Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 17, 2014

Seneca gives reminders on issues for elderly

Mar 07, 2013

Seneca Area Agency on Aging has issued reminders for family caregivers of seniors about winter skin care and the availability of volunteer dental care.

Seneca wants to remind caregivers the cold wind of winter can damage senior skin.

Seniors are particularly prone to skin issues. Over time, a person’s skin becomes thinner, drier and more fragile. Winter can quickly strip skin of its moisture, leaving it prone to itching, cracking and bleeding. The same heating system that keeps a house warm also sucks much of the moisture out of the air.

Tips to protect skin in cold weather:

• Make sure to moisturize: It’s critical that people, especially elderly people, moisturize their skin in the winter months. Seniors might want to seek out heavier creams or ointments. Vaseline petroleum jelly can be a skin saver.

• Don’t forget to drink: Keep fluid consumption consistent to eight glasses of water a day.

• Bundle up: Before braving the frigid outdoors, be sure to cover as much exposed skin as possible. The skin on fingers and toes is particularly susceptible to frostbite and windburn.

• Crank up the humidity: Full room humidifiers can help re-infuse dry, artificially-heated air with some much-needed moisture.

Seneca officials add that during this time of year, people can help the elderly by cleaning off snow or ice on their pathway. Seneca officials suggest checking on elderly neighbors to see how to help.

Seneca Area Agency on Aging also wants to remind caregivers of the elderly how important it is to keep loved ones from dental problems as dental difficulties can lead to more health concerns.

Some dentists in Iowa have volunteered to provide comprehensive dental care at no charge to qualified people through the Donated Dental Services Program, a program of Dental Lifeline Network-Iowa.

People of all ages who are permanently disabled, elderly or medically at-risk and lack adequate income to pay for needed dental care are eligible.

If Medicaid covers any portion of dental problems, the patient will be asked to use that resource before using the free Donated Dental Service.

Generally, there is no cost to qualifying individuals.

For application and more information, contact Dental Lifeline Network-Iowa at 515-251-8000 or the website www.dentallifeline.org.

For other concerns about senior or family caregiver information, call Seneca at 800-642-6522 and check Seneca’s website at www.sence-aaa.org.

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