Falls are unsettling for the elderly. There is always that risk of physical injury along with the risk of loss of self-confidence, following a fall. Hence, it is important for the care-givers to not panic on such occasions and give the elderly the assurance they need to stand up on their own two feet.
Firstly check for any signs of injury, if they are fine, give them the time to re-orient themselves. Taking deep breath may help them calm down and then assist them to get up slowly. If they are injured in any way, get medical attention as soon as possible, depending on how grave the injury is.
Given below are five things that you need to look for when an elderly person has just fallen:
- Consciousness– If the elderly is unconscious and not responsive, urgent medical attention is of the essence. Unconsciousness may be due to the fall or even the cause of the fall. Check for any head injuries. If the elderly is conscious, check for injuries. Try to talk to them and help them feel reassured.
- Vomiting– Vomiting after a fall may indicate head injuries or concussion. Hence, it is best to get the elderly thoroughly evaluated by the doctor.
- Bleeding from the ear– Although symptoms may not necessarily occur immediately after the fall, bleeding from the ear at any time after a fall may be an indication of head injury. It could also be a ruptured ear drum.
- Pain and swelling in bones and joints– The elderly may have weak and brittle bones. Immediate swelling and growing pain in bones/joints after a fall may indicate a fracture. An ice pack may be used on the injured area to reduce the pain until he/she gets medical attention. If the swelling and pain emanates from the back, it is important to help them get to a comfortable position and wait for medical assistance like an ambulance to take them to the hospital.
- Disorientation– Disorientation after a fall maybe an indication of concussion or head injury. Be calm and give the elderly time to be still and recover. Make them feel comfortable.
Whether the elderly is injured or not after a fall, arrange for a comprehensive medical check-up to find out if there is any underlying disease that is responsible for the fall. Also, keep an eye on your loved ones as the risk of falls may increase after the first.
Walk into One Life to talk to our experienced team about how to care for your loved ones. We can help you to help your loved ones feel secure and confident again.