A fall for an elderly person can be very serious and can result in injuries that heal with difficulty or do not heal at all.
It can also be traumatic both mentally and physically if the person is unable to call for assistance and lies unattended for an extended period of time.
It is important to understand the steps that you should take and what you should and should not do to help your parents in the event of a fall.
1. Call Emergency Services
Even if your mum or dad does not seem to be injured and says that they are fine, it is highly recommended to call emergency services as soon as possible after the fall.
A quick response will help identify any unseen injuries and provide quick treatment for an injury that has been sustained.
A trip to the emergency room or a hospital will probably be necessary even if the injuries appear to be minor.
It is not recommended to move your parents after a fall or attempt to take them to the hospital yourself.
This is why a personal emergency response device is highly recommended for older Australians, especially those who are at high risk of having a fall.
These devices can be worn on the person and give them the means to contact an emergency response team who will take the necessary action to assist them after a fall.
These devices are ideal for giving you the peace of mind that your parents will be provided with the immediate professional assistance in the event of a fall.
2. Assess the Injuries
While you are waiting for emergency services, it will be helpful to get as much information as you can about how the fall occurred and what injuries your mother or father may have suffered.
Without moving your parent, look for apparent wounds or bruises and ask them what happened and where they are hurt.
Make sure to find out if they may have hit their head during the fall.
If they seem confused or disoriented, a head injury may be likely and it is essential to inform emergency services in the situation.
3. Provide Comfort
Reassure your parents that emergency services are on their way and will be there shortly to provide the necessary medical care.
Provide your mum or dad with a glass of water or something to eat if they have been unable to move for an extended period of time.
Cover them with a blanket and make sure that they are warm and as comfortable as possible while waiting.
4. Ongoing Care
It is important to be aware that your parent will probably need additional support and care while recovering from a fall that resulted in injuries.
You should keep in mind that once your loved one has fallen once, they are more likely to fall again.
It is highly recommended to take steps to help prevent future falls.
Installing assistance railings or medical grab bars in their home or living environment is advisable, especially in the bathroom and toilet areas.
Remove all clutter from the home and make sure that all areas are easy to navigate.
Ensure that the house is well lit and that flooring and carpets are flat and even and don’t present a tripping hazard.
Also, limit medications that may lead to drowsiness and take your parents for regular doctor’s visits to ensure that they are recovering well and that they are not suffering from any health conditions that could result in a future fall.
At APERS, we understand that keeping your loved ones safe is the most important thing in the world.
For more information about our services, please call 1300 852 148 or send us a message on our website.