Falling is a serious risk for elderly adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 25 percent of older adults over the age of 64 throughout the United States fall each year, and many will suffer a serious injury as a result of it. In your role as a family caregiver, it is important that you do what you can to reduce the chances that your senior will fall, but also that you know what to do in the event that your elderly parent does experience a fall. Proper response is vital to helping your parent minimize the potential negative impact of a fall and keep them safer and healthier as they move forward.
Proper response after a fall should include:
• Do not move too quickly. If your senior falls, no matter how minor it seems, they should not rush to get up. Some injuries are not immediately evident and moving too quickly can worsen those injuries. Standing up too quickly can also cause dizziness that may cause your parent to fall again, putting them at risk of further injuries. Encourage them to take a moment and then move only when they feel secure and confident enough to do so.
• Evaluate any symptoms. Before your parent moves, have them evaluate how they are feeling and if they are experiencing any pain, stiffness, dizziness, or other symptoms. They should evaluate again after standing to identify any injuries that they might have.
• Move carefully. If possible, your parent should move carefully to the nearest piece of secure furniture, step, or other sturdy object or person so that they have support to get them to their feet. If they are using a chair or bench, they can move from the floor to a sitting position, and then to standing.
• Alert their doctor. The CDC estimates that half of seniors who fall do not report the fall to their doctor. This can result in injuries going unnoticed and untreated, potentially worsening them. Even if your parent does not feel that they are injured, they should get in touch with their doctor and let them know what happened.
If you have noticed that your elderly parent’s needs have increased, that you have not been able to handle them as effectively due to your own challenges and limitations, or you simply think that they would benefit from more diversified care, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. An in-home care provider can work with you to create a customized schedule so that you can feel confident your parent is getting all of the care, support, and assistance that they need at all times. This can be particularly beneficial when it comes to helping your senior stay safer while also maintaining a more active and fulfilling lifestyle. This care provider can provide physical assistance to help them with their daily tasks, safe and reliable transportation to where they need and want to go, and encouragement to make good lifestyle choices that will help them to keep their body stronger, healthier, and safer. Having a care provider in the home with your loved one can also make you feel more confident if they have already experienced a fall. Suffering one fall doubles the risk that your parent will fall again, and having a care provider with your parent can give you confidence that they will have the care that they need to help them reduce the chances that they will fall again, or to help them respond properly should they fall.
If you or an aging loved one are considering in-home caregivers in Meriden, CT, please contact the caring staff at Franciscan Ever There Care. Call today 203-630-2881.
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