4 Important First Aid Skills Every Caregiver to Seniors Must Know
Most fatal home accidents are preventable. If you live with a senior, basic first-aid knowledge can make a world of difference. While there are many services of Geriatric care in Chennai that can provide swift assistance, your first response could change the outcome of an accident/situation.
Some common situations for elders that may require quick first-aid action are:
- Cuts and scrapes
- Fainting due to low blood sugar
Here is how to tackle them:
- Handle falls with reassurance
Seniors who struggle with poor vision, vertigo or balance issues are prone to frequent falls. If an elder falls but doesn’t seem too hurt, reassure them gently and help them find a comfortable position to sit in.
Scan for bumps or bruises. Elevate an injured area and soothe it with an ice pack. If you suspect a more serious hit to the head, neck, back or hips, seek emergency help immediately.
In case it seems the elder becomes unconscious, check their pulse. Keep them lying down in a comfortable position until help arrives. Check their blood sugar level since low sugar can often lead to unconsciousness. Even in emergency situations, never attempt CPR unless you are trained.
- Treat cuts with basic bandaging
Ageing skin is fragile and prone to bruises and cuts. Minor wounds can be treated easily at home. Simply clean the cut with water to remove any dirt. Avoid icing broken skin as it can cause frostbite.
If there is bleeding, secure it with a bandage and ensure it is changed frequently. For those with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes or those on special medication such as blood thinners, the site should be checked more frequently. For deep wounds, immediately contact a medical professional.
- Cool first-degree burns
Burns can be of various types. First-degree burns are the most common ones. Touching a hot pan or utensil, or forgetting to wear oven mitts can cause a topical burn.
Though not fatal, third-degree burns are painful and leave scars if not properly treated. The first line of action is to run the burn under cool (not cold) water. Then wash it with a mild soap. A cool compress every 10-15 minutes after can help reduce swelling or pain.
Over-the-counter antibiotic ointments can prevent infections. Keep the area out of direct sunlight and it should heal in a few weeks.
For more severe burns, consult a doctor immediately. Alserv’s Patient Care Services In Chennai can set up doctor visits at home or provide on-call consultations for emergencies.
- Keep warm in case of hypothermia
Slips and falls can also cause hypothermia in elders above 50+. Shivering, chills and confusion are the common symptoms.
The most common cause of hypothermia is when an elder slips in the bathroom. If this happens, gently bring them indoors. Help them out of wet clothes, get them into warm clothing and cover them with a blanket. Focus on warming their chest and abdomen before turning to their limbs. If chills continue or you notice breathing difficulty, seek medical help.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Although emergency situations come unannounced, there are some precautions you can take to avoid common accidents at home. Faulty electric sockets, loose wires and an unsafe bathroom can increase the risk of injuries. Make your home senior-friendly with Alserv’s Home Audits and make first-aid at home a breeze with a Caretaker For Elderly In Chennai. Our caretakers are trained to handle any situation and ensure your home is a safe haven where elders can live worry-free.