Wound Care Management: What You Need to Know
Small cuts, scrapes and sores usually heal on their own, but there are times when seemingly minor wounds can worsen to the point where specialized care is needed. Being older, having a suppressed immune system, or dealing with chronic conditions such as diabetes or venous insufficiency can increase the risk of chronic wounds. Wounds that don’t heal properly can lead to chronic pain, limited mobility and increased risk of infection.
Monitoring the wound healing process closely and watching for warning signs can help prevent painful and debilitating complications. With the right care team and quick response to wound care, it’s possible to recover more quickly and get back to normal activities.
What Is Wound Care?
Professional wound care management is helpful for stubborn wounds that won’t heal on their own and chronic conditions that haven’t responded to other therapies. Wound care is a medical specialty focused on assessing and treating chronic wounds, as well as providing patient education on ways to prevent infection and promote healing through self-care.
Types of Wounds
A wound that persists for more than a month with minimal improvement is considered a chronic wound that requires special medical attention. Wounds that don’t seem to be healing need to be checked by a doctor and may be a sign of an underlying health issue, such as diabetes. Some of the most common types of chronic wounds include:
Diabetic foot ulcers. It’s common for people with diabetes to develop sores on their feet and lower extremities. Diabetic foot wounds may start as a small cut, blister or scrape, but they can lead to deep wounds and infection if not treated quickly. Nerve damage caused by diabetes complications may prevent a person from feeling the pain of foot wounds, which is why it’s important for people with diabetes to visually inspect their feet for cuts or sores.
Pressure ulcers. People who spend most of their time in a bed or a chair due to physical limitations are at risk for developing pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers are injuries to the skin or underlying tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the skin.
Post-surgical wounds. Most surgical incisions go through a normal healing process after surgery. However, surgical incisions are vulnerable to infection, and it’s important to seek care for wounds that aren’t healing properly. Signs that indicate problems with post-surgical wounds include redness, streaking, throbbing, and retention of fluid at the surgical site.
How Skilled Nursing Can Help
Wound care services are available in hospitals and medical clinics, as well as in skilled nursing facilities within senior living communities.
At Walnut Place, our wound care program is directed by a physician and coordinated by on-staff clinicians. The Walnut Place clinical care team includes an on-staff registered nurse and a licensed master social worker. Our team is highly skilled in evaluating and treating complex wounds.
Healing techniques may include wound dressings, compression therapy, and offloading, which involves positioning a person’s body to avoid unnecessary pressure on the wound. Specialty mattresses are used in some cases to minimize pressure.
At Walnut Place, we offer a comprehensive wound care program with a range of therapies and specialized tools to promote healing, including:
- Bedside wound debridement
- Medication infusion therapy
- Lymphedema therapy provided by certified occupational therapists
- Wound vacuum-assisted closure (V.A.C.) therapy
- Specialty mattresses
- Post-surgical wound management
High-Quality Care at Walnut Place
When you choose a senior living community like Walnut Place with a full continuum of care including skilled nursing and wound care management, you can trust your needs will be met whatever life may bring. Contact us to learn more about specialized healthcare and other valuable benefits of our all-inclusive senior living community in North Dallas.