Psoriasis is the most common autoimmune disorder throughout the United States, impacting 7.5 million people. This number accounts for more than 2% of the total population of the United States, with women reporting a more serious impact of the disease than men. As a family caregiver, it is important for you to devise a multifaceted care approach designed to help your parent cope with all aspects of this disease. This includes helping them to manage the emotional impact, identifying and avoiding triggers to reduce the risk of symptoms, and also taking care of the skin to reduce symptoms and help your parent cope with the discomfort. The red, scaly patches of skin characteristic of psoriasis can be very uncomfortable, including causing serious it. If your senior experiences itchy skin, they may scratch at it, potentially causing small injuries that can make them vulnerable to infections. Helping your parent to best cope with these symptoms can make dealing with the disease easier, and improve their quality of life.
Some ways your senior with psoriasis can cope with the itch and care for their skin include:
- Encourage your aging parents to take a bath daily. Discourage the use of very hot water, or harsh products. Instead, supplement warm water with oils, Epsom salt, or colloidal oatmeal. These will calm the skin, and reduce it. Make sure your senior does not stay in the water for too long, as this can worsen symptoms. Instead, have them soak for about 10 minutes each day, then carefully dry their skin
- Have your parents apply a thick, high-quality moisturizer to their skin regularly to keep it properly hydrated. One of the most important times to apply this moisturizer is right after bathing. While their skin is still warm and damp, apply ointment based moisturizers that don't have alcohol, water, harsh colors, or harsh fragrances. During times when their skin is more likely to dry out, such as during cold weather, or when they are exposed to artificial cooling or heating, encourage them to apply the moisturizer more frequently
- If your parent is experiencing intense itch, place a cold pack over the area. The cold can reduce the itch, and calm the inflammation of the skin
- Ask your doctor about the benefits of small doses of sunlight. Many people with psoriasis benefit from spending short bits of time exposed to sunlight on a regular basis. This can help to soothe the skin, and potentially clear up flares
Helping an aging parent cope with the effects of a health condition or issue is one of the most beneficial services your parent can receive from home care. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your parent on a fully customized schedule designed to ensure your parent has all of the support and assistance they need, while still honoring and respecting the care you give them, and the amount of time you can devote to their care. This care provider can help your parent manage their health issues in a variety of ways, including helping them to make good lifestyle choices such as eating a healthy diet, providing medication reminders to keep them compliant, and helping them track their symptoms and condition so you and your parent can make the right decisions regarding future care and management of all of their needs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Grand Ledge, MI, please contact the caring staff at Seniors Helping Seniors of Lansing. Call today: 517-332-9953.