First Aid for Seniors

Written by Linda Hepler, RN | Published on July 17, 2014
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on July 17, 2014

First Aid for Seniors

In an emergency situation, you do not need special first aid skills beyond standard first aid treatment and CPR to care for people aged 65 and older. Still, it is important to know that seniors are more vulnerable to accidents and injuries. These may require immediate first aid assistance. Understand some common elderly medical situations and you will be prepared when they arise.

Some more common situations that may require first aid for seniors include:

Falls

One out of three adults aged 65 and older fall each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This often results in lacerations, hip or other fractures, and head injury.

Common causes of falls include:

  • poor vision
  • physical inactivity or immobility
  • conditions or medications that cause dizziness
  • problems with balance

Cuts and Scrapes

The skin becomes more fragile with age, which results in more cuts and scrapes. These are susceptible to infection. While older age itself does not cause infections, many seniors also battle chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, which decrease the body’s immune system defenses against infections.

Cardiovascular Problems

Age-related changes in heart and blood vessels put seniors at greater risk for heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes. 

Heat- and Cold-Related Illness

With increasing age, people are more likely to have chronic medical conditions that impair temperature regulation. Seniors also may take prescription medications that change temperature balance. Make sure seniors always use sunscreen and wear appropriate protective clothing when outdoors. This protects them from either warm or cold weather exposure. Ensure they stay hydrated to protect against heat-related illnesses.

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Article Sources:

  • CDC - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Extreme Heat. (n.d.). CDC Emergency Preparedness & Response Site. Retrieved October 14, 2012, from http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/faq.asp
  • CDC - Older Adult Falls - Falls Among Older Adults: An Overview - Home and Recreational Safety - Injury Center. (n.d.). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 14, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html

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