Senior Care Safety: Preventing Infections in Minor Cuts
Senior Care in Northbrook IL
Minor cuts and scrapes are a reality of life. You can get a paper cut opening the mail, have a fall and scrape your knee, or nick yourself with a knife while doing the dishes. While these little injuries may not seem like a very big deal, in the context of your senior care journey they could be much more impactful that you think. Cut and scrapes make your elderly parent vulnerable to infection, which can not only be painful in of itself, but can also increase the chances of far more extensive infections and illnesses that can impact the entire body.
Seniors are especially susceptible to infections because they tend to have less effective immune systems. This not only means that they are more likely to develop an infection, but will have a more difficult time fighting off that infection should it occur. Infections and illnesses can lead to long recovery periods and immobility, which have a lingering negative effect on your parent's health, well-being, and quality of life.
It is likely that your elderly parent will experience a minor injury such as a cut or a scrape at some point in your senior care journey. Being prepared to care for that injury when it occurs is the first step in preventing infection and hastening recovery.
Use these tips to help you prevent infection in minor cuts and scrapes when these injuries occur:
• Prepare yourself first. Before you start taking care of the injury, prepare yourself. Wash your hands thoroughly. If you have them available, put on a pair of disposable gloves. This will help to minimize the number of germs that get into the injury during the care process.
• Ease the bleeding. Allow the wound to bleed for a few seconds to naturally push bacteria and germs out of the area. If it does not stop bleeding on its own, use a sterile bandage to apply pressure until the bleeding stops.
• Wash the area. Gently clean the injury and the entire surrounding area. Start by rinsing it with cool water to remove any blood or obvious debris. You can then wash the area with warm water and gentle soap. Avoid getting the soap in the injury itself, as this can be painful and irritating to the tissues. Minor injuries do not require potentially irritating cleansers such as hydrogen peroxide or iodine.
• Apply an antibiotic. As soon as you can after washing the wound, apply a thin layer of an antibiotic cream or gel. This will not only kill any germs or bacteria that may be present, but it will also help to prevent further contaminants from getting into the injury. Cover the injury lightly with an adhesive bandage or sterile gauze and tape.
Make sure that you have a fully stocked first aid kit readily available in your parent's home. For larger homes, consider having one on each floor, particularly in rooms where injuries are frequent such as the kitchen or craft room. Ensure that your parent's senior health care services provider knows where to access this kit in the event of an injury.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Northbrook, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.