Tips for Elderly Wound Care

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Apr 11, 2017

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When caring for your own or for a loved ones wound, it is important to understand at-home treatment methods as well as symptoms that require professional medical attention. Wounds can be caused by injury, disease (such as diabetes), a surgical incision, poor circulation, poor nutrition or other factors. Most wounds heal naturally over time, but sometimes this process does not happen as it should.

Acute wounds are injuries that occur on the skin suddenly rather than over time. These wounds can be painful and exposure to air can lead to infection as well as further damage of vessels, nerves and muscle tissue. General symptoms include pain, bleeding and swelling and treatment must be provided as quickly as possible. Basic steps toward acute wound healing include:

Apply pressure and control the bleeding

Clean the wound area with soap or saline solution

If possible, remove debris from the wound

Keep the wound moist and covered to prevent infection. A moist wound heals twice as quickly as a dry one.

Maintain proper nutrition including quality protein

Wounds should show signs of healing within two weeks and be largely healed in four weeks. Wounds that do not respond in this manner should be seen by a medical provider. Additional signs to seek medical attention for a wound include:

Bleeding cannot be stopped or blood is soaking through the outside of the dressing

The wound is very deep or has jagged edges

The dressing becomes wet or falls off

Pain from the wound continues to increase

Signs of infection are present such as increased redness and warmth, increased drainage and odor, increased pain, swelling, and fever
If an acute wound fails to heal properly, it can progress into a chronic wound. Generally, this is the worst scenario for a wound because failure to heal properly has led to an abandonment of blood, oxygen and nutrients being administered by the body to the injury.
When a wound progresses to a chronic phase, at-home healing becomes out of the question. Professional medical attention is now the only option to properly treat the wound and prevent complications and potential amputations. Addressing a wounds underlying causes, such as diabetes, tissue ischemia, and/or venous insufficiency, is an essential treatment Before I Fall 2017 movie now
Editors Note: This article was submitted by Linda S. Meola, MBA.

Linda is a Program Director with the Stamford Health Wound Care, Ostomy, and Hyperbaric Center and may be reached at 203-276-2486 or by email at

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