Prevention of serious health complications and issues is one of the most important things that you can do for your aging family member during the course of your caregiver journey with them. This means recognizing the risks that they face and integrating effective prevention techniques into all of the care tasks that you perform for them.
Sepsis is a tremendous risk for elderly adults. In fact, more than 65 percent of cases of sepsis occur in adults over the age of 64. Preventing infection is key to reducing the risk of sepsis, and one area where this is extremely important is in wound care.
If your parent has been injured or you are helping them to deal with recovery after a medical procedure, it is important to care for their wounds properly to reduce the risk of infection. Use these tips to help you care for your senior’s wounds in a way that will help to prevent sepsis:
- Wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling anything having to do with your parent’s wounds.
- Wear disposable gloves whenever possible.
- Do not attempt to use first aid on wounds that are large, deep, jagged, or that have debris in them. Bring your parent to a medical provider as soon as possible.
- Rinse new wounds with water, but do not apply soap to them.
- Cover the wound lightly to prevent dirt and water from getting into it, but not so tightly that air cannot circulate around it properly.
- Only use antibiotic creams or ointments if recommended by your parent’s doctor.
- Change the dressing regularly to ensure that it stays clean and dry.
- Pay close attention to the wound and its surrounding area to detect any signs that they might be suffering from an infection, including redness, swelling, warmth, pain, or oozing. If you notice these signs, get your parent medical attention promptly so that they can get the treatment that they need to reduce the risk of sepsis.
If you have found that your parent’s needs have increased to the point that you no longer feel as though you can handle them properly, or your own limitations or schedule have changed so that you do not feel that you are capable of offering the level of care that your parent needs and deserves, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home health care for them. A home health care provider can fill any care gaps that might exist in your routine with your senior so that they can get everything that they need to stay happy, healthy, comfortable, and safe as they age in place.
This is especially reassuring if you are a distance caregiver, helping you to know that even if you are not able to be there with your parent, they are still getting their individual needs and challenges met on a daily basis. The highly personalized nature of this home health care means that the care provider can help your senior pursue a lifestyle that is as active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible throughout their later years.