While helping Mom prepare lunch yesterday, she turned around, lost her balance, and started 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, Mom didn’t need to see the doctor. Following a quick rest, both of you went about the rest of the day as planned.
But even if there was no injury, an event like this does indeed call for seeing the doctor for a medical assessment. Falls can happen for a variety of reasons, and it’s important to look for the cause in order to prevent future falls. Make an appointment for the older adult immediately, and make certain the doctor checks for the following:
Elevated or Low Blood Pressure
Blood pressure should be tested while the older adult is sitting down, and once more while standing upright. Blood pressure medication along with other medications might cause a drop in blood pressure if the person stands up, triggering dizziness, lightheadedness, or even fainting. However, only one in three doctors check blood pressure levels while a senior is standing upright.
Stability and Gait
The doctor should perform a gait examination, observing for any troubles with balance or walking. If an issue is noticed, it might be the result of pain in the back, feet, or joints. Arranging for physical therapy is an excellent next step to address balance and gait issues.
Underlying Health Issues
Point out any additional symptoms you’ve noticed in the senior along with the concern about falling. There are certain medical ailments that may result in weakness that may lead to a fall, such as:
- Urinary tract infection
- Heart problems
- Parkinson’s disease
- And much more
Low Vitamin D
Low levels of vitamin D may be linked to an elevated fall risk. It can also cause bones to become weaker, resulting in the chance for a break or fracture in the event of a fall. The doctor can determine if a vitamin D supplement is advised, and if so, what the right dose should be.
A full overview of all of the medications the older adult is taking, both prescription and over-the-counter, is warranted to lower the chance for a future fall. Many medicines increase the threat of falls, and it might be that the dosage could be adjusted or medications stopped altogether. Specifically, ask the physician about medications the senior may be taking for:
- Overactive bladder
- Depression or anxiety
Blood sugar levels 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 performed. 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 glucose log and glucometer for the physician to review as well.
At Morning Glory Home Care, our experts in Highland home care are always readily available to do home safety assessments to avoid senior falls. Our senior care services are a good way to enhance both independence and safety for seniors as well. We can provide transportation to medical appointments and tests, help with walking and transferring, run errands, manage housework, and so much more. Call us at 618-667-8400 for a no-cost consultation today! For a full list of all of the communities where we provide care, please visit our Service Area page.