Its no secret that as people age, their skin changes. Wrinkles and age spots appear. And, you may also notice that older adults suffer more bruises than younger people do. All of these noticeable signs of aging have to do with the physical changes the skin undergoes due to age. While the changes are normal, the appearance of bruises can be disconcerting. Understanding what causes easy bruising in older adults can ease your mind, and help prevent bruising.

Why Do Seniors Bruise Easily?

Skin becomes thinner with age, and some of the protective fatty layer is lost. As a result, the blood vessels arent as protected as they once were. Bruises occur when the capillaries that lie close to the surface of the skin are broken. Because of the lack of protection, even a minor bump can result in a bruise on senior skin.

Another factor that may contribute to easy bruising is certain medications. Some medicines affect the clotting of blood, such as aspirin and blood thinners. Because the blood takes longer to clot, more blood leaks out of the damaged capillary, which leads to a larger bruise.

How Can Bruising Be Prevented?

The following tips may help to prevent bruising in your aging family member:

  • Remove clutter from pathways that the person may bump themselves on.
  • Family caregivers and senior care providers can help the person to sit in and get up from chairs.
  • Talk to the doctor to find out if any of the seniors medications cause bruising, and ask if there are alternatives.

Whats the Best Way to Treat a Bruise?

When an older adult suffers a bruise, a senior care provider can help them with home treatment. Some ways to treat a bruise at home are:

  • Place an ice pack on the bruise for 20-30 minutes to help it heal faster. Senior care providers can prepare the ice pack by wrapping it in a cloth since ice should never be applied directly to the skin.
  • If the bruise is large and on a foot or ankle, a senior care provider can help the older adult to elevate the leg.
  • About 48 hours after the bruise occurs, a senior care provider can place a warm cloth on the bruise for about 10 minutes up to three times per day. This will improve blood flow and help the bruise to fade.

Bruising is a common problem for older adults. Taking steps to prevent bruising can help reduce the number of bruises a senior suffers. When a bruise does occur, a senior care provider can help your loved one to take steps toward healing the bruise more quickly.


If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Eden Prairie, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.