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Managing Life’s Wounds
Posted By Chuck Ross On January 25, 2013 @ 6:00 am In Take Care | Comments Disabled
You may have seen some coverage of the report released this past fall on the growing importance of caregivers in providing help that would require a registered nurse if the patient were in a hospital. “Home Alone: Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care” was jointly researched and written by AARP and the United Hospital Fund. Managing prescription and non-prescription medications took up the biggest chunk of these surrogate nurses’ time. But more than a third of those providing what otherwise would qualify as professional care also managed wound treatment – and two-thirds of those were fearful of making a mistake.
Wound care is a tough job, for many reasons. First, there’s the “ick” factor – many of us can get squeamish around open wounds. Second, there’s a real fear that doing something wrong could mean more pain or a serious infection for a loved one. I had to meet both these reactions head-on while Dad was living with me, caring for everything from diabetes-related toe wounds to skin tears resulting from a fall on my back deck. In few of these cases did the medical pros who sent him home with me consider the emotional hurdles I’d have to jump to handle these tasks.
A post by Carol Levine commenting on this report gives tips on five issues to consider if wound care is added to your caregiving duty roster, but I have a couple more.
Photo by Ramberg Media Images courtesy of Creative Commons
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