Feature Article

Healing wounds in older people

Michael Woodward



Older people are more prone to wounding and their wounds usually heal slowly. Most such wounds can be managed successfully in the community but this can be challenging, especially with the wide array of dressings now available.

Key Points

  • Wounds may heal more slowly in older people.
  • Monitor for infection/ bacterial burden; swab only when infection is suspected.
  • Vascular assessment is usually helpful.
  • Maintain moisture balance by correct dressing choice.
  • Provide post-healing management to prevent recurrence.
  • Recognise when extra help is required.
  • Wound management requires a systematic approach and a team approach is best.