That moment when you hear from your senior that she had a fall, even a small one and wasn’t hurt, is likely to be a terrifying moment for you. Here’s what needs to happen afterward.
Seek Immediate Medical Assistance
Your senior might shrug this off, but it’s important that if she does fall she sees a medical professional immediately. Even a small fall can involve injuries that aren’t immediately obvious. And if your senior bumps her head or a problematic joint just the wrong way, that can lead to big problems down the road. It’s much more helpful to know now that this fall is where that injury originated. Also, if there are issues, even minor ones, knowing about them now and handling them now minimizes the impact they’ll have.
Let Her Doctor Know as Well
If the medical professional your senior is seeing about her fall isn’t her regular doctor, it’s important to let her doctor know what’s happened. Her doctor may want to see her as well, especially because her doctor is most familiar with her overall health and can quickly spot even small issues that might have gotten overlooked by someone else.
Assess the Risk of Falling Again
Hopefully your senior was incredibly lucky and this fall didn’t cause her any lingering problems. But it’s important to remember that someone who has fallen once is twice as likely to fall again. The next fall may not be as simple and injury-free. Home care providers can help you and your elderly family member by doing a fall risk assessment with her in her home. They look for potential issues that could lead to a fall and help you to find solutions.
Make Some Changes in the Home to Avoid Another Fall
Take the fall risk evaluation seriously and use those tips to learn where to focus your attention on fall prevention. Some common solutions could be rearranging furniture to clear pathways, removing clutter, and installing handrails to give your senior somewhere to grab if she starts to lose her balance. Reassess the situation after a few weeks to see how well those changes have worked and to determine if additional changes would be helpful.
Even a small fall can be a big deal for your aging adult. Make sure that you’re aware of what’s going on as much as you can be and let your senior know that telling you about even small falls is incredibly important.