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Proper Wound Care for Senior Citizens

Proper Wound Care for Senior Citizens
Skin protects the body from outside infections. When there is a wound, or break in the barrier, the body is more succplible to all severities of infections. Each person's health affects the time that it takes for a wound to heal and as people age there are more factors. Acute wounds can transform into chronic wounds if they are not properly taken care of.

How are the elderly different? 
The elasticity of skin decreases as people age, causing it to lose its flexibility and strength. This change makes it more difficult for skin to recover and return to its original state, often leaving scars from wounds.

Along with reduced skin elasticity, the elderly experience slower collagen replacement. The reduced amount of collagen round in the body hinders cellular development and tissue regeneration which is required for the healing process.

With age comes a significantly slower inflammatory response. That is when blood vessels enlarge in order for more white blood cells and nutrients to reach and treat the wound.

How do you improve healing time?
Nutrition has a big part in ones health and wound care. Wounds require more vitamins, minerals, energy, and protein in order to heal properly. It is important that the elderly focus on their diets and nutrition intake.
 
Circulation is also vital in wound healing. As people age they move less and less due to various reasons, which decreases blood flow and circulation. There are also bad habits that can impede circulation, such as smoking. Ditch bad habits and get moving again. One can also apply heat to the wound with draws blood and increases circulation again

What is proper wound care? 
  1. Apply pressure to control the bleeding
  2. Clean the wounded area with the use of soap or saline solution.
  3. Dress the wound to close of the wound from the air and bacteria in the air
  4. If needed, seek medical attention
  5. Closely follow the steps given my medical professionals
If the wound fails to heal after a period of time it becomes a chronic wound, which requires more serious attention. A chronic wound may lead to diabetic ulcers, severe inflammation, infection, or surgery. It is important to understand the severity of one's wound and the proper measures that need to be taken.


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