Many types of wounds typically heal easily on children, young adults, and even those who are middle-aged, especially if they are in good health. For the elderly and medically challenged, however, wounds can be a very serious problem. In fact, wounds from surgical procedures or the bed or pressure sores that often afflict the elderly can even have debilitating or fatal consequences. If you have assumed the responsibility for caring for an elderly parent or loved one, the following information will provide the wound care basics you need to know now.
Complications of poor circulation and inactivity
The reason that many types of wounds, including pressure and bed sores, tend to be more serious for older patients is that they are already in fragile health and are usually less active at this stage of life. In addition, many of the older people who are most at risk for developing these types of wounds may already suffer from poor circulation due to existing health issues.
Inactivity and reduced circulation can both increase the risk of infection in a wound and slow the healing process. Other risk factors that can make wound healing more difficult include poor nutrition, uncontrolled medical issues such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and issues with hygiene.
Cleansing and dressings are critical
One of the most important steps for helping your elderly loved one successfully heal a surgical wound, a bed sore, or another type of wound involves developing a good routine for cleansing the wound and applying appropriate dressings. In most cases, minor wounds respond well to gentle cleansing with mild soap or a sterile saline solution, followed by an application of an antibiotic cream and a fresh dressing.
Complications from wounds are serious
When wounds do not respond well and healing is not taking place, patients can quickly be at risk for life-threatening medical conditions. Three of the most common medical conditions that arise from a wound that refuses to heal properly include damage to nearby joints and bones, cellulitis, and sepsis.
Calling for medical care is important
If the wound does not quickly respond to the regimen of care being used it is important to seek medical or skilled care. Wounds that do not respond to basic sanitary wound care procedures may require debridement, surgical intervention, or other treatments, such as negative pressure therapy to help them heal successfully.
When caring for your loved one, take time each day to look carefully for signs of existing or developing wounds or other skin issues that have the potential to become an open wound. If any are noticed, contact your loved one's medical care team or a wound care service immediately for instructions and assistance.Share
14 August 2018
Recently, my mom took my grandmother to her physician for a regular check-up. During this visit, the doctor discovered my grandmother had a cracked bone in her foot. Due to my grandmother’s dementia, she didn’t know if she had fallen or dropped something on her foot. My family and I decided my grandmother shouldn’t live on her own anymore. Do you desperately desire to protect an elderly loved one from harm? If he or she is currently living alone, consider placing your loved one in a nursing home or an assisted living facility. By making this move, you won’t have to worry anymore about the possibility of your relative falling with no one to help him or her. On this blog, I hope you will discover the numerous benefits of moving a senior loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility. Enjoy!