When a Band-Aid won’t work

Keep it real Wednesday

When a Band-Aid won’t work…

July 10, 2019

When I was a new mother, I read everything I could about pregnancy, infants and children so I could be the best mother I could. I referenced my copy of “What to expect when you are expecting” daily and finally retired it a few years ago with its tattered pages and notes in the margins.

Now I am in a situation where I want to be the best caregiver / daughter to my Mother, but information is not as readily available in caring for the elderly. Skilled nursing facilities and hospitals have staff who are very knowledgeable but for those of us providing fulltime care in our homes, it can be a struggle. I have found much of the care I provide is complicated and many times it is learning by doing.

I learned a valuable resource that I want to share with you today.

Did you know that fragile or thin skin is a very common problem in the elderly? Skin can easily tear from a small bump and become a very formidable wound in no time flat.  Also, certain types of medications such as blood thinners can causing excessive bruising which can make a tear even more likely for fragile areas such as arms and legs which are prone to bumps.

Rosemary had just that problem. Her legs were bruised from daily activities due to her poor eyesight and she bumped her shin on July 4th getting on the Blessing Bike.  The very slight bump caused a 5 x3 inch tear in her skin which flapped wide open, exposing tissue underneath.

After we cleaned up her shin, we called the local Wound Center and scheduled an appointment for Monday

What happened next was amazing.

 At the wound center, the first person in the room was a nurse to talk about the injury and Rosemary’s background.  Then a technician came in to open her bandages, take pictures of her wound and measure it.  Then, a physician joined the team and cleaned the wound and came up with a plan for healing. The team also recommended tube bandages to help support her skin to absorb swelling and protect her skin from future tears. One tube was provided for each leg with instructions on how to use them and an follow up appointment was set for next week.

Wow!   Wound care people are amazing.

Friends, we are not alone in caring for the elderly in our homes.  We can’t possibly know it all.  Know your limits and know when to ask for help and then share that resource with others.

This wound could have gone south very quickly but thanks to the folks at the wound center, Rosemary will be just fine – and yes – we are back on the Blessing Bike.

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