Anyone who takes care of someone who is elderly, whether they be a personal caregiver, or a caregiver in a nursing home setting will find that first aid knowledge is a must. There are several different areas associated with first aid care. However, we have rounded up some of the more vital tips that a caregiver needs to know well in order to ensure they know how to care for an elderly patient at home or in a nursing home environment.
Treating a Fall
A common injury among those who are elderly are falls. This common injury is often caused by the person becoming more vulnerable, such as their eye sight failing, muscle strength decreased or the like. In some cases, medications that are taken could be causing dizziness and blood pressure decreases, resulting in the loss of balance. When an elderly person falls, it is important to access all the injuries first. Apply ice where there may be swelling due to sprains or broken bones. Once the person is stable, help them to a sitting position to access for more issues.
The skin becomes more delicate as a person ages, resulting in more cuts. When an elderly patient receives a cut, be sure to properly sterilize this and bandage it. For smaller cuts, simply sterilizing this may be all that is needed. However, do not let this go, as it could lead to infection due to a low immune system.
Heart Attacks and Aspirin
In the event that an elderly patient has a heart attack, administering an aspirin can be one way to prevent this heart attack from causing more damage. However, this should only be done if the person can take aspirin. If the person is unconscious, it is imperative to call 911.
There are many who do not believe in administering CPR to an elderly patient, due to how violent this act can get. However, if the person is in cardiac arrest, without CPR they will die. You should perform CPR as you always would with any patient to keep the heart beating until help arrives.
Sunscreen and Water when Outdoors
Elderly patients are more susceptible to sunburns and sunstroke when left outside. Be sure you prevent this with basic first aid tips such as:
- Put sunscreen on the patient no matter what
- Encourage the use of hats and sunglasses
- Ensure plenty of water is being drank
- Avoid staying outdoors in extreme temperatures
In the end, as a caregiver it is your goal to administer the best care possible. These first aid tips can come in great when faced with an elderly patient who may be having medical issues.