06 Apr What To Do If An Elderly Person Falls
Wondering What You Should Do If An Elderly Person Falls?
As we age, we become more prone to falls both inside and outside the house. There are lots of reasons for this; eyesight isn’t so good, it’s harder to balance, or it could be down to new medication. If you’re over 65 there’s a 1 in 3 chance that you’ll have a fall at least once a year.
Whilst most falls can be remedied quite easily, it’s important that they’re assessed by a medical professional. In most cases, however, the initial shock of the fall and the period of waiting for an ambulance, if required, is dealt with by a non-professional. It’s useful therefore to know what to do if an elderly person falls.
What to Do Straight After a Fall
If you’re present when the fall occurs, you may feel quite shaky. Remember, though, that the person who’s fallen is likely to feel shocked and maybe ashamed at what’s happened. It’s best to stay calm, therefore, and if you’re outside, try to keep people at a distance.
Don’t try to move someone who’s fallen until they’ve recovered from the shock. If you didn’t witness it, you should try to find out exactly what caused it. If they appear to be in pain, or you suspect there’s a fracture, phone an ambulance immediately and make them as comfy as possible. Fetch blankets, a hot water bottle, and a drink if you can.
Moving Someone After a Fall
If you feel confident that there are no fractures or sprains, it’s a good idea to move someone who’s fallen into a sitting position, or into a chair if possible. Before you do this, check for broken glass and fallen objects that could cause further problems.
If there are a couple of kitchen/dining chairs to hand, these will make it easier to get up. Take it slowly, and if there’s pain at any point, stop and get them back to a lying position.
- Preparation. Place a chair by the head of the lying person, and one at their feet. Encourage them to move to a kneeling position by place their elbow on the ground, with their hand palm down, and using this to push themselves up.
- Moving to Standing. Once they’re in a kneeling position, move the chair by their feel closer, to provide support. Ask them to bend a leg at the knee and put their foot flat on the ground to lift themselves up. You can help by placing your arms under their armpits.
- Sit Down in the Chair. Once they’re in the chair, check for dizziness, sickness, or pain. Make sure that they stay put for a while, even if they seem to be recovering well.
Why It’s Important to Book a GP Appointment
If an elderly person goes into hospital as a result of a fall, they’ll receive a thorough check-up. It’s important, though, that even if there appears to be a complete recovery they see a GP soon after a fall occurs.
A GP will want to carry out tests in order to find out what caused the fall – if there’s not a clear explanation. Falls can be an alert to a number of underlying illnesses such as heart problems, pneumonia, dehydration, or infections. Alternatively, they may wish to review medications, check eyesight, and do blood tests.
When older people fall, it’s tempting to explain it away. Whilst not wanting to instil anxiety, it’s worth monitoring how frequently falls are occurring. It may be that they’re mentioned as an unimportant detail or laughed off if they happen in public. If you notice that they’ve become a frequent event, suggest that a doctor’s appointment would be appropriate.
About Francis House Homecare
Francis House provides home care for older people who wish to live independently in their own homes but require some support in order to be able to do so. Our professional carers schedule in daily or weekly visits to help with personal care, light domestic tasks, shopping trips, or home-based activities. We have specialist carers who provide homecare for people with dementia.
Would you like to speak to a Francis House Carer about home care for yourself or a relative? Call us today on 01234 841808