Falls are the leading cause of injury and death for elderly people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 29 million elderly people experience significant falls every year. Before your elderly relative takes a fall that could cause them injury, it’s a good idea for you to learn about what medical experts recommend for seniors in that scenario.
When you see your elderly relative take a fall and other family members and elder care aides are not around, it’s critical to respond quickly and correctly. In fact, you could actually save their life with how you handle the crisis.
Here are the steps to take when your elderly relative has a falling incident:
Keep calm and use a soothing and supportive tone in your voice.
They are less likely to panic if you are demonstrating that you have the situation under control through your words and actions.
Do not move a fallen senior right away.
Although your first impulse is to help them up, you could actually be making a potential injury worse. When injuries are unknown, it’s best to leave the person down until the situation can be assessed.
Assess whether they are conscious and responsive.
A fall could knock an elderly person unconscious quite easily. Similarly, they could seem conscious (eyes open and trying to speak) but not be responsive to others. If they are unconscious or unresponsive, call emergency services right away.
Check for vital signs.
Whether conscious or not, look at their skin coloring, check the pulse and note their breathing patterns.
Look for obvious injuries like bleeding cuts, swelling and limbs that are positioned askew.
Ask them about their pain or discomfort levels and assess their response.
If there are wounds or lots of pain, call for emergency services and keep them as comfortable as possible until help arrives.
After a careful assessment that reveals no obvious injuries and the elderly person feels that they can get up with some help, prepare to help them. Put a chair by their head and help them roll to their side. Then, help them use the chair to pull themselves up to their knees. Finally, help them rise up to their feet and sit in the chair until they feel they can move again.
A fall can result in serious injury that may not manifest for a few hours or even days. Always keep a close watch on an elderly person that has had a recent fall and watch for signs of dizziness, pain, confusion, bruising and anything else out of the ordinary. The good news is that not all falls result in serious injury, however, it may cause the elderly person to lose confidence in their mobility. With support and encouragement from you, other family members and elder care aides, your elderly relative can work hard to get back on their feet in no time.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring home care services in Beaverton, OR, please contact the caring staff at Integrity In-Home Care.
Call today (503) 660-3755