First Aid And Emergency Response For Seniors: What You Need To Know

First Aid For Seniors

Older adults are more likely than other adults to get harmed.

They are no longer as physically formidable as they once were, which justifies this. You must know the proper first aid to administer for cuts, falls, bruises, and breathing problems.

Before bringing the senior to the hospital, first aid must be administered immediately as a crucial part of emergency preparedness. At the same time, ensure that anything that could lead to injuries, falls, or cuts is eliminated and that the senior is always in a secure setting. 

Keep reading to learn the best and most appropriate first aid, which we’ll explain deeper in this article.

What does the term “first aid” mean?

First aid treats minor conditions while waiting for an ambulance, including CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation). It provides emergency medical assistance to a sick or injured individual.

First aid only sometimes requires specialized tools or training. Untrained individuals could improvise using the materials at hand. 

First aid is not a substitute for comprehensive medical care. Instead, it is intended to help the injured individual become stable enough to be transported to a hospital or medical institution. Correctly used first aid measures have the potential to save lives.

Reasons why mastering the basics of first aid is necessary

First aid is considered important anywhere in the world, and its ability to change lives cannot be measured. It enables a sick or injured person to rehabilitate considerably and, in most situations, has constituted the distinction between life and death.

The presence of a skilled first aid provider is consoling to the victim and onlookers who are worried about them. The first aider is the most likely to act and handle a crisis. 

According to research, one of the most crucial life-saving abilities everyone, especially healthcare providers, should possess is first aid.

Here are some reasons why it’s crucial to have a foundational understanding of first aid.

  • It promotes safe and balanced living.

One of the first lessons you will encounter in first aid is prioritizing your safety and taking care of yourself. Being practical is not being selfish. Maintaining personal safety puts you in a position to assist others especially seniors rather than requiring assistance yourself.

  • It doesn’t just contribute to lifesaving.

It is true that first aid training unquestionably contributes to lifesaving. But that’s not all—promptly administering the proper first aid can speed up recovery and determine whether a patient will have a temporary or permanent handicap. You will learn how to maintain composure in emergencies and simple acronyms to aid in remembering the actions you need to take.

  • It provides you with the means to avert the troubles from getting worse.

In some circumstances, a patient’s condition will worsen if basic first aid is not administered right away, frequently quickly. You can stabilize a patient until emergency medical personnel can administer basic care.

Taking Action in Emergency Situations

To react to an emergency, one should take three simple steps:

1. Examine the environment and the situation.

Examine the sick or injured senior’s condition if it is safe to do so in the immediate environment. The injured person should be relocated if other dangers exist, such as a fire or falling objects, to keep them safe from further harm.

2. Request Medical Assistance

Call 911 or the emergency services immediately if the person is critically hurt or ill. Give the best treatment you can and help the person go to a safe location, such as their office or home if they don’t require medical attention.

3. Offer fundamental care

Give basic care with the aid of first aid kit items. If there is bleeding, stop it. Dressings and bandages should be applied as needed. If dehydration is a problem, administer fluids. Maintain the afflicted senior’s comfort and peace of mind.

Elderly First Aid: A Guide for Caregivers

Even if they are physically engaged and healthy, older adults are frequently more prone to multiple injuries than younger people, as per research. The following basic first aid procedures and fundamental health risks are highly relevant for older individuals to be knowledgeable for caregivers.

Cuts and Bruises First Aid

The elderly are more prone to bruising and wounds. It is because as people age, their skin becomes more easily damaged. They can quickly get infected if cuts and bruises are not treated properly. It occurs because most older adults have underlying medical issues that weaken their immune systems.

Apply pressure to the wound using sterile gauze, a bandage, or a clean towel after thoroughly rinsing the cut or wound. 

Put another bandage on top of the first one and maintain applying pressure if blood seeps through. To stop bleeding, raise the damaged area of the body. Apply a clean bandage to the wound once the bleeding has stopped.

Prevention of falls

Poor vision, a senior’s lack of physical exercise, immobility, lower-body weakness, vertigo, and balance issues contribute to falls in seniors.

Do not attempt to assist an elderly loved one who has fallen immediately. Try to determine whether the person is hurt by speaking with them. 

Call 911 as soon as possible and adhere to the dispatcher’s first aid instructions if the person is unconscious or looks to be experiencing a stroke or a head injury.

It is not advisable to attempt to fix a shattered bone. Alternatively, place some ice in a bag, wrap it in a towel, and carefully apply it to the damaged region. Till medical assistance arrives, reassure the victim and keep them warm and at ease.

Even if they are physically engaged and healthy, older adults are frequently more prone to multiple injuries than younger people. The following basic first aid procedures and fundamental health risks are highly relevant for older individuals to be knowledgeable about.    

Initial Treatment for Respiratory Problems

If you spend time with older folks or work with them, you should learn CPR. Seniors are more likely than any age to experience cardiac arrest. Since cardiac arrest can happen anytime, you should be ready for it.

Giving CPR to older people is a fairly contentious subject. Because you are effectively acting as the person’s heart during CPR, manually pumping blood via veins and supplying oxygen to the brain, it is understandable why this technique can be quite violent. 

But suppose CPR is not administered during a cardiac arrest. In that case, the patient will almost surely pass away, and most medical professionals concur that it is preferable to live with shattered bones than to pass away without them.

When applying the technique, it’s crucial to exert the proper power in CPR. Elderly persons frequently have more difficulty withstanding the power of CPR since their bones are more fragile.

First Aid for Illnesses Related to Heat and Cold

Older people’s body temperatures differ greatly from younger adults. It is because a large number of individuals have medical issues or use medications that have an impact on how their body temperature balances out.

Older people, especially those with chronic conditions and mobility disabilities are more susceptible to temperature changes. Whether it’s hot or chilly outside, seniors should always wear sunscreen when they go outside. 

They must dress in enough layers to cover their exposed skin if it is cold. They will need to drink plenty of water and use sunscreen if it’s hot.

Providing Hypothermia First Aid

Be careful to call the emergency room immediately if the senior exhibits any symptoms: shaking, drowsiness, a weak pulse, an elevated heart rate or breathing rate, and extreme confusion. 

After that, take them inside and wrap them in cozy blankets. Change them out of their wet clothing and provide them with dry clothing. Until the emergency strikes, try to warm them up as much as possible.

First Aid Kit

You may need to leave your home immediately in some emergencies or disasters, or you may need to stay there for an extended time. It’s a good idea to have an evacuation package and a shelter-in-place kit at home to ensure you’re prepared regardless of the situation.

You should include the following items in your checklist:

  • Sanitizers and antiseptic wipes
  • Variety of bandages
  • Generic painkillers
  • Hydrocortisone cream and antibiotic ointment
  • Tweezers
  • Medical mitts
  • Tape and gauze
  • Scissors

Your first aid supplies should include the essentials for treating small and large wounds. Maintain two first aid kits: one for your home and one for your car.

Wrap Up

First aid instruction instills the courage to act when an emergency arises. Effective first aid can avert permanent impairment or save a life when administered quickly. 

Risk reduction is quite valuable. And avoidance is preferable to cure. Knowing first aid sharpens your awareness to spot and avoid potential dangers.

It’s essential to put together a thorough emergency plan and disaster supply pack to ensure that you and your family are well-prepared for any unforeseen dangers. These actions not only assist you practically and logistically, but they also boost your self-assurance, which in turn calms you down.