From Stillwater-Ponca City (OK) Ostomy Outlook March 1998:

Aging and The Ostomate

from Metro Denver (CO) Newsletter; via Halton-Peel (ON) Counties

Growing old is a life-long process, and the physical, social, and psychological liabilities of aging are all part of it. Thanks to gerontology and geriatrics, we know more information than ever before on an intelligent approach to aging.

As we grow older, subtle changes occur in our bodies. The most insidious is our skin. It loses elasticity and becomes thinner and drier, thus becoming prone to wrinkles and irritation. These changes can become real problems for those who must wear an appliance all the time. To prevent leakage as the skin becomes more wrinkled, one should stand up straight when changing the appliance. With one hand, stretch the skin so that it is tight, and with the other hand attach the appliance (using a mirror may help you see what you are doing).

The skin over the entire body tends to bruise more easily and heal more slowly as we age. We need to be more careful when removing an appliance. A skin barrier covering the entire area under the appliance, or a very thin application of a skin-care product may help protect the tender skin.

Aging may also result in less strength in the hands. Arthritis, lessening mobility, or pain in the fingers can make it difficult to put together a two-piece appliance. A one-piece appliance may eliminate the task of stretching a pouch over a faceplate. To sum it up, aging is a phenomenon we must all face, and when one considers the alternative, it's not too bad!

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Content last revised 1998-03-14