If you care for an elderly member of your family, you will fully understand that maintaining his or her health is extremely hard work and you will often feel like you are fighting an uphill battle that you have absolutely no chance of winning! It takes dedication and sheer hard work to gain the advantage sometimes and even then something will inevitably crop up to send you back to stage one again. Seniors are like children in many ways as a result. They are frequently getting into situations that see them come away with some sort of minor injury. This applies to every senior with a mental or physical disability. One of the main reasons behind it is that elderly people who need constant care lose sight of their own mortality and do not have realistic attitudes towards what they can do. It is essential, therefore, that any caregiver has a basic knowledge of wound care.
Cuts and scrapes are perhaps the most common results of accidents amongst the elderly in care. They can be pretty innocuous and barely penetrate the consciousness of the elderly on the receiving end. However, all cuts and scrapes can easily become effective if they are not treated as soon as they occur. All wounds should be cleaned, disinfected and dressed as soon as they happen. It is no good leaving them until a few hours or days later because the damage can already be done by then. I know that this sounds pretty serious, but also ridiculous at the same time. After all, we are just talking about cuts, grazes and scrapes. However, it is often the small things that are overlooked and come back to haunt you. It is therefore important to remember that any physical injury that a senior sustains can become serious if given the opportunity. As a result, caregivers must be extremely vigilant and administer first aid and general care as and when required.
Any caregiver should attend a basic first aid course very early on in their role. Community colleges often provide basic first aid courses that cover all of the information that you need to know about administering it at a moment’s notice in any situation. Some of the content of these courses is common sense, but if an instructor stresses it to you, you are more likely to remember it when you are called upon. It never hurts to refresh information that you have learnt previously either. Even if you have been on a course in the last couple of years, you should look into taking another one that is more specific for your new role. Any course will include wound care as a basic requirement.
Another important element of wound care is ensuring that the elderly individual in your care is completely up to date with any necessary shots. Tetanus is especially important because it is perhaps the easiest serious infection to contract. The bug only needs a small open wound to spread through the body via the bloodstream. This fact also serves to reinforce the point that infection control through wound care cannot be underestimated and dismissed as an unimportant concern.
Wound care is easy enough to learn for any caregiver and there is very little practice required in order for you to get it right. It therefore demands little of you time by can pay dividends when you look at how devastating any number of infections and bugs can be.
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Content: PLR, Image: Pixabay