While helping Mom prepare lunch yesterday, she turned around, lost her balance, and started to tumble. Fortunately, you were able to get there in time to ease the fall, so she wasn’t hurt. Because there was no harm, you did not have to visit the doctor. After a brief break, both of you went about the rest of the day as scheduled.
However, even without an injury, an incident like this does indeed require follow-up with a medical professional. Falls can happen for a lot of reasons, and it is crucial to identify the cause in order to avoid falls in the future. Schedule an appointment for the elderly individual after a fall right away, and be certain that the doctor checks for the following:
High or Low Blood Pressure – Two Ways
Blood pressure levels must be checked while the older adult is seated, and once more while standing upright. Blood pressure medication along with other medications might cause a drop in blood pressure levels as soon as the person stands up, causing lightheadedness, dizziness, and even fainting. Still, only one in three doctors check blood pressure levels while a senior is standing.
Stability and Gait
The doctor should conduct a gait examination, watching for any troubles with walking or balance. If a problem is detected, it may be a result of pain in the joints, back, or feet. Arranging for physical therapy is an excellent next step to deal with balance and gait problems.
Underlying Health Issues
Mention any other symptoms you have noticed in the senior in addition to the concern about falling. There are a number of medical ailments that can result in the weakness that can result in a fall, such as:
- Cardiovascular illnesses
- Parkinson’s disease
- And more
Low Vitamin D
Insufficient levels of vitamin D might be linked to an increased fall risk. It may cause bones to become weaker, leading to the possibility for a fracture or break after a fall. The physician can decide if a vitamin D supplement is recommended, and if so, what the appropriate dose should be.
A complete overview of all the medications the older adult is taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, is required to lessen the risk for a subsequent fall. Many medications increase the threat of falls, and it might be that the dosage may be altered or medications stopped entirely. Specifically, ask the doctor about prescription drugs or supplements the senior may be taking for:
- Depression or anxiety
- Overactive bladder
Blood sugar levels or sodium levels that are too high or too low can contribute to falls, but there are a variety of other blood tests that ought to be done. A test for electrolyte levels, complete blood cell count (CBC), and kidney function check are worthwhile. In the event that the senior is diabetic, bring along their blood sugar level log and glucometer for the doctor to analyze as well.
At Anthem Home Care, a trusted provider of Portland senior care and home care throughout the surrounding areas, we’re always readily available to perform home safety assessments to avoid senior falls. Our home care services are an excellent way to enhance both independence and safety for seniors as well. We are able to provide transportation to medical appointments and tests, help with walking and transferring, run errands, manage housework, and so much more. Call us at 361-643-2323 for a no-cost consultation today!