Keeping Safe From Falls
What you should know about preventing seniors from falling at home.
One of the biggest challenges of caring for your loved one as they get weaker is handling their insistence on walking unassisted and preventing seniors from falling at home. This power struggle often happens when they are weak and unable to walk safely. On one hand, you don’t want to hinder their remaining independence. On the other hand, you know that dealing with a broken bone or simple sprain, in addition to their other health concerns, would be too much to handle.
Your loved one could spend days or weeks in severe pain due to fractures, which generally don’t heal well in aging patients. This is especially true if your loved one’s fractures cannot be surgically repaired due to their frail, declining health; or if they cannot tolerate surgery, anesthesia, or recovery.
This senior home care issue is compounded by loved ones who have become belligerent and combative when someone wants to walk alongside them or reach out to offer a helping hand. This may be because they are people who were used to controlling their lives and still want to control their own bodies for as long as possible.
Patients who are declining have an increased risk of falls when they attempt to stand up suddenly, after reclining from lying flat or getting up from a sitting position. Encourage them, if they are getting up from a nap, to place their feet on the floor first. Have them sit there for a few minutes before they attempt to stand up. Elderly care nurses, we use the term “dangle their feet a bit.”
This helps to level their blood pressure and balance their circulation, so their blood pressure doesn’t drop or elevate, reducing their chance of falling.