As people get older, their bodies get more fragile and more susceptible to certain illnesses and accidents. For this reason, performing medical care or first aid on seniors can be a bit more complex. Since seniors are more vulnerable to injuries, you may need to attend to their medical needs immediately in a more delicate manner.
The best way to know how is by enrolling yourself in an accredited course in first aid. Doing so can equip you with the proper skills to provide care for senior adults during emergency situations.
What Will You Learn From A First Aid Course?
Enrolling yourself in a first aid course will have you gain knowledge and skills in properly performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, giving first aid response, managing casualties, and providing emergency life support.
But before anything else, you will be taught how to assess emergency situations as well as identify and minimise health hazards for yourself and others around you. Learning how to do so will make you able to assess the need for the appropriate first aid response.
Moreover, you will also gain skills for how to act and behave respectfully when it comes to treating others’ casualties. Another thing you will learn is how to use all available resources around you to improve a medical situation.
Lastly, you will be taught how to properly use a first aid kit to treat different types of injuries for people of all ages.
Common Accidents Seniors Encounter
Like we mentioned before, seniors can be more susceptible to accidents and injuries. Some of the most common accidents senior adults encounter that can greatly benefit from first aid skills are:
Seniors are highly susceptible to falls because of their aging bodies. If you saw someone fall, you should assess the situation first by asking how badly hurt they are. If they are not severely hurt, you may help them get into a more comfortable position. However, if they fell on their head, back, neck, hips, or legs, and/or are experiencing serious bleeding, swelling, or bruising, you should immediately call for help. If the person shows any of these signs or has fallen on any of the parts mentioned above, do not move them until help comes.
If the person stops breathing, you should immediately perform CPR until professional help arrives.
Minor cuts can be treated easily by cleansing the wound with clean water and applying appropriately sized bandages or dressings. If the wound is bleeding, you can stop the bleeding by applying a clean bandage on top of the wound and securing it with tape. Minor cuts that are bleeding should also be placed above the heart’s level.
However, if the bleeding doesn’t stop, you should immediately help them go to the nearest hospital or professional care provider.
Aging often increases an adult’s chance of getting cardiovascular problems. Sometimes, heart problems can cause medical conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
If the person shows symptoms of a heart attack such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and upper body discomfort, or signs of stroke including weakness of the arms, difficulty or inability to speak, and drooping of the face, you should immediately call your local medical hotlines for help. If the person is no longer able to breathe, immediately perform CPR until help arrives.
Body temperature related accidents
When a person gets older, their body is at an increased risk of having body temperature regulation problems. This means that their bodies won’t be able to effectively balance their body temperature to cope with their environment. When that happens, they can either have a heat stroke or hypothermia. If any of these two occurs in a senior, the first thing you should do is to seek medical assistance.
While you wait for medical help to arrive, you can treat someone who had a heat stroke by cooling them off. You can help them get cool by sponging them with cool water or by letting them drink a cool glass of water. You may also cover their body with cloth that is damp with cool water.
To treat someone experiencing hypothermia, you can help them get warm by getting them into a warm environment. You can also cover them with warm blankets or place them beside a warm fireplace or heater. When warming up someone with hypothermia, make sure to keep their abdomen and chest warm before warming up their limbs.
Before You Go
When it comes to providing care for senior adults, always keep in mind that you are treating a person who is more fragile than the average adult. They require immediate, yet gentle care for their delicate bodies. To learn the best way to provide first aid for seniors, you should make sure to get appropriate training from an accredited first aid training center.