Elderly Wound Care – How to Take Care of Wounds

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Care programs for the elderly involve a very crucial facet of care such as wound care. Wounds in the elderly result easily due to falls, minor scrapes or even illnesses such as diabetes. These may seem like minor wounds, but in the elderly, these minor wounds can turn into chronic wounds. The skin in elderly is very fragile and healing time is longer compared to younger individual. It is important that wound care be a part of the in-home care services provided for the elderly. A Registered Nurse or other licensed health professional who comprehension of wounds, stages of wound progression, and how to treat these effectively. Receiving support can prevent wounds from turning into chronic wounds, which some times do not heal. Improper wound care can result in major complications that can even result in amputation or sometimes death. Check that your in-home care service provider’s elderly wound care program focuses on both required medical attention, and compassionate care to ensure that proper, competent care is provided.
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Elderly wound care should be an important part of an elderly care program. Wounds can form in elderly patients due to a number of reasons, such as minor scrapes, bedsores, and illnesses such as diabetes. In-home care services should focus on prevention and management of even minor scrapes to ensure that these do not turn into chronic wounds that do not heal.
There are two types of wounds – acute and chronic – and knowing how to treat each type can help in preventing complications in elderly patients.

Acute Wounds

Acute wounds are those that injure the skin suddenly, such as a scrape. These can be painful as the wound may be exposed to air and lead to infection. Inflammation, bleeding, pus or discharge, pain and fever may be signs of infection. Acute wounds must be treated quickly to avoid the possibility of wound becoming chronic wounds.

Chronic Wounds

These are acute wounds that have not healed over a period of time and require medical attention. These wounds are more complicated especially if there is persistent bleeding, infection, immobility, poor diet or dryness in the skin. Certain medications can also cause the wound to heal slowly or not at all.  Wounds heal through three stages ­­– inflammatory, fibroblastic and maturation. If there is an interruption to any of the three stages, acute wounds can turn into chronic wounds. A major benefit of in-home medical attention is that your nurse staff can treat the underlying issue of a chronic wound, based on your medical history, to avoid further complications.
For the elderly, wound care is crucial. Even a minor wound can turn into a complicated, life-threatening medical problem. Having professional in-home care for the elderly can help in the prevention and management of even the smallest of wounds. 
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