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Elderly Women Face High Risk of Hair Loss

As a person ages, the growth rate of their hair decreases dramatically. While hair thinning and hair loss happens to both men and women, it’s usually more noticeable in women because they wear their hair longer than most men. It’s important for family caregivers and senior care providers to understand as much as they can about hair thinning and hair loss in elderly women so they can help them deal with the causes and work together on prevention.

Hair Care


Here are some of the most common reasons why hair loss is so common in aging women:

Age-Related Effects on the Body

With age, a woman’s hair follicles don’t create hair as quickly, meaning that growth slows down. Because hair falls out normally, there simply isn’t enough hair production to replace it, leaving the hair on the head thin and sometimes patchy. In women, menopause can trigger a drop in essential hormones that help promote hair growth, making it even harder to grow and keep hair.

Nutritional Deficiencies

A lack of key vitamins and minerals can have a significant effect on hair growth in seniors. Because their appetite diminishes and they may not be making very healthy meals for themselves, seniors can become malnourished quite easily. Among the important nutrients that contribute to healthy hair are Vitamin A, Vitamins B6, B12, and Vitamin C. Other key nutrients include Biotin, Copper, Iron, and Zinc. When the hair isn’t healthy, it can break because it is weakened.

Medicine Side Effects

There are lots of medicines that include hair loss as a side effect. If an elderly woman is already at risk for thin hair, taking this kind of medicine can accelerate it. Some of the common medicines that many seniors take that also cause hair loss include blood thinners, chemotherapy, antidepressants and medicine for gout. Family caregivers can work with the doctors to consider adjusting dosages or switching to other types if possible.

Diseases and Illnesses

Elderly women are more likely to have a chronic illness that affects hair growth and production than younger women. Common conditions that may trigger hair loss include diabetes and hyperthyroidism. These diseases affect hormones and metabolism, which in turn affect hair growth and health. Managing those diseases well may postpone or slow down any hair loss in elderly women.

 

Harsh Hair Treatment

Sometimes even the healthiest elderly hair can’t stand up well to harsh care and treatment. Family caregivers and senior care providers should be as gentle as possible as they help elderly women bathe and groom themselves. They should only use a gentle shampoo and warm water. Any hair dryers should be set to cool temperatures and when using a curling iron, senior care providers should likewise avoid high heat. Harsh hair dyes and other chemical treatments can also damage hair, so family caregivers and senior care providers should leave it to professionals with experience in working with elderly hair.

Care at Home – serving New London, Connecticut, Westerly, Rhode Island
and the surrounding areas…
Call CT: (860) 333-68025 RI (401) 622-4444.

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Suzanne Karp, Founder

Founder, Owner at Care at Home
Suzanne was born in Southington, Connecticut and currently resides with her husband and two Shih Tzu’s in New London, Connecticut. In 2010, she started Care At Home, a non-medical home care company that assists seniors to remain in the safety and comfort of their own home.Care At Home has grown significantly in just a few years and now employs over 90 people.As a former engaged life director at a national assisted care facility for seniors, and as a Conservator for the State of Connecticut, she quickly learned that she loved caring for her seniors (my “Peeps”).They brought as much joy into her life as she did to theirs. In the Fall of 2016, Suzanne was instrumental in creating the Southeast Senior Network which consists of over 50 professionals in the senior care industry.As a member of the Leadership Team, Suzanne conducts the monthly meetings at various locations throughout Southeastern Connecticut. Her experience as a Conservator for the Probate Courts has lead her to meet and work with various organizations and discover resources as she helps many people in different stages of their life. All of her experience has lead her to a point in life in which she understands what seniors need, and how she can maintain or increase their quality of life.All of this has earned her the reputation of being referred to as the “Senior Whisperer”.

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