Wound Care for Seniors: What You Need to Know

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Wound care is a medical treatment plan for wounds that do not heal easily on their own. Non-healing wounds are wounds that haven’t started healing within two weeks, or have not completely healed within six weeks. For seniors, these types of wounds commonly include pressure sores, surgical wounds, radiation sores, and ulcers, and can typically be intensified if they suffer from diabetes, poor circulation, inactivity, poor nutrition, or a weak immune system - all common conditions in the senior population.

So what should you do if you or a loved one is regularly suffering from non-healing wounds? The best option is to look for a care provider that is specifically certified in Wound Care, who can help make sure the wound is properly cared for, and can help you or your loved one heal as quickly and painlessly as possible.

What is Wound Care?

Put simply, wound care is the whole plan to help you heal from any wound that won’t heal itself naturally. From the initial dressing of the wound right after treatment, to bandage changes, cleanings, tests, and physical therapy. Wound care certified care providers have passed extremely stringent qualification courses that prove that they have the knowledge to help a patient navigate from a fresh wound to a full recovery.

Why Wound Care?

Many seniors are at an increased risk for experiencing non-healing wounds that require wound care because of their increased likelihood to suffer from diabetes, poor circulation, inactivity, poor nutrition, or a weak immune system. It is important that when a senior does develop a wound, that it is treated quickly and effectively to ensure the fastest healing. Working with a care provider who is certified and trained to properly care for wounds can increase the chance of wounds healing successfully without complications. Not having proper wound care could result in complications for seniors, such as gangrene, infections, and hospitalizations.

In fact, studies show that patients that are experiencing complications related to wounds from pressure ulcers, stasis ulcers, surgical wounds, incontinence, and urinary tract infections all showed marked improvements in recovery rates when being treated by a wound care certified medical professional.

Why should I work with a Care Provider who is Wound Care Certified?

Finding a care provider that is wound care certified should be a top priority for any senior or family caregiver that regularly deals with caring for wounds. Working with a wound care certified care provider means you will be receiving the best quality of care, typically resulting in wounds healing faster and more effectively. This leads to overall more affordable care costs, which is another advantage of working with a certified care provider.

Patient care costs dropping dramatically when the patient's care provider is wound care certified, because wounds heal faster and more effectively, which means less in-home care visits or less time in the hospital as a result. In a case study at a Home Health Agency in New York, the percentage of patients requiring daily visits dropped from 52% to 20% when the agency shifted focus to hiring and training wound care certified care providers. Some other interesting points from the study: the percentage of wounds that effectively healed in 12 weeks, and post-surgery healing rates both improved once care providers were certified. However, going beyond the potential financial savings, it is important to remember that proper wound care saves lives.

Many of the care providers we refer at American In-Home Care have undergone the Wound Care Certification. If you or your loved one believe that a certified wound care caregiver would be the correct fit for your circumstances, contact us today. We refer qualified, screened, care providers that are compassionate and ready to help. Contact us at 1-844-505-0004 to schedule your free in-home consultation to discuss which care options are right for you and your family.

If you are a care provider that wants to become certified in proper wound care, click here.