As we live every day we are always susceptible to accidents and injuries especially the children and elders as they need special care all the time. To be ready in any of the possible things to happen we listed some instances and things you need to prepare and do in each situation.
Some situations that may require first aid include:
- Slip and Fall
- Cuts and Scrapes
- Cardiovascular Problems
Let’s start with slip and fall accidents, these accidents are more common in seniors, in some study it states that one in three adults aged 65 and older fall each year due to limited mobility, failing vision, and underlying health concerns, such as poor vision, lower body weakness, and blood pressure variations.
To prevent these accidents:
- Ensure that call lights or other methods of signaling for attention are easily within reach.
- Remove obstacles on the floor, such as power cords, floor mats, and clutter.
- Clean up spills or debris quickly.
- Keep outside paths clear of snow and ice.
- Utilize shower seats and handles where possible.
- Monitor their blood pressure all the time, here is an easy to use blood pressure monitor.
In case a senior has fallen and doesn’t seem badly hurt, help them find a comfortable position. Treat minor bumps and bruises by elevating the injured area and applying an ice pack for about 10 minutes. If you notice signs of serious bleeding, bruising, or swelling in any part help them get emergency medical care especially if it appears seriously hit in the head, neck, back, hips, or thighs, ask them not to move and call 911 or local emergency services. Reassure them and keep them warm until help arrives. If they stop breathing, perform CPR.
Next is cuts and scrapes for most cases the cuts and scrapes are just minor, heals on its own within a short period of time, if this is the case always ready your medical first aid kit to clean and sanitize some open wounds. But when is the time to see a doctor?
- When the wound is large, deep, or has jagged edges
- The edges of the wound do not stay together
- Symptoms of infection occur, such as fever, increasing pain or redness, or discharge from the wound
- It is not possible to clean the wound properly or remove all debris, such as grass or gravel
- The cause of the wound was a bite or an injury from a dirty, rusty, or contaminated object
Seek urgent medical attention if blood is spurting from the wound or if applying pressure to the wound does not stop the bleeding.
Cardiovascular Problems such as heart attack is a delicate topic in doing first aid for seniors. A heart attack generally causes chest pain for more than 15 minutes, but it can also have no symptoms at all. It's important to be aware that symptoms other than chest pain may occur, such as indigestion or persistent neck or jaw pain. Many people who experience a heart attack have warning signs hours, days or weeks in advance they may experience these symptoms:
- Uncomfortable pressure, fullness or squeezing pain in the center of the chest
- Discomfort or pain spreading beyond the chest to the shoulders, back, neck, jaw, teeth, or one or both arms, or occasionally upper abdomen
- Shortness of breath
- Lightheadedness, dizziness, fainting
What to do? Stay calm and active-minded with a situation like this. You can also introduce an emergency alarm device to a senior that is very easy to use so he can ask for help whenever needed.
- Call 911 or your local emergency number. Don't ignore or attempt to tough out the symptoms of a heart attack.
- Give aspirin, unless the person is allergic to aspirin or have been told by the doctor never to take aspirin.
- Begin CPR if the person is unconscious. If you're with a person who is unconscious, tell the 911 dispatcher or another emergency medical specialist. You may be advised to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). If you haven't received CPR training, doctors recommend performing only chest compressions (about 100 to 120 compressions a minute). The dispatcher can instruct you in the proper procedures until help arrives.
These are just few but very common causes of emergency situation for the elderly. Remember to always be at your calmest and most active mind when attending to them as you are the one tasked to save their lives whenever.