Remember as a child scraping your knee on the playground, when all it took was a hug from mom and a band-aid to have you back up on your feet, good as new? When older adults experience a wound, however, achieving complete healing is often a much more complicated process, for a variety of reasons, including:
- Less skin elasticity. The natural process of reduced elasticity in the skin as we grow older makes it harder for skin to heal – in fact, the U.S. National Library of Medicine estimates that senior wound healing can take up to four times as long in comparison to younger people.
- Longer inflammatory response time. Our blood vessels expand when a wound occurs, so that white blood cells and nutrients can more quickly reach the wound area. Yet this inflammatory response is markedly slower in the elderly.
- Diabetic effects. Those with diabetes (and over 11 million seniors in the U.S. are diabetics) often experience problems with hardened arteries and narrowed blood vessels, both of which can contribute to delayed wound healing. Additionally, neuropathy can inhibit a diabetic from sensing the pain of a wound, enabling it to worsen.
Interestingly, there is one key factor that helps older adults experience enhanced wound healing: regular exercise. Ohio State University conducted a recent study among healthy seniors between the ages of 55 and 77 in which some engaged in regular physical activity, while the others did not. A small puncture wound was then given to each senior, and the healing process was monitored. Those who had participated in the exercise program healed a full ten days faster than those who did not.
At Nightingale Homecare, our Scottsdale senior home care experts are proficient in senior wound healing, and offer a specialized wound and ostomy care program to provide better management and faster healing of wounds, ostomies, and other skin problems such as:
- Surgical wounds
- Bed sores
- Diabetic, arterial, or venous stasis ulcers
- Incontinence skin concerns
- And more
We are familiar with the best products for specific types of wounds, and incorporate additional measures to expedite healing, such as ensuring seniors are receiving proper nutrition and hydration, relieving pressure, and preventing infection.
Contact Nightingale Homecare any time for more tips and resources related to effective wound healing for seniors, or to arrange for a free in-home consultation with one of our Scottsdale senior home care professionals to find out how we can help your loved one more heal more quickly and get back to enjoying life! You can reach us at (602) 504-1555.