senior lady looking at arm bruise

It happens to all of us, especially as we get older. Maybe while vacuuming, we run into the edge of the coffee table, never giving it a second thought. Nevertheless, by the next day, a spot of purple hues has spread over the wounded area. How could such an awful bruise originate from such a minor mishap?

Although it may look shocking, bruising in older adults is quite common. Thinning skin coupled with a reduced amount of fat often means that even one small scrape or bump can lead to more significant bruising than it would for younger skin.

The home care team at Hearts at Home In-Home Care, a provider of home care in Leawood, KS and nearby areas, offers the following suggestions to help lessen the possibilities for bruising, and also to help bruises heal faster when they do occur:

Protecting Against Bruises:

  • Evaluate the senior’s home, both indoors and outdoors, to verify that there are wide, clear walking paths. Get rid of any dangers which could cause the person to fall, trip, or bump into objects. Hearts at Home In-Home Care offers safety evaluations as well, to make sure all bases are covered.
  • Encourage the older adult to put on long-sleeved shirts and long trousers when doing activities that could cause injury or stress to the skin.
  • If the senior is a smoker, help them to stop. Smoking negatively affects the body’s ability to create collagen, which can lead to easier bruising.
  • Be sure the person’s diet includes adequate amounts of vitamin C, which plays a vital role in the production of collagen.
  • Understand that certain drugs can raise the likelihood of bruising (but realize too that the senior should never stop taking any medication without checking with the physician):
    • Aspirin
    • NSAIDs (Advil, Aleve, ibuprofen)
    • Anticoagulants (coumadin, heparin)
    • Corticosteroids
    • Antiplatelet meds

Helping Bruises to Heal:

  • Place a cold compress on the bruised area for 20 minutes to decrease blood circulation to that location. This can help reduce the size of the bruise while decreasing inflammation.
  • If possible, elevate the area that is bruised.
  • Cover the bruise with a compression bandage to reduce 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 started taking a new medication, or if bleeding is occurring in the nose, gums, or another area of the body.

At Hearts at Home In-Home Care, our senior care experts are here to help older adults continue to enjoy a dynamic lifestyle while lowering the likelihood of injury. A few of the various ways we accomplish this are through:

  • Help with baths/showers and other personal care needs, such as skin care
  • Help and support as needed with walking or transferring
  • Ensuring a clean and organized home environment that is free from fall hazards
  • Assisting with exercise programs to promote balance and strength
  • Monitoring for and reporting any changes in condition right away
  • And so much more

Contact us any time for more skin care recommendations and to find out about our full range of personalized in-home care services. We are happy to offer a free in-home consultation at your convenience. Contact us today at 913-440-4209 and let us know how our home care in Leawood, KS and the surrounding communities can help!