If you are a caregiver for a loved one — or you have an in-home caregiver service, like Angels For Life — you know that accidents can happen, no matter how much care and attention you lavish on the loved one. That means you should have adequate first aid supplies on hand to treat small injuries or triage larger ones until help arrives. You can find first aid kits in any pharmacy, but there are some additional items you should consider purchasing for emergencies — items that may not be found in a first aid kit. The first aid kit should not be made of metal and have no sharp edges.
- Surgical scissors — surgical scissors are extremely helpful in cutting surgical tape and bandages, these have a funny lip that help cut tape.
- Gauze — a first aid kit often includes a few gauze pads, but for bleeding wounds, more than a few is often necessary. None sticky gauze pads are available.
- Cloth Bandages — as we age, our skin becomes much more sensitive … bandages with adhesive often cling to and tear fragile skin, so cloth bandages are preferred.
- Hydrogen Peroxide — is not included in first aid kits but is fabulous for cleaning out wounds with little or no sting.
- Antibiotic Cream — some type of antibiotic cream is most helpful when dressing wounds. While some kits do provide a small tube, larger quantities are often necessary.
- Cortisone Cream — is extremely useful for treating skin rashes, and isn’t typically included in a first aid kit, although some people can be allergic to this type of cream
- Colpak Ice Packs — these nifty items wrap around knees, elbows, ankles and neck to help with swelling, arthritis pain, joint injuries, etc.
Many of these items can be picked up at the nearest pharmacy and the items you see on television are available at places like Bed, Bath & Beyond. There are also places, including many pharmacies that you can rent equipment for temporary needs (walkers, wheelchairs, scooters, etc.).