If you have an elderly relative living on their own at home, in your home with you or even an elderly neighbour, falls can become a real concern. This can be a worry when you are not there. If you come across someone who has fallen it can be tricky to know how to manage it.
Common causes can be:
A lack of regular movement, so they may feel a bit dizzy when they stand up to move to another part of the room.
Obstacles around the home, often rooms in the home are full of furniture and other obstacles which it can be tricky to navigate.
They may live on their own in the absence of a loved one or partner.
A change in their mental state, such as confusion
A decrease in appetite leading to poor nutrition or dehydration.
Common issues that can arise when someone has fallen
If someone is on the floor for a prolonged period of time the following might happen:
Hypothermia, this is a risk as people get older anyway but someone who is one the floor for a long period of time immobile this can develop quite quickly,
Shock through blood loss
What to do if you find someone on the floor
Get a blanket or coat to warm them up.
Check them for any obvious fractures, head injuries or blood loss.
If you suspect an injury try to keep them comfortable and call for help. Get a pillow for them if they are on their back.
Switch the heating on if possible.
If the person feels able to, try and encourage them to get themselves up off the floor slowly step by step. Get them to turn onto their hands and knees with a view to getting themselves up off the floor, do this with caution if they have been there a while. If you are worried call for help.
How to avoid falls
Here are some simple to steps to reduce the risk of falls:
Ensure that walk ways are clutter free especially if they are reliant on a stick or frame to mobilise.
Make sure they have access to a phone or device to get help if needed and that they know how to use it.
Keep an eye on their diet / fluids as appetites can decrease with age leading to a reduced intake and this in turn might lead to dizziness / dehydration.
If you have an elderly neighhour who lives alone and who you haven’t seen for a while check in on them, it only takes a few minutes.
How can I find out more?
Knowing how to recognise and manage injuries is really important whatever the age of the person. If you want to know more book a course with us today.
If your relative or neighbour has suffered from a fall and could benefit from some support on preventing future falls or rehabilitating from injuries sustained check out this amazing local company Jlinks Physiotherapy