First Aid for Senior Patrons

With a high proportion of senior patrons frequenting hospitality venues, particularly Community Clubs it is vital for your First Aid personnel to be aware of some of the common first aid issues experienced by older people.


If someone has fallen and they don’t seem badly hurt, help them find a comfortable position. Treat minor bumps and bruises by elevating the injured area and applying an ice pack for about 10 minutes. If you notice signs of serious bleeding, bruising, or swelling, help them get emergency medical care.

If you suspect someone has fallen and seriously hurt their head, neck, back, hips, or thighs, ask them not to move and call 000. Reassure them and keep them warm until help arrives. If they stop breathing, perform CPR.

Cardiovascular Problems

Age-related changes in heart and blood vessels put older adults at greater risk of heart attacks, heart failure, and strokes. The symptoms of a heart attack include chest pain, shortness of breath, and discomfort in your upper body. If you think someone is having a heart attack or a stroke, call 000. Reassure them, and keep them warm until help arrives. If they stop breathing, perform CPR. Use the F.A.S.T. to check for stroke symptoms.

Cuts and Scrapes

Your skin becomes more fragile with age. This raises the risk of cuts and scrapes in older adults. For minor cuts and scrapes:

  • Remove obvious dirt and debris from the wound.
  • Clean the wound with tap water if available.
  • If it’s bleeding, place a clean bandage or cloth on top of it.
  • Press on it firmly, or apply pressure by binding the area in tape.
  • Raise the injured area above the person’s heart level.
  • If blood seeps through the first layer of bandage or cloth, don’t remove it. Simply add a second layer on top.
  • If the person has a severe cut or heavy bleeding that won’t stop, help them get emergency medical care.

What to do while you wait for an ambulance to arrive

If the person is conscious, lay them down on their side with their head slightly raised and supported. Do not give them anything to eat or drink. Loosen any restrictive clothing that could cause breathing difficulties.

If they are unconscious, check their breathing and pulse and put them on their side. If they do not have a pulse or are not breathing, start CPR straight away.

For any clarification or questions regarding first aid and seniors, please contact Michelle Pitman, DWS Work Health Safety & Compliance Advisor, on 0401 014 619 or [email protected].

Need CPR and/or first aid training for your team? Learn more here, we can come to your workplace! 

CTA can come to your workplace! Simply contact our Operations team on 07 3878 8977 or email [email protected] to discuss your options.