When your senior loved one falls, you naturally experience a sense of panic. You’ve likely heard stories of seniors who broke a hip or sustained a head injury after a fall. Any fall in the senior years could lead to these types of injuries, but your prompt response can preserve your loved one’s health. If your loved one falls, take the following steps to assess the situation and prevent a future fall from happening.
Take Your Loved One to the Doctor
The first thing you need to do is make sure your loved one is okay. If you see visible injuries such as a scrape, apply first aid or call for emergency services to address serious symptoms such as vomiting, dizziness, or a loss of consciousness. Even if your loved one seems perfectly fine, you should still take him or her to the doctor to ensure there are no internal injuries.
Having a professional caregiver nearby can greatly reduce your loved one’s risk of injury. A caregiver can help your elderly loved one manage his or her health in a variety of ways. If your loved one needs encouragement to exercise more often, eat healthier foods, or socialize on a regular basis, an in-home caregiver from Home Care Assistance Huntington can address these and many other health-related concerns.
Identify the Cause of the Fall
Falls can happen for a variety of reasons. While it is possible your loved one simply lost his or her balance, there is usually some type of underlying cause that needs to be identified. Once your loved one has recovered from the stress of falling, talk to him or her about what was happening right before the event occurred. Your loved one may mention that he or she was dizzy from low blood sugar, or he or she may have tripped over an object. In some cases, the cause of the fall is obvious, such as attempting to do something risky like climbing on a chair to change a light bulb.
Correct the Inciting Factor
Once you know what caused the fall, your next step is to correct the issue. For instance, your loved one may need help with household chores such as stocking the pantry if it has high shelves. Alternatively, you may need to talk to the doctor about ways to minimize fall risks if your loved one takes medications that cause dizziness. Often, seniors need assistance from a caregiver during tasks such as bathing to stay steady on their feet.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Huntington seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Remove Other Fall Hazards
A senior who has already fallen once is at a greater risk of falling again. Therefore, you need to take further action to prevent falls. Assess the bathroom and kitchen in the home, and consider adding safety features such as hand rails and non-slip mats to make it less likely for your loved one to fall on a slippery floor. You may also need to install ramps over stairs that are difficult for your loved one to climb.
Continue to Monitor Your Loved One
As time goes by, you may notice other reasons your loved one is at risk for another fall. For example, stiff joints from worsening arthritis may make it difficult to exercise or do simple chores around the house. Make sure someone can visit your loved one at least once a day to check on his or her wellbeing and provide help with tasks that may be too challenging to do alone.
Fall-related injuries can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, families can rely on professional caregivers to keep their loved ones safe. Huntington elder care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently. To learn about our high-quality senior care plans and revolutionary at-home care methods, give Home Care Assistance a call at (304) 521-2909 today.