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Each year, about $3 billion is spent on wound treatment in hospitals and aged care facilities and an estimated 500,000 Australians could be suffering in silence because of their chronic wounds.

According to Envigor clinical nurse Angela Donato Connelly wound care gets a bit more complicated as we age but there is still wound prevention measures we can take.

“The skin is our largest organ and our first layer of protection against infection. With time, like any organ, it loses its efficiency at staying intact and healthy,” says Angela.

“Proper nutrition, hydration and hygiene can keep skin really healthy and prevent breakdown leading to chronic wounds and infection.”

When it comes to skin tears, which are a common problem as people get older, prevention can include looking at the home environment.

“Skin tears are a tough one, but keeping skin moisturised often helps. Assessing the risks for development of skin tears is also really helpful, including checking the residence for trip and fall hazards and using safety modifications such as anti-slip mats where appropriate.”

When older people develop a wound, getting professional advice is the best step.

“Being guided by the advice of your GP or nurse on how to manage the wound is always best. This will help to optimise healing as there are many types of dressings and treatments to promote fast healing; without it, things can get confusing. Once the regimen is set, managing it yourself at home is always an option – or if you’d rather have the nurse visit to do the dressing the process can be made even simpler.”

Angela says that Envigor care staff providing care within Seasons communities play an important role in managing wounds for people who require personal and nursing care. When it comes to Envigor’s approach to wound care, it’s all about fast and effective treatment.

“Envigor’s approach is always lead by the consumer, and its focus is always a safe and healthy return to independence or back to the consumer’s baseline if possible,” says Angela.

“We focus much of our energy and resources on the prevention of the wound, but wherever necessary, fast and effective treatment to stop wound advancement and promote healing is the primary focus.

“Assistance is always provided where needed or requested with the ordering of supplies as well as care for the wound if need be.”

Wound Australia suggests that people keep an eye out for the following wound warning signs. Take action and see your health professional if you or someone in your family has a wound that displays any of these signs:

  • becomes red, swollen, hot or very painful
  • bleeds regularly
  • becomes black or yellow
  • has a thick, yellowish fluid or unpleasant smell
  • takes longer than a month to heal or has not decreased in size.

 

This blog was first published on Envigor’s blog.

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Belinda Peters
Belinda brings more than 17 years experience in journalism to her role as Seasons Digital Content Writer. As our blog editor, Belinda will take the confusion out of aged care with entertaining and informative stories from across the aged care industry and our Seasons communities.