It is extremely hard work to maintain the health of an elderly member of the family. Often it is an uphill task and one feels frustrated with the lack of response in terms of the health of the aged member. Even with sheer hard work and dedication, if you manage to turn around the situation, there is always some setback with rise of a new health problem. Most of the elders due to their specific physical conditions and especially those with mental or physical disabilities are susceptible to minor injuries. It is therefore, very essential for a caregiver to have basic knowledge of treatment for wounds and small injuries to deal with such situations.
The most common injuries are minor cuts and scrapes which may be the results of small accidents. These cuts and bruises may look harmless and at times, the elders may not even realize their existence. Such minor injuries may become quite serious in case of the elderly, if they are not raised in time. All such minor injuries should be cleaned, disinfected and dressed immediately upon happening. These wound should not be left unattended as infection may set in. It may sound ridiculous; after all, it is only a minor cut or scrape we are talking about. However neglecting to treat the wounds, may cause serious problems later on because, the infection takes place faster in case of older people. Therefore, a caregiver must be extra vigilant and provide first aid to the elders as soon as possible.
The caregiver must attend a basic first aid course in the initial stages. The community colleges offer basic first aid courses that cover the relevant aspects of wound care for the elderly. Some of the course content is usually common sense, but it helps to be imparted practical training by an instructor, so that you can remember it when the need arises. Even if you have taken a first aid course earlier, it is advisable to take a refresher course that is more specific to elder care. These courses will also include training in wound care.
Another important aspect of wound care is ensuring that the individual has been given the preventive shots on schedule. The Tetanus shot is especially important, as tetanus is the most serious infection that can be contracted. A small open wound will help the infection to spread via the bloodstream. Thus, the most important aspect of wound care is prevention of infection.
Wound care is simple enough to learn for any caregiver, and it can be easily managed with a little practice. It is important to be aware of this aspect of elder care, because neglecting it will create problems which may become unmanageable in the future. Timely care of small injuries in the elderly will ensure great dividends in terms of their general well being and health.