Seniors are at a higher risk for health complications due to their depleted immune system and diseases related to improper wound care are no exception. That is why it is critically important to know the various aspects of proper wound care, especially those specific to senior citizens. Complications that can arise from improper wound care vary from as minor to mild infections to as serious as Septicemia. Here are some critical things to remember when it comes to wound care for older adults.
Proper Wound Care is Vital
A holistic approach to wound care is paramount. The skin is the body’s largest layer of protection against infection from outside pathogens. This only becomes more important when dealing with the care of older adults. According to NCBI, “The aging population presents many challenges to the medical community in the provision of care; among them is wounds care. Although it is a complex subject, basic understanding of the healing process, the most common types of ulcers and some of the dressing options available is necessary in caring for these patients.”
Not All Wounds are the Same
Just like any other age group, seniors are susceptible to varying levels of wounds to their skin. There are two main types of wounds: acute and chronic. Advanced Tissue notes that, “There is a difference between a minor scrape from the pavement and an open gash from an infection. The wide variety of wounds that can arise also means there are many different forms of treatment that will properly heal them.” Knowing the different types of wounds that older adults can have and the different treatment options for each can dramatically improve the ability to ward off infection from an open wound.
Know the Progression of Wounds
Wound care tends to be more effective the earlier you take action on treating a wound. The proper steps you should take to prevent infection of a wound for an older adult are all dependent on how long the wound has been on their body. SeniorsBlueBook found that, “When a wound progresses to a chronic phase, at-home healing becomes out of the question. Professional medical attention is now the only option to properly treat the wound and prevent complications and potential amputations. Addressing a wound’s underlying causes, such as diabetes, tissue ischemia, and/or venous insufficiency, is an essential treatment component.” Be sure to monitor the skin of a senior citizen to ensure that all wounds are properly monitored and appropriately cared for.
At Renaissance Home Health Care and Adult Day Services, we have a full staff of registered nurses, as well as attentive caregivers, to ensure that wounds are spotted quickly and handled properly. Our Director Of Patient Services, Marise Deaussou, discussed that, “Our home health aides are trained to handle all types of conditions that clients face. They are thoroughly instructed in safety and infection control measures to ensure the health and well-being of the seniors at all times. Our holistic approach to senior care ensures that aides track medical appointments, immediately report changes in condition, follow up on immunizations and collaborate with caregivers and providers.” This helps us to be prepared for any issue that may arise. To learn more about our Signature Touches, click here.