Statistically speaking, seniors are highly prone to accidents and injuries. Senior first aid could be considered an essential skill when caring for the elderly at home or in a facility.
Importance of Senior Safety
Aging is a term used to describe the changes in body functions and appearance as one gets older.
As we age, the changes will start to affect every system of the body due to physiological changes. The way bodily functions operate will also change during the process of aging.
Seniors are more vulnerable to injuries than younger people. It is a fact, even if some are currently active or vigorous. They are at high risk for accidents due to their reduced motor skills, coordination, muscle strength, and poor eyesight.
Some medicine prescriptions can also cause dizziness or rapid drop in blood pressure levels. These can put seniors even more at risk for injuries.
Falls in seniors are more likely to be severe than those in younger people. A single accident can cause an older person to suffer severe injuries and become bed-bound.
Aging affects everyone in different ways. The good news is there are plenty of ways to keep the mind, body, and bones healthy as one gets older.
Lets look at some ways to improve senior safety.
First Aid for Falls (and Fractures)
Falls are a significant health issue in the Australian senior community. About 30% of older people over 65 experience at least one falling incident every year.
Elderly falls often result in lacerations, hip and other bone fractures, and head injuries.
First Aid for Cuts and Abrasions
The skin becomes more fragile with age, resulting in an increase in cuts, scrapes, and bruises, any of which could be susceptible to infection.
Many seniors have existing chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. These conditions can decrease the body’s immune system defences against infections.
The elderly can often be frail and require special care for cuts and abrasions. Apply wound care as early as possible to lessen the risk of infection. Best to protect the area with a bandage or dressing.
Keep a well-stocked first aid kit on hand, containing all the essentials – such as bandages, plasters, and antibiotic medications.
First Aid for Poisoning
Another concern for senior safety is poisoning. This is often due to accidental medication intake or unknowingly ingesting a poisonous substance. Carbon monoxide poisoning is also common.
In a poisoning emergency, the first thing to do is remove anything off the person’s mouth. Read the container label and follow instructions, whether a household cleaner or other chemicals.
Begin CPR if the elderly are not showing any signs of life, such as breathing, coughing, or any movements.
Call Poison Control Hotline in your area for additional instructions.
First Aid for Heat and Cold-related illnesses
As mentioned, it’s not unusual for seniors to develop chronic medical conditions, impacting the body’s ability to control its temperature .
Most elderly take prescription medications that alter their temperature balance. It is why it’s essential for them to consistently use sunscreen and wear appropriate clothing when spending time outdoors.
Dressing in layers is important for keeping protected from the elements on warm or cold water. Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is also vital to protect against weather-related health issues.
First Aid for Heart Attack and Stroke
Heart attack and stroke are two common medical conditions with old age.
If an elderly suffers from any of these two, immediately dial triple zero (000) for emergency assistance. Heart attack and stroke are both time-critical and require urgent medical attention.
Take note that if you’re caring for seniors at home or in a professional facility, having some knowledge of first aid and other lifesaving procedures is a vital skill. It is essential to keep your First Aid and CPR certifications up to date.
Senior First Aid (Senior Care and First Aid Training)
Accidents and injuries can occur at any time. The elderly face a particularly high risk of injury and illness. On top of that, they have unique needs and special concerns which make first aid training all the more valuable.
Providing first aid to the elderly who are frail or have medical conditions takes extra thought and care. It requires gentleness and compassion. Some elders may have dementia, while others may be scared on confused.
Consider taking a Senior First Aid course to best prepare for emergencies. First Aid Pro provides a course in CPR, basic life support, and senior care.
We have several locations in Brisbane and the surrounding states that would love to help ensure senior safety.
Contact us for more information.