Quick Guide: What to Do if an Older Adult Falls

For caretakers and older adults, the risk of falling can be scary but, unfortunately, very common. According to the CDC, one out of four adults in the United States will fall yearly. These falls can be dangerous because one out of every five falls causes an injury, such as broken bones or a head injury. 

No matter how much we do not want falls to take place,  since they are so common, knowing what to do when a fall happens and how to prevent further injury is essential.

Here are 4 steps to follow in the case of a fall:

Senior adult that fell and needs help

1. Check For Injuries

While it can be startling and scary when an older adult falls, take a moment to assess and see if there are any injuries. Keep the situation calm and ask how they feel and if anything hurts.

Doing this quick evaluation can help you determine at a baseline how serious the fall may be and what you need to be prepared for.

2. See If They Can Get Up

Ask the older adult if they can get up. Tell them to lie back down if they try to get up and there’s too much pain. You don’t want to disrupt the injury. Call for help and get them to the hospital.

If they can get up but still need a little help, you can assist them, but it’s better if they get up by themselves. You don’t want to accidentally hurt them by pulling them up too hard in the moment, causing further injury.

3. Keep Watch For Any Issues

If they don’t have any severe injuries and seem okay, you don’t need to go to the doctor immediately. However, for the next 24 hours, you should keep watch. Sometimes because they may feel embarrassed or ashamed, older adults may try to hide an injury. In addition, with the adrenaline of falling, sometimes it can take a bit for you or even them to realize they are hurt.

Keeping a close watch ensures you can identify any issues and that they don’t get injured further.

4. Talk to a Doctor

Finally, whether or not you find any severe injuries, if there is a fall, older adults need to see their doctor. Call their primary care physician as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Doctors can evaluate if there are any issues you didn’t catch or if there may be a health issue that caused the fall, which requires attention.

Doctors will also be able to give advice and instructions on preventing falls in the future.

Interested in Special Touch Home Care?

Following these steps will help you assist and/or guide an older adult who has fallen safely. Of course, we recommend following doctors’ advice on how to handle a fall best; and what precautions to take in the future.

If you have someone in your life interested in in-home care or if you’re interested in receiving care at home yourself, we hope you reach out to us!

Special Touch Home Care helps loved ones get the care they need to live comfortably and independently in the comfort of their own home.

Contact us or schedule a call with a Care Representative today!

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