Keeping Elderly Warm(5) – Shower
Other than beware of getting cold during shower, we should also be careful in the way shower to protect dry skin of elderly as a result of reduced oil secretion as one ages. This is because skin is one of the main defenses to bacteria and viruses.
As there is drop in temperature and humidity in autumn and winter, and very often elderly are not active, they do not require shower daily. Having shower every alternate day or 2 times every week are enough. This does not only reduce to chance of getting cold but also avoid itching and peeling of dry skin due to thinning sebum after shower.
Elderly should have shower at noon or afternoon when temperature is higher. Before shower, they can drink a cup of hot water slowly or do some warm up exercise to prevent getting cold.
To protect dryness of skin, elderly should avoid use of alkaline soap. Shower gel with approximately ph5.5, similar to that of skin, is desirable. Water should be 40 degree Celsius or lower as skin can be irritated if water is too hot.
Elderly, especially those with cardiovascular diseases, should limit shower to no more than 15 minutes. This does not only prevent loss of sebum, but also avoid chance of dizziness and chest pain due to reduced blood supply to heart and other organs as prolonged shower can expand blood vessels under skin and draw blood from other organs.
After shower, gently dry the body with soft bath towel. Prevent rubbing the skin hardly. Apply a thin layer of lotion if needed and then put on clothes quickly.