A first aid kit is a must for every home. Particularly, if you have loved ones who are more prone to injuries, like small children and elders. First aid kits come in very handy in case of small cuts, superficial injuries, burns, and bruises. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why a first aid kit is essential for seniors and will go on to review some of the best first aid kits for seniors. If you are in a hurry, the table below provides a quick snapshot.
Last update 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Why is a First Aid Kit Important for Seniors?
For seniors, timely care through first aid significantly reduces recovery time from small injuries. You must remember that in the elderly the body’s natural abilities to recover from cuts and bruises are diminished considerably. Therefore, the body requires external help to regain and recuperate. For example, a small cut which takes 3 – 4 days to heal completely in a healthy adult, may take a couple of weeks in a senior person. Conditions like diabetes may further complicate matters and elongate healing times.
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Why are the Elderly More at Risk of Injuries?
The elderly are more at risk of injuries due to the gradual impairment of mental and physical abilities as they grow older. Age-related conditions can broadly be of the following types:
- Mental conditions like the dementia, general forgetfulness or disorientation and the inability to understand apparently simple instructions
- Sensory disabilities like partial or advanced level of impairment in eyesight or hearing abilities
- Physical conditions like partial or full immobility and paralysis, sub-optimal bone structure conditions like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis which may lead to fragile bones, disorders of the skin and general weakness
The above conditions and in most cases, associated co-morbidities, often make the elderly more prone to injuries and cuts. For example, your loved one with partial loss of eyesight may mistakenly cut her fingers while chopping vegetables or your absent-minded grandparent may miss a step and injure her knee.
Falls are the single biggest worry for seniors and can be caused by a range of risk factors including but not limited to weakness in the legs and lower body musculoskeletal structure, problem with balance, loss of vision. Falls can also be caused by side-effects of prescribed medication which can cause dizziness or low blood pressure problems which lead to dizziness when you abruptly stand after long periods of sitting or lying down.
Where Can a First Aid Kit Help and Where it Cannot?
A first aid kit is generally very helpful in small and superficial injuries like a cut or scrape, bruises, skin ruptures, light pain due to a fall, light fevers, and colds and coughs in the elderly. However, you should not make the mistake of banking on a first aid kit, if the injury is seemingly severe or uncommon symptoms arise after an event. For example, you should consult your physician in case of big cuts or lacerations which is leading to significant blood loss, head injuries after a fall, or a likely fracture.
Often when the injury is significant, you may have to temporarily use first aid to stop excessive bleeding (you may want to stop bleeding by applying pressure, apply medication and bandage on the area and apply ice packs to limit swelling) and will have to follow it up with seeking professional help in terms of visiting your physician or the nearest hospital.
What are the Essential Elements of a First Aid Kit?
When you are looking to buy or upgrade your first aid kit, you should check to see that it has the following essential items. Some kits may not have one or more of these items, in which case you can buy them separately and add them to your first aid kit.
- Bandaging equipment like gauge and surgical tape
- Pair of scissors
- Cotton swabs
- Antiseptic ointment
- A fever reducer like paracetamol
- A pain reliver like a spray or a leaf of aspirin
- Cold compress
Some items that will not come with the box, but you should make them on your own and store it in the box:
- List of emergency numbers and people to call (in large font size). Always remember to store these numbers on a convenient-to-dial mode on the senior’s phone
- List of medicines with dosage and timing with a backup set of medications. This is a backup for the pillbox that you have set up for your elderly family member
- A few other important references like insurance information, health conditions, and known allergies
Depending on the health of your loved one, you may want to include a few other items that may be required is. You may consult the physician for any other essential stuff that you may miss out.
Having said that, the more comprehensive and closely aligned a first aid kit is to the senior’s needs, the better it is. Finally, it is always a good idea to list down the most used items on a paper in large font size and stick it to the box for easy identification.
Where Should You Keep a First Aid Kit?
You should always remember to store the first aid box at an accessible and easily visible location for your elderly family members to easily find it, like a highly visible area of your home. It helps if the elderly sees it a number of times during the day which will help them to remember its location even during a case of emergency when they might be disoriented.
It is always better to wall-mount it, however, the kit should be such that opening it and searching through it should be convenient and items should not fall out. If your kit is not wall-mountable, you should place it on a table or shelf and make sure that the kit color is in sharp contrast to items around it.
Should You Buy a First Aid Kit or Make One at Home?
Making a first aid kit at home will require buying individual items and assembling them into a self-made box or bag. This way you can avoid buying items that you may not need, thereby saving on cost.
However, it is not easy to ignore the convenience of buying a ready-made, well-stocked first aid kit from the market and then customizing it as per your requirements. You can remove the items that you do not anticipate the need for and replace them with items that you think you may require. Another advantage of buying a ready-made first aid kit from a good vendor (we have covered the best first aid kits below), is that they will include some items that you are likely to forget or not consider.
#1 First Aid Only 298 Piece First Aid Kit
This 298 piece first aid kit comes packed in a compact nylon made bag of dimensions 9 x 2.8 x 7 inches and is 1.2 lbs in weight. The contents of the kit can be used to treat swelling, cuts, scrapes and burns and it also has medication for pain relief.
- Compact and easy to carry; convenient to be taken along on a mobility device for emergencies
- Lightweight at just 1.2 lbs when you consider that it 298 pieces
- Most items are relevant for the elderly for home fist aid use, including essential medicines
- Good value for money, for the number of items
- Contains items for cold compress and light burn treatment
- Organization within the kit is not convenient to easily locate what you need
- Contents are not all latex free; You should be careful if you are a care giver to a senior who is allergic to latex
- You should remember to not store the kit in a hot place like a car under the sun, for possible heat damage to content within
#2 326 Piece First Aid Kit with Hard Teal Case
This 326 piece first aid kit is a comprehensive box of supplies that can be used to treat small cuts, burns, pain and swelling at home. The box is made of durable high-density plastic for longevity and has handle attached for convenient portability and plastic sliding locks for easy locking. There is a label at the back of the kit which marks out different components of the box across categories of Clean, Treat, Protect and Additional Supplies.
- Double layered compartmentalised box for easy access to specific contents
- Items are conveniently labelled at the back of the case for easy identification
- Tilting shelves to store components makes it easy to identify contents
- Most of the contents in the box is relevant to the elderly for home care
- There is space to add you own items if the need be
- The tweezers included in the pack are made of light plastic that bends and may not be very useful
- The band-aid may lose glue (dried up) over time and may not stick to your skin
#3 TRI 250 Piece First Aid Kit
This first aid kit includes 250 pieces and is organized across the categories of Clean, Treat, Medications, Advance Wound Care, Protect and Essential Tools. The kit comes in a compact box of 8 x 10 x 3 inches and weighs just 1.1 lbs.
- Convenient arrangement of items inside the box makes it easy to identify specific needs
- Lets you temporary manage deep wounds by applying the Silvex Wound Gel
- Majority of the items are relevant to the lives of seniors, with minimal items meant for outdoor life
- Good value for money
- 6 instant cold compresses make this kit ideal for pain and swelling management
- Convenient to lock with sliding latch
- You should be careful with the safety pins for accidental pricks. If possible, you may want to remove them from the first aid box.
- While the box has provision to be wall mounted, be careful when you open the all mounted box as items within can spill out and fall
- The bandages can lose adhesive over time and not stick to skin when applied
#4 Risen 220 Piece First Aid Kit
The first aid kit comes in a bag made of nylon and satin fabric, thickened with an intermediate layer of cotton for insulation against extreme environmental temperature. The bag is well organized and has a separate compartment for outdoor items like a compass or a whistle to attract attention or SOS signaling. The kit has 220 pieces and is a comprehensive solution to first aid home care.
- Conveniently labelled content list which helps to find specific items
- Compact and lightweight with box size of 9 x 3.9 x 6 inches and at just 1.6 lbs; easily portable on a mobility device, if you are using one
- Bag made of durable material for longevity and convenient handles for ease of carry
- Does not contain any latex (latex free gloves included in the kit)
- Well-compartmentalized bag for ease of use
- On the expensive side
- Considerable number of items are not meant for outdoor use and may not be relevant for the elderly. You can save cost on these by buying a less comprehensive competitor product, with all essential items
#5 Protect Life 160 Piece First Aid Kit by
The first aid kit comes in a handy comprehensive and lightweight bag with water resistant surface, durable zippers, and compartments inside for easy access. The size of the bag is 8.3 x 5.9 x 2.4 inches and is easy to carry. The kit weighs 1.2 lbs. and the bag comes with a 5-year warranty.
- Easy to carry by the bag handles and lightweight at 1.2 lbs;
- There is extra space to add items that you may deem fit
- Includes a mini compass for outdoor assistance in direction
- Kit comes with a CPR mask and an emergency blanket
- Does not contain any medicines for pain or indigestion or fever
- It is possible to get a more thorough kit for a similar price range
#6 Be Smart Get Prepared 180 Piece First Aid Kit
The first aid kit which has a total of 180 pieces is capable of treating small cuts, scrapes, bruises, minor aches and pains. The kit comes in a handy box of dimensions 8 x 10 x 3 inches and made of sturdy and high-density plastic which is impact resistant. Items are organized in the kit across three categories of clean, treat and protect.
- Kit box has easily operable sliding latches that securely locks into place; minimises chances of content spill
- Easily locatable components through well-organised interior compartments within box
- Lightweight at just over a pound and is easily portable
- Kit box is made of good quality plastic and can withstand normal fall impacts
- Meets the US FDA regulatory standards as a medical device
- Easily accessible list of components on the back of the kit for easy reference of contents
- Comes with an instant cold compress for joint pains and swellings due to injuries
- Good value for money
- Tweezers that come with the kit are too big and is difficult to use to remove tiny objects
- The box is quite compact, and you may get the feeling that items are a bit cramped inside
- Does not come with a pair of scissors
#7 Swiss Safe 120 Piece First Aid Kit
This 120 piece first aid kit comes in a strong nylon outer bag and contains a mini first aid kit of 32 items inside. The kit is well compartmentalized and organized so that you are able to find what you are looking for quickly with minimal displacement of items.
- Rugged and strong outer bag with convenient handle to carry around
- Compact unit and can be easily carried around in a mobility device
- Items are well organized internally into compartments
- Comes with a smaller kit of 32 pieces – a mini first aid kit within a pouch
- Made of water resistant material
- The kit also partially caters to outdoor activities and all items may not be strictly relevant for the seniors. You may want to replace a few items like compass with relevant items
#8 Johnson & Johnson Portable 140 piece First Aid Kit
The 140 piece first aid kit comes in a durable plastic box and has items categorized into 4 classes of clean, treat, protect and care. The kit is handy and can be used to treat cuts and scrapes, minor burns, itching, skin rashes, insect bites and pain.
- The box is designed for easy portability and is durable
- Contains medicines for fever, cough and pain relief
- Most items are relevant for the seniors and enough space is left internally for you to top the kit up with your own additions
- Items are labelled at the back of the box and will help you keep track of contents
- Good value for the money
- Not convenient to be wall mounted
- The kit misses out on medical tape or any item which will hold the gauze bandage together
A first aid kit is very essential for the elderly, especially if they are staying all on their own. It can act as a good emergency backup and come in very handy for small cuts and injuries. Next time when you accidentally prick or cut yourself, you will not have to run around your house to locate that bandage or ointment, you just need to get to your comprehensive first aid kit.