First aid knowledge is an important consideration when working in home care or caring for an older person. People are more vulnerable to accidents and injuries as they grow old. Seniors often lack strength, flexibility, and they tend to have brittle bones. Hence, there are essential first aid skills for home care workers to know.
Older people may also have declined senses such as poor hearing, smell, taste, and eyesight. As we grow old, it is important to take care of our overall well-being as we become more susceptible to infections and diseases.
Home care workers and caregivers can benefit from First aid in many emergencies. Below are some essential first aid skills when caring for another individual:
How to Identify and Respond to Stroke
Stroke is one of the largest causes of death among the elderly in Australia. Every year, approximately 56,000 Australians suffer from stroke, with 10,600 dying from it. It is also one of the major causes of disability in the country.
Recognising the signs of stroke and responding quickly can significantly impact the older person’s chance of survival. Prompt first aid response also speeds up the recovery process and avoids its debilitating effects.
First Aid for Elderly Falls
One in three adults ages 65 years and older experiences fall every year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Falls in the elderly often result in hip fractures, head injuries, concussions, and sprains.
After a serious fall or injury, the elderly should receive medical attention even if there are no visible signs of injury. It is best practice to seek professional assessment by a doctor or hospital to determine its severity.
Elderly falls often occur in everyday situations like walking up and down the shops. It can also be from the unsafe practice of getting in and out of the shower. Most falls can be prevented.
Responding to Overdose (Poisoning)
Older people tend to take too much medicine or accidentally take poisonous (and harmful) substances when unsupervised. A caregiver should remove any toxic substances, including medications, away from the elderly for safety purposes.
If you suspect that an older person is suffering from poisoning, perform first aid immediately. For better medication tracking, set up a container containing the daily dosage intake. Charting all medicines and the right dosage in one location can prevent accidental poisoning. Be sure to update the medication list if changes have been made.
Burns can be a very painful and distressing experience for a victim, especially for the elderly. Older adults tend to have thinner and easily injured skin.
Burns can happen from being in contact with a heat source. It can be from a strong chemical, electricity, hot liquid, or stream. Move the elderly away from the heat source immediately and apply first aid treatment for burns.
The Recovery Position
In most emergencies, the person won’t always be in the most convenient position to administer first aid. The patient should be in a comfortable, safe position whether they are awake or unconscious. This is to put them in a convenient position for first aid and prevent the possibility of further harm.
It is the caregiver’s responsibility to put the older person in the recovery position – where they can keep their airway open and prevent vomit (and other fluid) from choking the person.
As someone working in home care, one of your most important roles is to keep everyone safe. You never know when a medical emergency will happen, and you want to be prepared no matter how minor or major the injury is.
One great way to prepare for an emergency is to learn First Aid. First aid training will help you feel more comfortable dealing with a variety of health and safety conditions while working in home care. First aid skills for home care workers and caregivers make a real difference in any situation.
A great resource in finding a local First Aid class in Australia is through First Aid Pro. Just type in your location and the first aid course you are looking for, and they will point you to the nearest training venue near you.
If you are finding a first aid course in Sydney, Talk to us today.