The body’s natural processes become somewhat less efficient, particularly as we age. This includes the capacity of the skin to heal even a little wound. That is why wound care is critical in determining whether a wound heals or gets infected. Not all seniors will be able to take care of their own wounds, and this can be dangerous and even deadly for them. They may not do it on purpose, but they may not know how to take care of wounds or even forget they have them. One of the best things to invest in if your senior gets injured is elder care providers. Even if your senior is not injured but needs help with everyday hygiene habits, elder care providers can help when you are not there. It makes aging in place much easier than ever before.
Not all wounds are self-healing. You may be wondering how to tell whether your wound requires expert medical care. This is something a senior may not be able to evaluate by themselves so it is important that you know what to look for when a senior gets wounded. Here are some tips you can use to evaluate wounds and understand when to get medical help for a senior.
How To Assess Wounds
Cuts, scrapes, and scratches that are relatively shallow may usually be treated at home. However, if your skin is especially thin, you have diabetes, your skin is torn, or the cut is large and bleeding, do not try to cure it yourself. If you visit a doctor as soon as possible after the wound arises it will heal quicker than if you wait.
How To Care for an Acute Wound
An acute wound is a skin injury that is anticipated to heal. In contrast, a chronic wound is an acute wound that does not heal correctly and can become dangerous to a seniors health. Here are a few basic steps you or your senior parents can do to start caring for an acute wound.
- Pressure- You or the senior should apply pressure to the wound to ensure it stops bleeding. The bleeding needs to stop before you continue.
- Cleaning- After the bleeding stops, wash the wound with mild soap. Cleanse the wound and the surrounding skin, dabbing rather than pulling.
- Antibiotics- This is one of the most important steps that many people also forget to do. Apply Neosporin, Polysporin, or Bacitracin to the wound.
- Band-Aids- All bandages applied to a senior should be clean and sterile. You will need to avoid anything that looks dirty. Everything should be clean to avoid infections.
- Repeat- You will need to consistently clean a wound twice a day until it’s healed.
If a wound doesn’t seem to be healing after a week it means there is a problem and the senior should be going to the doctor or even an Urgent Care. Itching and puckering of the skin surrounding the incision are common while the wound heals. This normal reaction does not need a doctors appointment but if the itching is unbearable a doctor may prescribe a new type of cream to help battle the itch.