While helping Mom prepare lunch yesterday, she turned around, lost her balance, and began to fall. Fortunately, you were able to get there in time to ease the tumble, so she didn’t get hurt. Because there was no harm, there was no need to see the doctor. After a brief break, you both went about the remainder of the day as scheduled.
Yet even if there was no injury, an occurrence such as this does indeed call for a follow-up with a medical professional. Falls can take place for a lot of reasons, and it’s worthwhile to determine the cause to protect against future falls. Schedule a medical assessment for the older adult right away, and be sure the doctor checks for the following:
Elevated or Low Blood Pressure
Blood pressure must be checked while the individual is sitting down, and once more while standing upright. Blood pressure drugs along with other medications may cause a drop in blood pressure when the person stands up, triggering lightheadedness, dizziness, and even fainting. Yet only one in three doctors check blood pressure levels while a senior is standing upright.
Stability and Gait
The physician should do a gait assessment, observing for any troubles with walking or balance. If an issue is noticed, it might be the result of pain in the back, feet, or joints. Planning for physical therapy is a good next step to address balance and gait problems.
Underlying Health Problems
Point out any additional conditions you’ve seen in the senior in addition to the concern about falling. There are certain health conditions that could result in the weakness that can lead to a fall, such as:
- Cardiovascular illnesses
- Parkinson’s disease
- And more
Vitamin D Deficiency
Insufficient levels of vitamin D can be connected to a heightened fall risk. It may cause bones to become more fragile, resulting in the possibility for a fracture or break in the event of a fall. The doctor can determine if a vitamin D supplement is recommended, and if so, what the proper dose is.
A detailed overview of all of the medications the older adult is taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, is required to decrease the chance for a future fall. Many medicines increase the danger of falls, and it might be that the dosage could be modified or medications stopped entirely. Specifically, ask the physician about medications the senior may be taking for:
- Depression or anxiety
- Overactive bladder
Blood sugar or sodium levels that are too high or too low can lead to falls, but there are a number of other blood tests that ought to be done. A complete blood cell count (CBC), kidney function check, and test for electrolyte levels are worthwhile. If the senior is diabetic, bring along their blood sugar level log and glucometer for the doctor to check out as well.
At Absolute Companion Care, a leading provider of senior care in Phoenix, MD and the surrounding communities, we’re always on hand to perform home safety evaluations to avoid senior falls. Our senior care services are a good solution to enhance both independence and safety for older adults as well. We are able to provide transportation to medical appointments and tests, help with walking and transferring, run errands, and manage housework, and so much more. Call us at 410-357-9640 for a complimentary consultation today!