Make Your First Aid Kit Senior-Ready With These Additions
September 04, 2018
With World First Aid Day coming up in early September, now is a good time for people with elderly loved ones to make sure that the family First Aid kit is prepared to handle many of the situations which particularly affect older people. Your caregivers from the areas around Stanwood and elsewhere recommend that you keep your First Aid kit well-stocked with items that are of particular value in handling situations that elderly people are more prone to.
When an emergency arises with your elderly loved one, your fast action just might save a life, and if you have the right tools you need to preserve life while the emergency condition exists, you'll have a much better chance of being successful. This might also be a good time to think about upgrading your First Aid skills so that you have at least a basic knowledge of all those techniques most commonly needed when an accident or other threatening situation is in progress. Here are some recommendations on how you can prepare your first aid kit to handle those critical situations with older people.
Scissors are one of the best things to include in all first-aid kits, but they can be especially useful in a kit prepared for the elderly. Since older persons generally have fairly delicate skin and brittle bones which are subject to breakage or fracture, it can become necessary to remove clothing quickly by simply cutting it away from the affected area. You should make a point of stocking your kit with first aid scissors though because these are generally tougher than ordinary scissors and can cut through thick clothing.
These kinds of bandages don't stick to anything but themselves, and they're very good for people who have delicate skin, provided that the injury occurs in a spot where you can wrap a bandage all the way around it, for instance, an arm or leg. Keep in mind that these kinds of bandages have no absorptive qualities whatsoever, and they are only good for compression and wrapping an injury. However, they do have the added advantage of not requiring any kind of pins or clips to hold them in place, due to their self-adhesive nature.
Transparent film dressing
Although this may look like the same kind of plastic wrap that you buy in a grocery store, it's really a much different product, the point of which is to allow torn skin to heal. Since skin tears are fairly common in elderly folks with thin skin, this is a great thing to have in your first aid kit, because other methods of holding edges of skin together can be simply too harsh on frail skin. Transparent film dressings hold the edges in place by broadening the area which they stick to, so there's not as much pressure on any single point. They have the extra advantage of being transparent so that it's easy to check on the healing progress underneath.
These handy little devices are very effective at holding together the skin's edges, where small cuts have taken place. It also encourages proper healing and very little scarring afterward. They may not be quite as effective as stitches, especially for larger cuts, but on the other hand, many seniors have skin which is so thin they can't tolerate stitches anyway. For the exceptionally thin-skinned senior, butterfly closures are definitely a good choice in your first aid kit.
When you can't close something with a butterfly, but it still has to be closed somehow, rolled gauze is one of the best choices for scrapes and tears. Rolled gauze is also much less irritating than most other treatments which can be applied to a scrape because it can be wrapped lightly around the wound without actually sticking to it. This is much more comfortable for the wearer and is still a very effective treatment.
There are of course, literally hundreds of uses for tape in first aid, but there are many kinds of tape which simply can't be tolerated by people who have very thin skin or very delicate skin, as do many seniors. While paper tape may lack the strength of some other kinds of first aid tape, it does have the advantage of being much less irritating to the skin, and much more tolerable to a senior who has to endure it.
This is yet another type of protection for skin which is either very thin or very delicate. While it might not be quite as effective as transparent film dressings, it does have the appeal of being very easy to track down in your local pharmacy. As long as the injury sustained by your elderly loved one is not one which oozes a lot of blood, non-stick gauze pads can be very effective and are generally well tolerated by seniors who are treated with them.