What to Do if an Elderly Person Falls Down
Many older people are reacting to pain in their feet, joints, or back. Consider a physical therapy referral for gait and balance assessment. A physical therapist can often recommend suitable strengthening exercises, and also can help fit the older person for an assistive device (e.g. a walker) if appropriate.
Older people are more likely to have a fall because they may have: balance problems and muscle weakness. vision loss. a long-term health condition, such as heart disease, dementia or low blood pressure (hypotension), which can lead to dizziness and a brief loss of consciousness.
An older person who falls and hits their head should see their doctor right away to make sure they don’t have a brain injury. Many people who fall, even if they’re not injured, become afraid of falling.
Strategically placing a nightlight and senior wall mount buttons in each room of your loved one’s house, as well as all hallways, is a great place to start. You can also increase the wattage in their light bulbs, place a touch-sensitive lamp on their nightstand, and be sure all hallways have switches at both ends.
If you’re unable to get up, the first thing to do is seek help. The second thing is to find a warm location because people who fall may also be at risk of hypothermia. Reach for a blanket, clothing, or nearby covering to help keep warm. Even if heat isn’t a concern, it’s still a good idea to keep moving.
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.
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.
Falls can be classified into three types:
Falling becomes a cause for concern when someone who suffered an earlier head injury notices a sudden change in how they feel. For example, a head injury that leads to constant headaches might be more serious than they thought if a person feels sudden sharp headache pain where there was none before.
Falls can cause adverse psychological impact on carees, increased fear of falling again, decreased self-efficacy, and confidence in balance .
If you think you can get up without assistance:
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);
“It takes a community to prevent a fall; we all have a role to play”
2. Non-benzodiazepine prescription sedatives. These drugs are usually prescribed to treat insomnia or sleep difficulties. This group includes the “z-drugs”: zolpidem, zaleplon, and eszopiclone (brand names Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta, respectively).
There are four generally accepted categories of fall protection: fall elimination, fall prevention, fall arrest and administrative controls. According to the US Department of Labor, falls account for 8% of all work-related trauma injuries leading to death.