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14th Mar

2015

Seniors Wound Care

While a simple wound for most of us normally does not present too much of a danger, for seniors proper attention is crucial to their overall health. A fall in the kitchen or small cut on your leg can create wounds that if not properly treated may bring a host of problems.

 

The primary concern is infection, particularly because some senior’s immune systems are not quite as strong as they once were. This can make it easy for a small wound to turn into an infected wound and complicate existing health issues or perhaps create new problems. Therefore, it is important for seniors and caretakers to know how wounds should be cared for, so problems can be avoided.

 

Types of Wounds

 

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. Focusing primarily on the more serious variations, there are two main types of wounds, acute and chronic.

 

The two primary categories of wounds are acute and chronic. There are differences between the two as well as differences in how they should be treated.

 

Acute

 

Acute wounds happen when an individual falls or comes in sudden contact with something that creates one of the following:

 

  • Incisions
  • Tears
  • Skin Irritation
  • Ruptures

Any of the above will typically create swelling and bleeding, along with exposing the damaged tissue to the open air. The exposed tissue is at risk of becoming infected if not treated properly.

 

Steps to Care for Acute Wounds:

 

  • Use mild soap to clean the injured area well
  • Ensure any dirt or foreign substances are removed from the area
  • Make sure the bleeding is under control by applying pressure to the wounded area
  • Apply a bandage, band aid or other type of dressing to the wound
  • Check the wound twice daily to monitor the healing process

 

 

Chronic

 

If an acute wound is not treated properly, then there is a chance it can turn into a chronic wound. This means the area is no longer receiving the blood and nutrients that are vital to the healing process. This can lead to several different effects:

 

  • Infections
  • Potential radiation poisoning
  • Possible need for surgery if the condition get bad enough
  • Diabetes complications
  • Swelling and severe inflammation

If a wound enters the chronic category, then you need to seek professional assistance. Care at home is no longer sufficient and you should immediately contact someone for help. While some wounds may seem minor, for seniors, they can often create complications if not properly monitored.

 

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