Skin problems in older people include abnormal sweating, itching, swelling, wounds and ulcers. Pressure ulcers result from damage to skin and tissue caused by pressure or rubbing. Poor nutrition, limited feeling in the affected parts of the body, and incontinence may increase the likelihood of developing pressure ulcers.

If a skin problem is starting to develop, tell a health care professional (eg a nurse who visits) so that treatments can be started quickly.

Avoid skin problems by:

  • keeping your skin clean and dry
  • eating well
  • drinking enough fluids.
Advice for carers

You can reduce the likelihood of pressure ulcers by relieving pressure. Make sure that the older person changes position regularly. Use pressure-relieving devices (special mattresses, pillows, etc) to avoid pressure on bony areas. Reduce skin damage by using lifting aids when necessary. Health care professionals can advise about the kind of lifting aid that will be useful.

Independent living centres can provide information and advice on devices and equipment.
For more information Please visit Independent Living Centres Australia website
Telephone: See the White Pages under ‘Independent living centres’