Eczema is a common inflammatory skin condition, the most common variation being atopic dermatitis. While eczema is most common in children, a significant percentage of more than 10% of eczema cases appear in the elderly too. As a loved one, you should understand how important your role is to your elderly loved one’s struggle with eczema. To become a more positive influence in your loved one’s constant battle with this condition, here are some tips on handling eczema in seniors!
Understand Your Loved One’s Eczema
Every type of eczema has its own quirks, which makes it doubly important for you to ask more questions and be extra receptive to your loved one’s explanations, opinions, and experiences concerning their eczema. A receptive attitude will not only allow you to be a more educated, informed supportive figure in your loved one’s life, but also prevents you from unintentionally saying or doing something that can accidentally offend or upset your loved one. Furthermore, you can do more research about how to care for them in a considerate way, such as gifting them dermatologist-approved moisturizers and soaps and drawing baths for them.
Provide Emotional Support
Feelings of anxiety and stress are common trigger factors that can provoke your loved one’s skin and cause it to flare up. Such breakouts and be stressful to witness in oneself, causing further emotions of stress, resulting in a vicious cycle that neither you nor your loved one wants to deal with. Hence, it’s always a great idea to be a present, constant source of emotional support in your loved one’s life that they can rely on to understand their struggle with eczema.
Encourage Healthy Eating
An anti-inflammatory diet goes a long way in helping your loved one remain breakout-free. Ideally, your loved one should be cutting out certain foods that cause inflammation such as foods high in dairy and sugar, while adding more foods that have anti-inflammatory properties such as antioxidants at the same time. Additionally, some start their transition into organic food diets or even plant-based diets as a reaction to their eczema, so make sure to discuss with your loved one how they want to approach their diet.
Be Patient and Positive
There’s never a textbook answer as to how to support someone with eczema, especially an older adult. However, with enough time and patience, you’ll be able to understand the best way to handle your situation with your loved one. Some elderly eczema sufferers would rather their loved ones be more wary about their condition, appreciating the small reminders to resist the urge to scratch at their skin. On the other hand, others may find it annoying, so it all depends on your loved one and how they want support to be in the form.
Supporting your elderly loved one through retirement has never been so easy—just ask all of our residents’ loved ones in our retirement community! Our senior living options ensure that your loved one’s health, including any conditions such as eczema, is managed with care while also giving your loved one enough breathing room to live independently.