There’s almost nothing that can send an attentive family member into more of a panic than hearing that an aging parent or grandparent has had a nasty fall. It’s no wonder. There are all kinds of examples of people who have fallen, suffered serious injuries, and ended up completely debilitated. Many are never the same again after their devastating falls.
Falls Take a Physical and Emotional Toll on the Elderly
Elderly people, who are often frail compared to other patients, may take far longer than younger people to recover from a fall. Not only is physical rehabilitation a challenge, but emotional turmoil is another result seniors may experience after falling. They can suddenly grow paranoid about partaking in everyday activities because of their dread of slipping or stumbling and ending up in the hospital all over again. As a result, they can become extremely dependent on family members and develop an extreme fear of ever spending time alone.
Some Falls Could Be Unavoidable
As much as you may want to provide your loved one with reassurance, there’s no way you can be sure that they aren’t going to experience another fall in the future. In fact, falling is a common problem for senior citizens. Falling is the leading cause of death by injury for the elderly. It is also the top cause for trauma-related hospitalizations of elderly people. It makes perfect sense for an elderly person, especially one who has fallen in the past, to have a healthy fear of falling. In certain cases where a person has a health condition that can impair their balance, falls become extremely likely.
Practical Ways to Help Seniors Avoid Falling
Though falling may be a real risk, there are steps you can take to lower your aging loved one’s risk of falling. In the rest of this article series, we’ll take a look at some of the ways you can help to prevent a potential fall in your elderly loved one’s future. We’ll also explore some of the pros and cons of different fall-prevention ideas.
Limiting a Senior’s Independence May Not be the Best Choice
Some family members may be prone to overreact to even a minor fall and start pushing for a loved one to move a nursing home or assisted living facility before such a move is actually necessary. The fact of the matter is many older people, especially those who are still able to live independently, do better mentally, emotionally, and physically living in their own homes. Even if your loved one were to move into an assisted living facility, there’s no guarantee that they won’t fall. There have been numerous patients who have suffered falls while in assisted care facilities and nursing homes.
Schedule a Consultation With a Knowledgeable Home Care Service Provider
Since most seniors would prefer to stay in their own homes, a consultation with a reliable home care service provider may be a better choice for your loved one than moving them into an assisted living facility. The home care provider may be able to provide you with practical tips for reducing your loved one’s fall risk at home. In our next article, we’ll consider some of the common advice these care providers have to offer during their consultations.