Seniors and Scalding Burn Injuries
Aside from perception and mobility hazards, older adults can be at greater risk of scald burn injuries, as poor microcirculation can also cause deeper and more serious burns. For Burn Awareness Week, we would like to share some precautions to take to help reduce burn and scald injuries in Seniors: ~ Older adults may have conditions that make them more prone to falls in the bathtub, shower, or while carrying hot liquids. Provide a bell or whistle for people who may need assistance to call for help while bathing and install grab bars and non-slip mats. Older adults (and people with certain medical conditions) may not be able to escape scalding water on their own. Provide a way for them to call for help, especially in the bathroom ~ Mobility impairments, slow or awkward movements, muscle weakness, fatigue, or slower reflexes increase the risk of spills and burns. ~ Moving hot liquids can be extremely difficult for someone who uses a cane or walker. ~ Certain medications can decrease a person’s ability to feel heat and they may burn themselves without knowing. Sensory impairments, changes in a person’s perception, memory, judgment, or awareness may hinder their ability to recognize burn dangers. ~ Tablecloths can also become tangled in crutches, walkers, or wheelchairs. Use non-slip placemats instead of tablecloths. ~ Burns on the lap are common when a person attempts to carry hot liquids while seated in a wheelchair. Use a large sturdy serving tray with raised edges to transfer food from the stove to the table if you or someone have mobility impairments or are unsteady or shaky.