Knowing these life-saving first aid tips is important when you’re caring for an elderly parent or loved one. Read on and be prepared.
When you’re caring for the elderly, it’s important–even a matter of life and death–to be prepared in any emergency situation. You have to be knowledgeable of many standard first aid skills because elderly are more prone and vulnerable when it comes to accidents and injuries.
These tips can help you better understand many emergency situations as well as apply first aid tips to prepare for anything.
The elderly are more prone to falls because they are more likely suffering from mobility issues, poor eyesight, weak body, extended inactivity, balance issues. They may also become dizzy or lose coordination due to their conditions or the medications they use. Falls can lead to lacerations, head injuries, and fractures.
If your senior loved one falls and they don’t seem to be badly hurt, move them in a comfortable position. Treat minor bumps and bruises by elevating the injured area and applying a cold compress for at least 10 minutes.
Emergency situations can occur when there’s serious bleeding, big and abnormal bruising or swelling, or if they become unconscious. They may also hurt their back, neck or hips, so in this case, don’t move them and seek medical help immediately.
Cuts and scrapes
Cuts and scrapes in older adults can become infected due to their existing health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
For minor wounds, one of the primary first aid tips here is to clean the area with clean water, sterilize it with alcohol or antibacterial and place a clean bandage.
For more serious cuts and heavy bleeding, get emergency medical attention. Put pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding and wash the wound using soap and water. You may also clean the area with debris or dirt. Watch out for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, extreme pain, and abscess or pus.
Heatstroke occurs when the body reaches over 40 degrees Celcius. They may experience increased breathing and heart rate as well as nausea, headache, dizziness and vomiting.
Contact emergency medical services and meantime, one of the first aid tips to apply here is to try to cool them down. Get them into a cold shower or sponge them with cool water. Make them drink cold water also or cover their body with damp sheets of cool towels.
Watch out if they stop breathing and perform CPR.
Hypothermia occurs when their bodies become so cold. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, purple to blue lips, hunger, dizziness, confusion, increased heart rate that slows when the hypothermia becomes more severe.
Call emergency services and meanwhile, help them become dry and warm. Focus on warming them gradually, starting from their chest and abdomen going out to their limbs. They may also stop breathing, so be prepared to perform CPR when this happens.
Learn more about heart attack symptoms or stroke symptoms in our articles.
For more information on first aid tips, it helps to enroll in a class to know more about first aid and emergency responses.