A slip-and-fall is a severe and life-changing event for a senior. While most young people will brush off a fall without a second thought, a senior may require urgent medical attention. If the accident involves surgery to fix a broken hip, an operation will require anesthesia to put the patient under while the surgeon operates to repair the broken bone or joint.
It’s a possibility that the senior may never wake up from the effects of the anesthetic, or pass away on the operating table. If the patient does recover from the surgery, it’s a long road back to health that requires physical therapy and patience.
Some seniors may experience trauma from the event that leads to an inability to deal with unassisted living. The fall victim may require encouragement and therapy to help them overcome the fear of taking another fall. Here are 5-tips to help seniors get mobile again and lose the fear of falling in the future.
1. Speak to a Psychologist and Physician
It’s vital for a senior to get mobile as soon as possible after a fall, even if it’s a small spill. Obsessing over what could have happened will hamper their confidence, and they may develop ma psychological avoidance of walking around the house.
Take them to a psychologist and have them talk out their fears. Sometimes all it takes to regain their confidence is a little encouragement. Talking to someone provides insight on their concerns and a realization that they need to remain mobile for the betterment of their health.
Visit their doctor’s office and run a blood panel to assess their current state of health. Conditions like low blood pressure and vitamin deficiencies may result in lightheadedness that creates a fall. A health assessment will provide them with further confidence that they won’t fall again due to some unforeseen health issue.
2. Exercise Regularly
Exercise and stretching build strength and mobility. Many seniors fall due to the inability to prevent their body from slipping when they’re in motion. Increasing mobility and muscle strength will enhance their ability to control their body when they start to fall and lessen the severity of a potential injury.
3. Dress Sensibly
Seniors need to dress appropriately to reduce the risk of falling. Shoes with non-slip soles keep their feet on the floor, and loose-fitting clothing won't constrict the range-of-motion in their limbs. Avoid extra-loose clothing that might snag on doorknobs or other objects. Remove reading glasses when walking around the house to avoid dizzy spells or imbalance.
4. Assess Hazards
Check the house and remove any obstacles or hazards that may cause a slip-and-fall. Place non-slip mats in the shower and bath to avoid slips. Install handrails where needed and make sure all clutter is off the floor. Electric cables should be out of walking paths.
5. Invest in a Medical Alert System
Medical alert systems can save a senior’s life in case of a fall. A smartwatch device monitors their heart rate and blood pressure. If it notices any irregularities, such as a spike in heart rate due to a fall, the device automatically notifies emergency services, even if they’re unconscious. The victim will receive the help they need giving their family peace of mind. Review the top medical alert systems from Bay Alarm and choose the device that’s right for your situation. And the Medical Guardian is great to, keeps our elderly safe and can help when needed.
In Closing – Overcome Your Fears
The thought of a slip-and-fall can reduce a senior’s quality of life if they’re always thinking about it. It’s crucial for them to realize that their fear is all in their head. They can control their thoughts and regain their confidence if they take the necessary precautions to prevent it from happening in the future.