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The Importance Of Wound Care In Senior Care FacilitiesJune 21, 2023 0 Comment Category: Senior Health
Residents of long-term care facilities are mainly elderly, weak people who are at risk for developing pressure ulcers due to immobility, the presence of comorbid conditions, and nutritional issues. Pressure sores affected 11% of nursing home residents in 2004. Effective wound care in long-term senior care facilities is crucial to promoting wound healing given the high prevalence of chronic wounds in senior patients. The following factors make a thorough wound care program in long-term care facilities crucial:
Seniors Are More Prone To Chronic Wounds
As of 2015, there were about 1.3 million Americans living in long-term facilities.  The number of people residing in long-term care institutions is only anticipated to rise with the aging population. Age-related changes make older people more susceptible to developing chronic wounds, highlighting the importance of having an efficient wound care program in senior nursing homes and long-term care institutions.
In the senior population, wound healing can take longer for a variety of reasons. Multiple comorbidities and risk factors that increase wound chronicity are more common in older people. Diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases, inadequate nutrition, decreased mobility, and declining cognitive function are a few of them. Recently, the term “skin failure” has been used in relation to wound treatment. It describes the skin’s inability to carry out its typical barrier function, which makes it vulnerable to bacterial invasion. Seniors are more prone to skin failure, which can lead to the formation of pressure ulcers. Along with pressure ulcers, venous ulcers, arterial ulcers, and neuropathic ulcers are the other major types of ulcers in nursing home residents.
Prompt Care For Wounds Can Help Avoid Complications
One of the main reasons for amputations worldwide is diabetic foot ulcers. Additionally, aged people have reduced immune systems, which makes chronic wounds more prone to infection. The quick spread of infection is made possible by the proximity of other people in long-term care institutions. Chronic, infected wounds significantly reduce a patient’s quality of life and place a heavy physical and psychological strain on them. They also raise the risk of death. Long-term care institutions must therefore guarantee efficient wound care.
Wound problems can be avoided with routine screening and follow-up visits to a podiatrist and wound care specialists. When the wound is accurately and promptly assessed and managed, there is little to no scarring after healing. Additionally, it reduces any potential handicap brought on by chronic wounds.
Residential Wound Care Is Cost-effective
A long-term care facility that has a specialized wound care team on staff benefits from better patient outcomes as well as a considerable decrease in wound care expenses. The absence of a dedicated wound care team might make it difficult to detect deteriorating wounds, which can lead to problems. Additionally, staff members’ insufficient understanding of wound care can be harmful to patients’ well-being and result in the use of inappropriate treatment methods.
In the absence of trained wound care personnel, relying on outpatient wound care facilities may be a viable choice. The majority of people who live in long-term care institutions are, however, immobile, making frequent trips to the wound care facility expensive. A long-term care facility’s dedicated wound care specialist staff is also better equipped to keep track of the patient’s progress and deal with numerous risk factors. Additionally, patients are given efficient wound care in their surroundings and undergo relatively less stress. Long-term care facilities saw a significant drop in the frequency of pressure injuries and the expenditures associated with wound care.
Wound Care Is An Indicator Of Quality
Long-term care institutions are required by law to provide proper wound care to residents. F-tag penalties may apply if the required criteria for wound care are not met. In the Code of Federal Regulations, there are special regulations known as “F-tag” that outline the requirements for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.