What to Do if an Elderly Person Falls Down. Stay calm and help your loved one to remain calm by encouraging them to take slow, deep breaths. Examine them for injuries like bruises, bleeding, possible sprains and broken bones. Ask them if they are experiencing any pain, where it is located and how severe it is.
In general, fractures are the most common serious injury resulting from falls in older persons. Specifically, fractures of the hip, wrist, humerus, and pelvis in this age group result from the combined effects of falls, osteoporosis, and other factors that increase susceptibility to injury.
For seniors, fractures are the most serious consequence of falls (short of death). The most common bones to fracture in falls are: The hip, femur (thigh bone), pelvis, and vertebrae (spine);
8 Things the Doctors Should Check After a Fall
The most serious consequences of a fall are severe injuries, the risk of fall-related anxiety, and financial instability due to medical bills and lost wages.
According to Cheng, “An 80 year old often can’t tolerate and recover from trauma like a 20 year old.” Cheng’s team found that approximately 4.5 percent of elderly patients (70 years and above) died following a ground-level fall, compared to 1.5 percent of non-elderly patients.
Post-fall syndrome (PFS) is a severe complication of falls in older adults. PFS is considered to be a medical emergency in geriatric patients, given the risk of a decompensatory “domino effect” and mortality. Unfortunately, there is currently no consensus on how to detect patients at risk of PFS.
If you think you can get up without assistance:
Falls can cause adverse psychological impact on carees, increased fear of falling again, decreased self-efficacy, and confidence in balance .
Falls can cause broken bones, like wrist, arm, ankle, and hip fractures. Falls can cause head injuries. These can be very serious, especially if the person is taking certain medicines (like blood thinners).
After the Fall
It can take a few minutes to feel pain from injuries. If someone else falls it’s important to reassure them, and assess the situation together, before you act. Find out more about what to do when someone falls in this leaflet (PDF, 1 MB).
Falls can be classified into three types:
What are some causes of falls? The normal changes of aging, like poor eyesight or poor hearing, can make you more likely to fall. Illnesses and physical conditions can affect your strength and balance. Poor lighting or throw rugs in your home can make you more likely to trip or slip.
Difficulty getting up from a fall was strongly associated with a history of mobility problems, such as difficulty walking or climbing stairs. Most of the participants had access to call alarm devices, but the devices often went unused.