What to Do After an Older Family Member Falls - Celestial Care

What to Do After an Older Family Member Falls

Elderly people’s falls can be dangerous and they are a more common occurrence in households than you’d think. The severity of a fall isn’t always obvious right away, so make sure you know the steps to follow if it happens to you or a family member.

Falls can lead to minor injuries, but more serious broken bones and major injuries are also possible. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), one in five falls causes serious injuries such as a head injury or a broken bone. And it can also be a warning sign for major health issues like a complication from surgery, a stroke, a heart disease, or maybe a concealed neurological problem.

What should you do if an elderly person falls? Here is some advice.

Don’t Rush, Don’t Try to Move Them

Your instincts may tell you to move the fallen family member immediately. Resist that impulse, and instead take a moment to assess the situation.

If they are unresponsive after the fall, immediately call for medical help, and keep them as still as possible. Make sure to check for their pulse and note if they are breathing properly.

If they are conscious, talk to them. Ask about pain and get them talking. If you’re unsure whether to move them and suspect a serious injury, call for medical help and keep them as comfortable as possible.

If they feel well enough to move, bring a chair to them. Help them sit by having them roll onto their side, and slowly help them get up on their knees, with their hand support on the chair. Don’t try to lift them yourself; lifting them physically might cause injury to one or both of you.

Keep checking on them for any lingering pain, swelling, or any injury.

Consult Their Doctor

Consulting a doctor or other medical personnel is a must because the fall might have had a hidden impact, or it might have been a sign of something else.  Many times, falls occur due to underlying internal causes – low blood pressure, osteoporosis, dehydration, vertigo, bad knees, etc. A doctor can help you understand what happened, and what might be done to prevent future falls.

Time for A Thorough Check

There can be several reasons behind a senior fall. Has your family member been squinting their eyes lately? Deteriorating vision is a very common condition among seniors. Or if you suspect issues with your family member’s feet and legs, a visit to a podiatrist might be a good idea.

Senior falls can also be caused by external factors like a wrinkled carpet, uneven stairs, poor lighting, etc. About one-third of all falls are caused by issues like these.

Reduce the Risk of Falling Again

Falling once can lead to more falls in the future for seniors, but they are also avoidable. Here are a few ways you can remove falling risks:

  • During showers, a shower seat helps to stabilize seniors, lets them rest, and prevents slipping.
  • Install steady bars to grab and mats that don’t slip.
  • Always keep the stairs and floors free of any object that might initiate a fall.
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements are good aids for bone health.
  • Consider a stairlift installation to prevent injuries while climbing stairs.
  • A change in footwear might help.
  • Walking support like a cane or a wheelchair may be a good idea.
  • Consider a wearable fall alert button.

Make sure your older loved ones have someone checking in on them periodically, especially if they have health factors that can lead to increased risk of falling.

If you feel your loved ones are prone to falling, consider getting help. Celestial Care is an in-home care company that specializes in caring for older adults. Our experienced nurses and caregivers can keep your loved ones healthy at home and ensure their quality of life remains as high as possible.