Caring for elderly parents after a fall can be exhausting for you and your parent. How can you make it easier?
People's sense of balance and movement deteriorates as they age. Trips, falls, and stumbles are the most prevalent causes of injury among the elderly. While they are normally not life-threatening, they can be unpleasant and lead to other issues if not adequately treated.
Of course, your parents will want to be active and independent for as long as feasible. The mental and physical damage induced by repeated falls will be the most common impediment to that goal.
What Causes Elderly Falls?
As the saying goes, "know your adversary." Knowing what causes your elderly parents to fall over can better prepare you to prevent them from doing so.
Joint stiffness and limited mobility.
Ageing bodies don't move as well as they used to, which is exacerbated by inactivity. A person's unstable and awkward walk is usually what causes them to become imbalanced.
No matter how old you are, having a tiny, crowded, and messy house is a genuine minefield to trip over.
Conditions such as arthritis or dementia
Many elderly adults have at least one chronic disease that raises their risk of falling. If they need medicine, it may affect their balance and self-awareness.
Caring for Elderly Parents After a Fall
What can we do now that we know some of the elements that might cause someone to fall over?
1. Consult a physician about the fall
Although some falls are more serious than others, you should always notify your parent's physician if your parent has fallen. The doctor may be able to determine what caused the fall or how to prevent future slips. Do not keep the fall a secret, no matter what your parents say. Otherwise, it might harm their health in the long run.
2. Identify the source of the fall and address it
When you've determined the source of the fall, devote some time to addressing it and determining how it might be prevented in the future.
3. Discuss the psychological consequences
After dealing with the physical consequences of a fall, inquire about your parents' reaction to the situation. Certain individuals suffer a severe blow to their ego when they become aware of their age. Certain individuals may feel uneasy about their bodies and worry about their future recovery.
Although the psychological impacts of a fall differ by individual, you must encourage your parents and let them know you are there for them.
4. Help them maintain an active lifestyle
Encourage your older parents to remain active. This is one of the most critical methods to minimise falls and tripping. If you're not cautious, old age may become a fairly sedentary period, and your body's functions have a very strong 'use it or lose it' tendency. The less your parents are active, the more difficult the exercise gets for them.
Encourage them to join a gym class, such as yoga or aerobics. Ensure that they take regular walks. Purchase a bicycle for them to use if they are still able. Physically transport them to the grocery store. Not only does this keep their joints and muscles active and strong, but it also benefits their mental health.
5. Consume nutritious foods
Along with exercise, a nutritious diet is necessary. Maintaining healthy and strong bones is critical in this case, and your parents' diet should include lots of calcium and vitamin D.
Weight-bearing activities are also beneficial. All of this helps prevent osteoporosis, or bone fragility and brittleness so that if your parents do have a bad fall, their body will be able to absorb the damage better.
6. Establish a secure environment
More essentially, secure your parents' house. When you visit your parents, make an attempt to examine how their house is set out.
Do they have enough space to manoeuvre? Are any carpets or rugs dangling? Do cables and wires wind their way through frequently used roads and corridors? Is everything well-lit and bright?
All of these variables contribute to the likelihood of stumbling on anything. Large open rooms with enough space and light, as well as a lack of trip hazards and obstructive debris, will witness considerably fewer falls than a dark, confined room with more trip wires than a Vietcong tunnel.
Keeping your parents' home neat and tidy is critical if they've become a touch disorganised in their senior years. Always eliminate their clutter, particularly if it is lying on the floor for someone to step on or slide on. Encourage them, if necessary, to reduce and clean away any needless things that may be contributing to the problem.
Additionally, you may go the extra mile by putting hand rails at crucial spots such as the restroom or front entrance, or by replacing steps with access ramps when necessary.
7. Examine their medicine
If your parents are taking medicine, ensure they are taking it properly. For instance, if their prescription causes them to feel tired or dizzy, ensure they do not take it before to engaging in strenuous activity.
If the consequences are extremely severe, inform their doctor or consultant at their next appointment. Alternatives that are more mild may be offered.
8. Consider hiring home care assistance
If you are unable to constantly monitor your parents, you may want to consider hiring a home caregiver. A caregiver will be able to monitor them more regularly than you can and will be trained to react appropriately in the case of a fall. This is especially beneficial if your parents are elderly or suffer from severe ailments such as Parkinson's disease.
9. Consider investing in a Fall Detection Watch
A fall detection watch is an electronic device worn on the wrist that appears and performs similarly to a traditional digital watch.
What distinguishes it as a "fall detection watch" is that it integrates technology that detects when you fall and sends an "alarm" to a companion or emergency services. Additionally, these items often have a button that allows you to manually contact assistance.
The most important thing to remember after a fall is to remain calm. Maintain your composure and that of your parents by instructing them to take slow, regulated breaths. They may make matters worse if they panic and battle.
Never conceal a fall. Inform your elderly parent's doctor if one of them falls. Their primary care physician will assist you in determining what caused the fall and will provide suggestions on how to prevent it in the future. This may entail modifying their house or hiring a home caregiver.
Caring for elderly parents after a fall can be exhausting. Consider getting a fall detection watch to help you and your parent have peace of mind.
The CPR Guardian Personal Alarm Watch with Fall Detection is an easy-to-use standalone mobile phone watch with an integrated SIM card. It’s a personal alarm that contacts family. They can view the location and well-being of the wearer remotely by using the Guardian mobile APP for Android and iOS. Carers can call the fall detection watch just like a mobile phone. Please contact us if you need assistance.