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 ease the tumble, so she did not get hurt. Because there was no injury, your loved one didn’t need to see the doctor. After a brief rest, both of you went about the rest of the day as scheduled.
But even without an injury, a post-fall medical assessment with a medical professional is essential. Falls can take place for many reasons, and it is vital to determine the cause in order to stop falls in the future. Make an appointment for the older adult immediately, and make certain the physician checks for the following:
High or Low Blood Pressure – Two Ways
Blood pressure must be checked while the senior is sitting down, and once more while standing up. Blood pressure medication as well as other medications can cause a drop in blood pressure levels as soon as the person gets up, triggering lightheadedness, dizziness, and even fainting. However only one in three doctors check blood pressure levels while a senior is standing.
Balance and Gait
The doctor should conduct a gait examination, watching for any problems with balance or walking. If an issue is noticed, it might be caused by pain in the back, feet, or joints. Planning for physical therapy is a great next step to cope with balance and gait issues.
Underlying Health Issues
Mention any other conditions you have seen in the senior along with the concern about falling. There are certain medical conditions that may result in the weakness that may trigger a fall, such as:
- Urinary tract infection
- Cardiovascular illnesses
- Parkinson’s disease
- And much more
Low Vitamin D
Low levels of vitamin D can be connected to an elevated risk of falling. It may cause bones to become more fragile, resulting in the possibility of a break or fracture in the event of a fall. The physician can decide whether a vitamin D supplement is advised, and if so, what the right dose should be.
A full summary of all of the medications the individual is taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, is important to decrease the risk for a future fall. Many medicines increase the likelihood of falls, and it might be that the doses may be altered or medications stopped entirely. Specifically, ask the physician 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 should be conducted. A complete blood cell count (CBC), kidney function check, and test for electrolyte levels are worthwhile. In the event that the senior is diabetic, take along their blood sugar level log and glucometer for the physician to review as well.
At Abby Senior Care, one of the top home care providers in Denver, CO and the surrounding areas, we are always readily available to do home safety assessments to prevent senior falls. Our home care services are an excellent way to enhance both independence and safety for older adults as well. We are able to provide transportation to medical appointments and tests, assist with walking and transferring, run errands, and manage housework, and more. Give us a call at 303-699-8840 for a complimentary consultation today!