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First Aid 101 For Family Caregivers

First Aid 101 for Family Caregivers

Knowing some basic first aid tips and techniques can equip you to react in an emergency situation and help loved ones.

First Aid 101: What You Need to Know

What is First Aid?

First Aid is helping someone who is suffering from a sudden illness or injury. It can be a complete treatment such as applying ointment and bandages to a cut, or helping the individual with a more serious injury before they can get medical attention.

First Aid Tips: Proper first aid techniques can prevent a situation from escalating until a first responder arrives.

  • Be prepared: Have and know where the first aid kits are in your home, car and work.
  • If an injury is serious, have someone call 911 while you help care for the victim.
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of various illnesses including strokes and heart attacks.

Get First Aid Certified Today

The National Safety Council offers online training and a list of local classes.

First Aid Basics


  • Stop the bleeding as quickly as possible by applying direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth
  • Use a tourniquet if blood loss seems to life threatening. A belt or bandana can be used to pinch off the flow of blood.
  • If the wound is very large, have the person lie down and elevate the part of the body that is bleeding.

Having a Heart Attack

  • Call 911
  • Give the person an aspirin to help with potential heart damage.
  • Perform CPR if the person stops breathing


  • If the burn is mild, treat it by running it under cool water for 10 minutes. Then cover loosely with gauze.
  • Never apply ice or ointment to the area.
  • Call 911 if the burn is third-degree burns.


  • A person who is choking cannot speak and will often clutch their hands to their throats.
  • Try to make them cough by hitting your fist between their shoulder blades.
  • Perform the Heimlich maneuver on them.

First Aid Kit Checklist

Every home and workplace should have a First Aid Kit that is a well know location, accessible to everyone.

Anatomy of A First Aid Kit—What To Include In Yours

  • Absorbent compress dressings
  • Various sized bandages
  • Adhesive cloth tape
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Aspirin
  • Breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
  • Instant cold compress
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Hydrocortisone ointment
  • Scissors
  • Roller bandages
  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Oral thermometer
  • Tweezers
  • First aid instruction booklet

Check and Update Your Kit

  • Check and replace flashlight batteries frequently
  • Update emergency phone numbers
  • Check the kit for refills regularly
  • Check expiration dates on medications

Knowing proper first aid can help prevent bigger injuries and can help comfort an injured victim. Get certified today so you are prepared to help loved ones in a time of need. See: Anatomy of a First Aid Kit (American Red Cross)

If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation.  Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.

Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia CareBed & Wheelchair Transfer AssistanceCompanionshipHousekeeping & Meal PreparationPersonal CareRecovery Care, and Transportation.

ClearCareThis post is courtesy of ClearCare, an all-encompassing web-based solution, empowering private-duty home care agencies to operate efficiently and grow while solving one of the biggest healthcare and economic challenges of our time.


Carol Pardue-Spears

Carol has worked in the healthcare field for more than forty years. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, she worked for El Camino Hospital in the cardiac unit, Los Gatos Community Hospital, The Women’s Cancer Center in Los Gatos and several home health and hospice agencies. Carol founded Family Matters in 2002 to fill a deficit she witnessed in high-quality, in-home services and care.

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