Smile Senior Care is compiling an ongoing list of items that should be found in any senior’s and home care aide’s emergency kit.
First aid tape is has many uses, but sometimes aging skin is too sensitive for standard first aid tape. Pack your kit with paper tape, which is less irritating on the skin.
Butterfly closures are usually used to hold together the edges of small cuts. They allow cuts to heal with very little scarring. While not as effective as stitches for most cuts some seniors have skin that is too thin to handle stitches, which is why we recommend Butterfly Closures.
Roller gauze is appropriate for scrapes and tears that can’t be closed with Butterfly Closures. Roller Gauze is even less irritating that paper tape, and can be wrapped lightly around the wound of an arm or leg without sticking to the skin.
Transparent Film Dressing
Skin tears are common in seniors with very thin skin. Tape and Butterfly Closures are too harsh to hold the edges together. Transparent film dressing looks like plastic wrap, but isn’t (please don’t use plastic wrap to dress a wound unless it’s a thermal burn) and provides a way to let skin tears heal properly. Film dressings hold the tear edges together by gently adhering to more surface area than the standard adhesive bandage or tape.
Scissors are an important item in a senior’s emergency first aid kit. With the decreased strength and delicate skin that comes with aging, the only way to remove clothing covering an injury might be to cut it off. First aid shears are strong enough to cut through thick clothing, even denim, but are blunted at the ends to ensure they don’t cut skin.