The likelihood of falling increases as people age. Falls continue to be a serious threat for seniors and their loved ones. Falls are Australia’s leading cause of injury hospitalisation and death, representing 43% of injury hospitalisations and 42% of injury deaths.
Addressing a fall immediately is crucial, and this guide aims to provide clear, actionable steps to handle such situations. We understand the concerns and fears that seniors and their loved ones may have during such incidents, and our guide offers valuable insights on immediate actions and long-term precautions.
Why Falls Are Dangerous For The Elderly
Falls can pose significant dangers for the elderly, impacting them both physically and psychologically. Physically, falls can lead to fractures, head injuries, and limited mobility. Psychologically, the fear of falling again can result in reduced independence and social isolation. It’s important to understand these consequences to take prompt and preventive measures, ensuring the safety and well-being of seniors.
What To Do When an Elderly Person Falls Down
Knowing what to do and the immediate actions to take after a fall is vital for fall management and prevention.
Assess The Situation
When someone falls, assess the situation promptly. If the person is unconscious, bleeding, or potentially injured, such as having a suspected fracture, call an ambulance immediately. Quick evaluation ensures appropriate and timely medical assistance.
How Seniors Can Stand Up By Themselves After A Fall
For seniors capable of self-assistance, slowly rolling over, moving onto hands and knees, pushing into a standing position, or using stable objects like stairs or chairs for support can help regain standing posture safely.
How To Help A Senior Stand After A Fall
If assisting a senior after a fall, provide support and encouragement. Help them follow the steps mentioned above, ensuring they regain their footing securely. Avoid rushing the process, prioritising the safety and comfort of the individual.
Closely Evaluate After The Fall
After a fall, closely monitor the senior for 24 hours. Watch for signs of pain or any unusual symptoms. If problems persist or worsen, take them to the hospital or primary care doctor for a thorough evaluation and necessary treatment.
Notify Family Members
Notifying family members about the fall is crucial. It ensures everyone is informed and can offer support if needed. Open communication within the family circle is essential for the well-being of the senior and deciding the next steps for minimising the prevention of future falls.
See Primary Care Doctors
Inform the primary care doctor and other relevant healthcare professionals about the fall. Schedule a check-up post-fall to assess the senior’s overall health and identify any underlying issues. Proactive medical attention can prevent future incidents.
Prevent Future Fall Risks
Preventing and managing future falls is paramount. In addition to practical tips, consider investing in a mobile safety pendant which works both inside and outside the home, or a fixed fall detection device for those who don’t want to carry or have trouble remembering to carry a device. These technologies can detect falls and alert necessary parties immediately, providing an added layer of safety and peace of mind for seniors and their families. Stay proactive and vigilant, ensuring a secure environment for your loved ones.