Falls are extremely common among older adults. Each year throughout the United States hundreds of thousands of seniors experience falls that can result in major injuries. Not all falls, however, seem severe when they happen. Your parent may feel as though their fall was minor and doesn’t need to be mentioned. As a family caregiver, however, you may wonder if your parent should go see their doctor if they experience a fall. The reality is, not all falls result in injuries, but that does not mean that your senior should not bring the fall to the attention of their doctor. Some injuries are difficult to detect immediately, but can be identified by a doctor so they can be treated effectively. Talking to the doctor is also an opportunity to get recommendations for how to reduce the risk of your senior experiencing another fall.
It is especially important for your senior to see a doctor if they are experiencing any of the following:
- They lost consciousness during their recent fall.
- They could not explain how or why they fell, or they realized they were on the floor and couldn’t explain how it happened.
- They felt lightheaded or dizzy prior to the fall.
- They experienced heart palpitations prior to the fall.
- They have fallen twice or more within the last year.
- They regularly feel unsteady or unstable.
- You’ve noticed changes in their walking patterns or stability.
- They or you are feeling concerned about their falls, or their risk for falling.
- They are experiencing frequent drowsiness.
- They or you have noticed changes in their functioning, mobility, or health since experiencing a fall.
- They or you have noticed changes in their mental or emotional health and well-being since experiencing a fall.
Elder care can be a valuable part of recovery if your aging parent suffers a fall or other type of injury. An elderly home care services provider can step in to fill care gaps and ensure your parent has access to ongoing support and assistance when you are not available. The support can include helping them to manage personal care tasks, providing physical support to help with mobility issues and navigating their home, keeping their home clean and comfortable when they are unable, providing medication reminders to keep them compliant, and more. These highly personalized services can also be extremely valuable after the recovery as your parent moves ahead. The support can help them to live a healthier lifestyle and enjoy more activity and independence as they age in place.