Healthy aging comes with a lot of pitfalls and the older we get, the more prone we become to getting caught up in those dangers.
Among the most prevalent are slip and fall incidents, particularly in adults aged 65 and up. Unfortunately this age group is not just at the highest risk of falling down but they can suffer some of the most devastating and potentially tragic consequences in the aftermath.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one in every four senior citizens will sustain a fall of some kind. For nearly three million unlucky individuals, those injuries require a visit to the local emergency room. Roughly 800,000 seniors are hospitalized for a fall and over 25,000 succumb to their injuries and other health effects brought on by a slip and fall accident.
Those statistics are sobering to say the least. While the most common injuries from falls are typically broken bones such as hip fractures and head-related trauma, men are more likely to die after a fall than women. But the older the fall victim, the higher the risk of fatal consequences.
One more factor to keep in mind is the likelihood of another episode after a previous fall. Studies have shown that a senior citizen who falls down is more than twice as likely to do it again.
With so much at stake after a fall and in the prevention of another in the future, a doctor must be consulted to check up on any older adult who has fallen down, regardless of whether or not they sustained an injury of any kind.
Even if the individual doesn’t show any signs of having been hurt after losing their balance, there could be other medical conditions that need to be addressed as they might be the cause of the initial fall in the first place.
So any senior citizen who has been through a slip and fall episode must be sure to have a doctor check them out for the following areas:
Balance and Mobility
There may be any number of reasons why a senior citizen has fallen over but balance and mobility are the first to assess. If the patient is simply having trouble walking or maintaining balance, it’s important to ascertain up front.
The doctor will examine the amount of ease or difficulty your loved one is having in walking from one end of the room to the other. If there is considerable trouble, it could be due to pain or discomfort in various areas of the body.
A loss of balance could come about if the senior citizen is showing symptoms of a potential illness that could be anything from an overall feeling of weakness to more serious matters such as consistent dizziness or delirium.
There are other impacts that might lead to such symptoms which could lead to a fall. Dehydration, pneumonia, perhaps even a stroke or minor heart attack could trigger feelings of weakness or a loss of balance.
Having a senior’s blood checked after a fall is a smart move to ensure that your loved one’s accident isn’t a result of something wrong there. It could be a condition brought about by low blood count or too much or too little sodium.
The senior’s doctor will run a battery of tests on the blood taken to determine if the cause of the fall may lie in any anomalies or emerging problems that are blood-related.
Blood pressure is also important and that should be checked as well. The doctor will take readings while the senior is seated and standing up. A fall could come about due to feeling light-headed or fainting suddenly. Blood pressure medications can contribute to these effects.
So if your loved one has sustained a serious fall, be sure the doctor checks their blood and their blood pressure readings as these are some of the most effective determinations to understand how and why the fall occurred. They can also help prevent another from happening in the future.
Home Care Services
Ask the doctor if your senior is now a good candidate for home care asheville as this type of service can be critical for ensuring that your loved one doesn’t fall down a second time. The doctor may suggest some precautions be taken in rearranging areas of the home that have become difficult to navigate for your senior loved one.
The home may seem safe but, in reality, it could present a series of dangers that lead to another slip and fall incident. That’s why it’s important to do a full evaluation of the home to pinpoint any potential threats.