The process of ageing naturally often places the seniors at an increased risk of various health conditions. One of these health conditions is having a fall. Falls are a common incident with the seniors. They are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in the seniors. After most seniors might have experienced a fall, even if they are not injured, they become afraid of falling again. This fear may cause them to cut down on their daily activities. They become less active, hence, they grow weaker and this increases their chances of falling.
It is worthy of note that how a senior is being handled after a fall matters a lot. It is typical of panicked caregivers to hurt themselves while trying to pick up a senior after a fall. As this can have serious effects, they may not be able to see to their caregiving duties for days, weeks or longer, depending on the severity of the injury. The senior on the other hand, is at risk of being dropped or poorly handled while helping him or her up after a fall. The more reason it is important for caregivers to know how to respond when a fall occurs.
SAFETY TIPS FOR RESPONDING TO SENIORS AFTER A FALL
While we often focus on preventing falls for seniors, the reality is that seniors can and do fall. It is important to also know how to assist and handle them properly when they fall. Here are some tips that can help you get a loved one upright, without hurting them or yourself in the process. You should also keep in mind that these tips should only be followed when you know your loved one has not sustained any injury.
– You should first find out if the senior is responsive and alert or unconscious. Once you know the physical status, then you can start taking the next actions.
– You should remain calm. The calmer you are, the calmer your loved one will feel. Take deep, slow breaths, and encourage your loved one to do the same.
– You should make your loved one stay where he or she is on the floor or ground and lie still for a few moments.
– You should carefully examine your loved one for injuries like bruises, bleeding, possible sprains and broken bones. In case you notice the senior has a broken bone or other serious injury, do not move him or her. Call 911 and ensure to keep your loved one warm and comfortable until help arrives.
– You should take things slowly, if your loved one is not badly hurt. Helping your loved one get up, you should do it cautiously. Be sure to stop immediately when you notice he or she becomes too tired, complain of pain or get stuck while rising.
If your loved one is not badly hurt and wants to get up, proceed slowly. Stop at any point, if he becomes stuck, experiences pain or becomes too tired to get all the way up.
– When you are sure it is safe enough to help your loved one get up, you should get two chairs. Place one chair close to the senior’s head and the other by his feet. Help your loved one roll over onto their side and assist him in getting onto his hands and knees. If the senior suffers from sore knees, place a towel beneath him to make this step more comfortable. Move the chair closest to your loved one’s head directly in front of where he is so that he can place his hands evenly on the seat and assume a kneeling position. You should keep in mind that you are only there to provide guidance and support and keep him steady. Do not do the lifting. In case, your loved one cannot go through the step, call 911.
– While the senior is in a kneeling position in front of the chair, help him place his forearms on the seat of the chair to work towards pulling himself up. Once he has lifted himself high enough, have your loved one turn around and take a seat in the chair.
– You should keep your loved one seated until you are confident that he can stand and continue moving around without hurting himself or falling again.
– You should immediately notify their doctors about the fall so that they look out for emerging pain and signs of injury.
When a senior falls, it can be frightening for the family and the senior’s caregiver. Another issue is that many people may not know what to do after such an occurrence. A timely response is critical, and it could save a senior’s life. It is important to know what to do when a senior falls and how to handle the situation. Knowing how to handle this situation is essential for the health of seniors. It is also very important to know what caused the fall and also help them prevent future falls. Seniors too should always be open about their falls and not feel ashamed. Notifying family members and doctors can help prevent other falls and reduce further injuries.