While helping Mom prepare lunch yesterday, she turned around, lost her balance, and started to fall. Thankfully, you were able to get there in time to help ease the tumble, so she didn’t get hurt. Because there was no injury, there was no need to go to the doctor. After a quick rest, the two of you went about the remainder of the day as scheduled.
However, even without an injury, an incident such as this actually does require a follow-up with a medical professional. Falls can occur for a number of reasons, and it is essential to ascertain the cause to stop future falls. In the aftermath of a fall, make an appointment for the senior as soon as possible, and be sure the doctor checks for the following:
Elevated or Low Blood Pressure
Blood pressure should be tested while the individual is sitting down, and once more while standing up. Blood pressure medicine as well as other medications could cause a drop in blood pressure once the individual stands up, leading to dizziness, lightheadedness, or even fainting. Yet only one in three doctors check blood pressure levels while a senior is standing up.
Stability and Gait
The doctor should conduct a gait assessment, checking for any problems with balance or walking. If a problem is detected, it might be the result of pain in the back, feet, or joints. Planning for physical therapy is a beneficial next step to deal with balance and gait problems.
Underlying Health Issues
Mention any other symptoms you’ve seen in the senior in addition to the concern about falling. There are a number of medical conditions that may result in the weakness that can cause a fall, such as:
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cardiovascular illnesses
- And more
Vitamin D Deficiency
Insufficient levels of vitamin D can be connected to a heightened risk of falling. It may also cause bones to become more fragile, resulting in the possibility of a fracture or break in the event of a fall. The doctor can determine if a vitamin D supplement is advised, and if so, what the right dose is.
A detailed summary of all of the medications the individual is taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, is warranted to lessen the chance for a subsequent fall. Many medications increase the risk of falls, and it may be that the doses can be altered or medications stopped altogether. Specifically, ask the physician about prescription drugs or supplements the senior may be taking for:
- Overactive bladder
- Depression or anxiety
Blood sugar or sodium levels that are too high or too low can lead to falls, but there are a variety of other blood tests that ought to be conducted. A test for electrolyte levels, complete blood cell count (CBC), and kidney function check are worthwhile. In the event that the senior is diabetic, take along their blood sugar log and glucometer for the physician to examine as well.
At Home With You Senior Care, a provider of Manchester elderly care, we’re always on hand to carry out home safety assessments to prevent senior falls. Our in-home care services are an excellent way to enhance both independence and safety for senior loved ones as well. We can provide transportation to medical appointments and tests, help with walking and transferring, run errands, manage housework, and so much more. Reach out to us at 410-756-0959 for your no-cost consultation today! Visit our Service Area page to learn about all of the communities where we provide care.