When you have a senior citizen in your home, having a first aid kit is essential. Senior citizens are more prone to injuries and health complications. For instance, with the recent pandemic, any caregiver should consider buying lateral flow tests to test them or other family members for Covid-19 quickly. This will prevent the spread of infection and ensure they get diagnosed quickly before it takes a toll on them. So as you stock your first aid kit for your grandparents or older parents, here are tips to guide you on some of the essentials to include.
What Are Some Medical Problems Seniors Might Encounter At Home?
There are various medical issues that a senior can encounter in a home environment, including:
- Insect bites
- Heat stroke
- Cuts, scratches, and scrapes
- Heart attacks
Because of how common these issues occur in the home environment, here are some of the basics you should never lack in a first aid kit for seniors:
- Medical gloves
- OTC pain relievers
- Sanitisers and antiseptic wipes
- Tape and gauze
- An assortment of bandages
- Hydrocortisone cream and antibiotic ointment
However, these tools are not sufficient when administering first-aid to a senior. It would be best if you had more equipment and tools to assist with that.
As years go by, you might realize that older people have problems with eyesight, hearing, and other chronic medical conditions. So, the following factors can help you customize an emergency kit to ensure nothing is a miss during an emergency.
- Health Conditions
For senior citizens with chronic medical conditions, you might need to include prescription drugs or an oxygen cylinder. Depending on your senior’s medical condition, you can ask your doctor whether it is recommended to store extra oxygen and prescription drugs in your emergency kit. The doctor will also tell you whether or not the drugs require refrigeration and give you essential information about their expiry dates.
On the other hand, seniors might require medical devices that help with their condition. Be sure to store the user’s manual and serial numbers in the emergency kit documents folder, as they can come in handy.
- Movement or Mobility Problems
Is the senior citizen in your home using a cane, a wheelchair, or a walker? If yes, you need to plan on how to evacuate them from your home during an emergency. In addition, you might need a user’s manual if the senior uses an electric chair. This will help you know how to use the chair and can also help you stock an extra battery in your kit.
- Cognitive Impairment Problems
If you or a senior citizen has cognitive impairment problems, leave sticky notes with written special instructions on where the first aid kit is located in case of an emergency. If the cognitive impairment is severe, you should look for a caregiver to stay with the senior and assist them during an emergency.
- What Are Other Important Essentials to Have?
Here is a list of other essential stuff to include in a first-aid kit:
- Medication tracker – create a comprehensive medication list and dosages and update it accordingly.
- Contact names and numbers – ensure that you have a document folder with contact numbers and names of the primary physician, eye doctor, dentist, and other specialists.
- List of allergies and ailments – write a list of the senior’s allergies, heart problems, and other concerns.
Now that you’ve restocked your loved one’s home first aid kit, it is important to ensure it is easily accessible. In addition to having a first aid kit, it is also important to have the contact of an emergency doctor. They can advise you on what to do during an emergency as you wait for an ambulance or rush a senior to a hospital.