Risks of Elderly Bruising

Isolated bandages set

The body becomes more frail for various reasons as it ages into later years of life. This makes bruising more recurrent in many elders, as the body is less resilient to bumps, scrapes, or falls. Bruises can often be ugly or embarrassing to have to deal with, so we provide some tips on how to prevent, treat, and deal with the risks of elderly bruising.

 

Preventing Senior Bruises

Bruises, and most senior injuries in general, are often due to falls. A way to prevent elderly bruising is to do your best to prevent falls at home. This can be done in many ways, including installing shower matts in the bathrooms, ensuring stair rails are secure, making sure furniture doesn’t obstruct walking paths, and using a cane or senior walker for transportation.

Treating Senior Bruises

Typically, advanced medical assistance is not needed to treat elderly bruising. As time passes, any blood leaked from a bruise will be absorbed back into the body eventually. Unfortunately, this natural process can take a considerably longer amount of time in seniors. Serious bruises can sometimes stay with an elder for weeks. The best thing that a senior can do to speed up the healing process, is to apply a sort of frozen compress to the affected bruised area as soon as possible. Do not apply ice directly to the skin however. This cold compress can slow the amount of blood draining into skin tissue, and prevent the bruise from becoming noticeably large. Hold cold compresses on the bruise for several minutes at a time, then apply a warm compress to restore the circulation and bring down the pressure in the affected bruised area.

Senior Bruising as a Side Effect of Medication

Bruising may be a symptom of certain medical conditions. Diseases like Leukemia or other blood diseases can be factors in increasing senior bruising. Also, conditions that affect the liver can result in higher likelihood of bruising, since the liver is responsible in part for handling blood clots. Medications may sometimes contribute to senior bruising susceptibility as well. Anti-coagulation medicines, like Coumadin®, serve to fight blood clots and prevent heart attacks and strokes, but may also have a side effect of rising the possibility of elder bruising. Several non-prescription medicines have been known for this side effect also, including ibuprofen, aspirin, and some antidepressants. If the possibility of bruising is concerning, than be sure to consult your doctor before taking any new medications.

Senior Bruising from Elder Abuse

The National Center for Elder Abuse defines the act of ‘elder abuse’ to be: “any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver (or any other person) that causes harm or serious risk of harm to an elder adult.” If you notice an elder loved one bearing bruises frequently, or bruises that appear to be the result of rough handling, then it may be a good idea to investigate the living environment of your senior loved one, or to have a personal talk with them to find out if abuse is occurring. Abuse can be an embarrassing or traumatic thing to discuss, so make your best effort to make a senior feel comfortable, safe, and loved when discussing. Sometimes an elder feels that they don’t want to burden or concern you by mentioning such problems; so please make an effort to convey that they should not feel reluctant to share anything important.

Tips for Babysitting 21st Century Grandkids

Two beautiful happy young grandchildren with their grandparents in a close group looking at the back of a camera at a photograph

As a grandparent, it can be expected that sometimes your grown children may ask you to watch over the grandkids while they have an evening (or even take a vacation) together with a spouse. If you are willing or able to babysit your young grandchildren, you may find that chaperoning today’s youth has changed since you were raising your own children. This generation of young people is one of gadgets, social media, and television. Depending on your age, you may be less familiar with how best to connect with children today. In this article we’ll provide some tips for babysitting 21st century grandkids.

 

Technology May Already Be Babysitting Them

You may find how tame the pastimes of today’s youth are to be a blessing and a curse. When grandparents are fairly along in years, they may not have the energy to bounce and run around with the energy of small playing children. So, a passive activity like television or computer usage may be more the pace of a grandparent and easier to manage. However, media consumption may also be impersonal, as you find yourself being tuned out by preoccupied grandchildren who won’t look away from any of the glowing screens in their lives. You may even wonder why you are needed at all since the technology seems to be doing the babysitting for you.

This can be an opportunity for you to slow down the pace if you find it necessary. If it looks like the young’uns are addicted a little too much to the televisions, it can be your chance to teach them your favorite card game, board game, or share some stories that you think they would like to hear. Maybe you’ll receive a little resistance to retracting a child’s TV time at first, but simply assert yourself as the babysitting authority, and let it be known that this means a lot to you and you should not have too much trouble redirecting the course of events.

 

How Much TV Is Ok?

Rules and opinions about television watching will vary by household. Talk to the parents about the allowed amount of TV time and when the grandkids typically can watch TV. That is not to say that you as the grandmother or grandfather are bound to let an evening with you play out like any other night, but you can at least ask to get a feel for the usual television usage of your grandkids.

Watching some of their favorite programs can be a nice way to bond and come into their world. But TV is not the only way to bond, if the silliness or violence of what’s on the tube doesn’t suite you, then you can leave them to it, or simply pull the plug and suggest another activity together. You can also use the television as a way to ration out rewards for completing chores or doing what is expected. If the grandchildren are naughty, that may be a reason to revoke some television privileges. Managing the media use (phone, television, computer, etc) can be a method for you to assert your authority when disciplinary measures are needed if the young kids get rowdy.

 

While technology certainly plays a large role in the 21st century youth, at the end of the day, it is up to you as the babysitting grandparent to be in charge of how and when the media is used. These babysitting visits may be the only time you have to bond with your grandchildren for extended periods of time and get to know them more personally, so it is up to you arrange the events of time spent together at your own pace.