Aging adults may be at a higher risk for developing skin wounds such as decubitus ulcers and diabetic wounds. Skin breakdown in older adults can be caused by thinning skin, bladder and bowel incontinence, immobility, poor nutritional intake, and circulation problems. Skin breakdown risk may also be higher in those with preexisting dermatological conditions such as psoriasis.
If your senior loved one resides in an assisted living facility and is at risk for skin breakdown or has existing skin wounds, discuss the following wound care interventions with the dietary staff, nursing staff, and primary care physician.
Incontinent Care Interventions
Bladder and bowel control problems can dramatically raise the risk of skin excoriation, pressure ulcers, and other types of skin breakdown. If the assisted living resident is unable to go to the bathroom by themselves, the staff will assist them. If the resident has incontinent episodes, the staff will change their clothes and clean the perineal area afterward to avoid skin irritation from urine and stool. Also, during incontinent care, the nursing staff can apply a moisture barrier product such as petroleum jelly or zinc oxide to the perineal skin to help prevent moisture from further irritating the skin.
Aging individuals who have skin integrity problems may need to incorporate more nutrient-dense foods into their meals and snacks. Vitamin C-rich foods help promote healthy collagen production, promote healing of existing skin wounds, and also help lower the risk for infected decubitus ulcers. In addition, lean proteins such as low-fat dairy products, certain types of fish, chicken breast, and turkey will also help promote wound healing.
The dietary department can work with your loved one's primary care doctor to prepare delicious and nutritious meals to maintain both the resident's skin health and overall state of general health. Your loved one will also receive a therapeutic diet from the dietary staff in accordance with the doctor's orders.
If the assisted living resident has diabetes or high blood pressure, the dietary staff will prepare meals specifically tailored for people with these and other medical conditions. When diabetes and high blood pressure are managed through dietary measures and medication, skin breakdown may be less likely to develop. The staff will also monitor your loved one for excessive weight loss or weight gain and report it to the physician.
If your senior family member is at risk for skin breakdown, discuss their treatment options with the assisted living staff. When skincare interventions such as those mentioned above are implemented quickly, aging adults will have healthier skin and their risk for skin breakdown will be minimized.Share
28 December 2022
When I started looking for a care center for my mother, I decided that I needed to learn a little more about nursing home amenities. I wanted her to be in a safe, happy, fun place, but I didn't know what to look for. To make my search easier, I picked up a piece of paper and a pen and started calling different facilities. I made a list of all of the exciting, new features that places were offering, and then I showed the list to my mom. I let her decide where to stay and what she wanted to do. This blog is all about recognizing great nursing home amenities, so that you can keep the people that you love happy and content.