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Have you tried packing a home first-aid kit for seniors?
It can be overwhelming to care for seniors and the elderly, especially if they are your aging parents.
For one, our aging parents aren't as strong and nimble as they used to be.
Their bodies change as they grow older. And because of this, they are more prone to accidents and falls, even at home.
As caregivers, we aim to ensure that they are safe at home even when we're not available.
So we must ensure they have a home first aid kit that's easily accessible.
Today, I'll share some of the must-haves in your home first aid kit.
Let's get started.
Antiseptic creams, wipes, or ointments are always a great addition to a first aid kit at home.
These chemical creams can reduce the growth of microorganisms on the skin, wounds, and mucous membranes.
The most common types of antiseptics are alcohol, peroxide, and antibacterial ointments.
Antiseptics are commonly used in the medical setting as cleansers for the skin before operation and treatment.
Antiseptics are used for treating minor burns and scalds, insect bites and stings, sores and blisters, and even sunburn for home use.
However, it is also essential to check the antiseptic creams used. High-concentration antiseptics can also cause irritation and chemical burns on the skin.
Hydrogen peroxide can be helpful initially, but once the body has begun healing, it will kill your bodies immune cells as well as organic material left in the wound from outside your body.
Do not use them on large wounds, burns, animal bites, and scratches. It is also unsafe to use in areas where foreign objects are stuck.
Bandages can keep wounds sterile by providing a clean cover to the injury while it heals.
There are a variety of bandages you can keep and use in a first aid kit.
Gauze can help hold dressings in place and protects the skin with deeper wounds. Ace wrap bandages are great for sprains and muscle strains.
Butterfly bandages or steri-strips help keep cuts together without the need for stitches. They're also an excellent option for seniors with thin skin that won't tolerate stitches.
Self-adherent bandages are also an option for seniors with delicate skin.
While they're not absorbent like gauze, self-adherent bandages are also an alternative to elastic bandages. They can be used for compression without requiring clips or safety pins.
Accidents in the kitchen are inevitable, especially for seniors who are starting to have vision problems.
That's why it's also necessary to add burn ointments to your first aid kits.
Over-the-counter burn ointments and relief creams come in varieties that relieve first-degree burn pains.
Aloe-based ointments and creams are awesome for first-degree burns. It's also an excellent moisturizer for the elderly.
Some burn ointments also have anti-itch components to soothe the itch that comes with the healing process.
However, you should consult a doctor in case of higher burn degrees before applying any topical creams to the affected area.
Our skin gets thinner and loses some protective layer as we grow older. This is often why seniors easily bruise when they bump into corners and things.
Certain medications like aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen affect the blood's ability to clot. This can cause the skin to bruise.
Because of this, you must keep a cold compress ready at all times.
The cold tends to decrease swelling and inflammation by restricting blood circulation. It also numbs the area and helps with pain management.
Cold compress and packs are non-invasive and excellent at managing several aches and pains.
It can help manage gout pain, muscle strains and sprains, tendonitis, fever, and headaches.
Instant cold packs are also available in the market and are great for emergencies.
While our loved ones are often resistant to using cold, they will likely benefit in the medium term fir some short term discomfort of being cold.
Hydrocortisone creams are a must for seniors, especially those with mobility issues.
This medication is used for various skin conditions like dermatitis, allergies, rashes, and itching.
Hydrocortisone is a steroid as the active ingredient that reduces skin's redness, itching, and swelling.
It's perfect for diaper rash, eczema, insect bites, and other skin issues.
However, it is best to consult a doctor before using a steroid on seniors as they can cause issues with other medical conditions such as diabetes etc.
Contact your doctor immediately in case of bumps, skin discoloration, or bleeding on the skin.
Never underestimate the severity of a bug bite.
There are several serious diseases spread by bugs, like ticks and mosquitoes. And some of them can be fatal, especially for young kids and seniors.
The good thing is you can now choose from several options for insect repellents.
You can use topical or natural creams containing essential oils like eucalyptus, citronella, or cinnamon oil.
Keep them handy for seniors, especially during the summer season.
If you're a senior or caring for one, keep your home first aid kit stocked with the right things.
With a bit of preparation, you can rest easy knowing that you're prepared for minor accidents and injuries.
Check your kit regularly, and remember to replenish any items running low.
And watch out for our next blog post, where we'll share tips on making home first aid kits for seniors.
That's all for today.
Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!