsalkohole
Ingredients of care products
When purchasing care products, caregivers should carefully inspect the ingredients. Inhalants such as urea, creatine, almond oil and panthenol help the skin during the healing and development process. Care should also be taken that care products have a pH of 5.5 and contain little or no alcohol.
• Almond oil
Care tips for older skin
In addition to the right products, the type of care plays a role in the skin and body care in the elderly care. So some body areas are more common to maintain, including the genital area, but also elbows, knees and hands. The hands should be creamed several times a day after washing your hands. Then the typical itching would have to stop if the person does not have thyroid disease or diabetes. Caregivers should be careful when washing to a room temperature of 22 to 26 ° C, because older people are very sensitive to cold.
Care tip 1: face
The face contains very sensitive skin. Therefore it is recommended to clean the eyes from the outside to the inside angle. Then it should be cleaned in the following order: first cheeks, then mouth, then ears and neck.
Care tip 2: Whole body wash
The whole body wash is done if possible sitting or even standing. Furthermore, a partial exposure of the respective body part to be cared for is advisable. In nursing homes and hospitals even blinds are built up before the whole body wash. The order starting from the face down to the feet and from the extremities to the middle of the body, is a proven method.
Care tip 3: Assistance
Especially the whole body wash in the skin and body care in the elderly care is recommended if possible with a helping family member or with the carer / nurse.
Care tip 4: Washing gloves
Washing gloves are the best and proven alternative to washcloths. Not only is the acceptance of older people much higher due to the velvety soft surface, they are also very hygienic and practical. Because the mild wash lotion is already soaked and every wash mitt can be disposed of in normal household waste.
Care tip 5: Wash in bed
Of course, washing is also in bed. This is the use of practical washing gloves. In addition, a hospital bed mattress protection is recommended.
Care tip 6: Skin folds
Do not forget the skin folds. Because they are particularly affected by skin diseases. These include armpits, abdominal creases, cervical folds, poplitealis and elbows, and women under the breasts.
Care tips 7: buttocks
The buttocks as part of the intimate area is particularly important in skin and body care in the elderly care. As experience has shown that this is a hard-to-reach place for bedridden people, it is advisable to clean them in a lateral position.
Care tip 8: Dry properly
Older skin should not be rubbed when drying. It is better to dab with very soft, particularly absorbent wipes, which are also available as disposables. Who uses towels, must pay special attention to cleanliness, otherwise threatened germs.
Care tip 9: Fingernails and toenails
For body care also includes the cutting of the fingernails and toenails. Caregivers should pay attention to fungal lesions and ingrown nails, if necessary they must be examined by a doctor.
High quality creams for incontinence
Even if high-quality creams are more expensive – with incontinence there is hardly a way around them. Urine and stools stress the skin so much that serious illnesses threaten. Good care products, which are suitable for skin and body care in the elderly, relieve the skin. In addition, they provide them with important nutrients and support their regeneration. The use of such care products must be continuous. Incontinence increases otherwise existing skin damage and delays the healing process. Mild cleansing foam is a handy helper because it does not require extra water. For drying, especially soft dry cloths can be used. Wet washing gloves replace the bath or shower in bed. Care wipes are suitable for removing small soiling.
Tip: Change incontinence articles (diapers, insoles) regularly
Since the contact of urine and stool with the skin carries the greatest risks, caregivers should regularly change the incontinence diapers and insoles. This is especially important in warm weather. An increased burden brings the night care with it, which is nevertheless necessary. Absorbent incontinence diapers can delay changing due to their capacity to absorb. However, care should be taken to ensure that too oily ointments reduce the suction power of an incontinence diaper, because the liquids emanate from the fat. Milking fat, Vaseline and other greasy ointments are therefore unsuitable.
Pay attention to the pH
The urine contains urea and ammonia, which attack the acid mantle (hydrolipid mantle) of the skin as alkaline substances. As a result, fungi and bacteria thrive, including the cause of the “diaper fungus” Candida albicans. Accordingly, soaps and lotions with a pH of around 5.5 are suitable for the care of older skin, which rebuild the acid mantle.
Skin care for fecal incontinence
Fecal incontinence also causes digestive enzymes to reach the skin, which irritate the skin surface considerably, especially in the rump area. Diaper rash inevitably leads to decubitus because the older skin is drier and thinner. Therefore, skin care should be done regularly. An increased risk of obesity, diabetes and bed rest, because in these people in the skin folds the painful Intertrigo (Wolf) can develop.
Care products for faecal incontinence
With fecal incontinence, special cleaning foams are suitable, which have a moisturizing effect and at the same time absorb the odor. Subsequently, water-in-oil emulsions protect the skin, but no baby oil. Finally, the cleaning and care should be done regularly.
Why does the skin change in old age?
Skin changes in old age are quite normal and are part of the natural aging process. The barrier function of the skin of older people becomes weaker and offers only less protection against external influences. In addition, the moisture content of the skin decreases and the formation of new skin cells is slowed down. In addition, the reduced production of protective tallow is added.
Typical skin changes in old age
Aging skin always stores less needed moisture. Overall, such skin tends to brittle and tears. Acoustic activity of the sweat glands also reduces the protection of the skin’s own acids against bacteria. So increase inflammation with consequences such as itching and diseases, such as dehydration eczema.
Typical diseases in old age:
• Brittle and cracked
Conclusion for skin and body care in geriatric care
There are good, well thought-out skincare products for older skin and in geriatric care sufficient know-how to maintain the quality of life of senior citizens as long as possible. But the implementation also costs time and (physical and mental) power. A home-based 24-hour care is therefore highly recommended and is paid at the appropriate care level of the fund.