Falls are one of the leading causes older people are admitted to hospitals and can have a major impact on future mobility and self-confidence for them. Older people who fall often break their hips and this can cause them to lose their independence and need care.
Older people are generally at a much higher risk of falling
This is often because they try to be fiercely independent and fail to identify the risks.
If they start to get confused, that also puts them at higher risk.
Hazards at home are often the cause of accidents: Loose rugs, rugs, and ill-fitting shoes and slippers.
Often their eyesight begins to fail, possibly making it impossible for them to see the top rung of the stairs or causing them to trip over things that have been placed in a dangerous position.
If they have an urge to go to the bathroom, this can cause them to rush, or if it’s too late, cause them to slip on a wet floor.
Medicines to reduce high blood pressure can make them dizzy if they get up too fast and cause them to stagger or collapse. Anyone taking blood pressure-lowering medication should be encouraged to get up very slowly while holding onto something.
Caregivers must consider all risks and work with the person they are caring for and any outside organizations to assess the likelihood of falls and minimize risks.
If someone has fallen
Approach them in a calm and reassuring manner; be aware of any danger to you or the injured person. Do not rush to move them. Get on the floor to be on the same level as them and immediately assess if they are receptive.
If they don’t respond – are they breathing?
If they are breathing, take a close look at how they have fallen and carefully place them in the recovery position to keep their airway clear.
If they are not breathing, start CPR and contact 911 immediately.
If the person is receptive
Talk to them and try to find out how the accident happened and see if there may be a medical cause, such as a seizure or stroke. Don’t stress them out if they are confused.
Try to find out where they hurt the most, and watch them closely for any obvious bleeding, bruising, or twisted limbs that indicate a particular injury. If they are conscious and you think they may have fallen from a significant height or could have injured their neck or spine, do not move them!
Try to keep them as still as possible and be sure to discourage them from moving. Phone an ambulance and calmly continue to reassure them until paramedics arrive. If you are aware of any bleeding, apply firm pressure with a clean pad while you wait for a first aid kit. If they begin to show signs of clinical shock, lay them down and raise their legs and seek medical help.
If there is no obvious injury or medical cause behind the fall
Carefully and very slowly help them sit up, watching carefully for any signs of pain, discomfort, or dizziness. Gently help them sit in a chair, or back into bed. Very carefully and safely, go over them completely to make sure there are no hidden injuries. This is particularly important with those who suffer from diabetes when they may not feel where they have hurt themselves.
Monitor carefully for the next 24 hours, tell your next of kin and contact a medical expert to schedule a checkup.
If you know an elderly person who is injured and without a clear insurance policy, Contact us!
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