Everyone bruises sometimes. You bump into the corner of a counter or smack your knee getting into the car. You wind up with a bruise and it goes away a few days later. But, for older adults, bruising happens more easily and frequently.
Why Seniors Bruise Easily.
A bruise happens when the tiny veins that lie close to the surface of the skin break and leak blood into the surrounding tissues. After a few days, the body reabsorbs the blood and the bruise disappears. In older adults, the small veins are even closer to the surface because skin gets thinner with age. That means that it doesn’t take as hard of a blow to cause a bruise.
In addition to thinner skin, many older adults are on medications to thin blood. Blood thinners cause a person to bleed more easily. Since bruises are caused by bleeding under the skin, taking blood thinners can result in easier bruising.
It’s not possible to prevent all bruises, but there are ways you can help your aging relative to get fewer of them. Some tips for preventing bruising are:
- Keep pathways clear of objects that the senior might run into when they are walking around the house. Remove clutter that they could trip over. If there are cords in pathways, either move them or tape them down.
- Help your aging relative to stand up and sit down if they have balance or mobility problems.
- Talk to the doctor about whether the senior needs a mobility aid, like a cane or walker.
- Install handrails in stairwells and grab bars in the bathroom.
- Whenever possible, advise the senior to wear long sleeves and long pants to offer limbs a little extra protection.
Treating a Bruise.
When the older adult does injure themselves in a way that may cause a bruise, there are ways to lessen the pain and reduce the length of time the bruise lasts. Some tips for treating a bruise are:
- Apply a cold compact to the area for about 20-30 minutes.
- Use acetaminophen to relieve pain.
- Use a warm compress for 10 minutes a few times a day 2 days after the injury occurs. This can help the body reabsorb blood more quickly.
Elderly care providers can help your aging relative to suffer fewer bruises by helping them to walk safely around the house. Elderly care providers can also help remove clutter from walkways and tape down cords. An elderly care provider can also help to treat a bruise when one occurs.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering elderly care in Plainview, NY, please call the caring staff at Companion Home Care of Long Island. Senior Home Care serving Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Counties. Turn your questions into answers. Call Today (631) 884-0005
Dorothy’s core expertise includes an extensive background of more than 38 years, focusing on Home Care, Senior Care and operating a successful in-home care agency.
In her spare time she enjoys her 5 grandchildren, gardening, skiing and competition 8-Ball.