Hearing the news that your senior loved one recently fell is upsetting, and this could also be a sign something in his or her care plan needs to change. Seniors sometimes fall as the result of health conditions, or they might be trying to do too much on their own. Once seniors fall, they’re more likely to fall again. Your loved one might also have hidden injuries. Asking the doctor to check these six things can give you more peace of mind regarding your loved one’s health.
1. Find Out if Your Parent Has an Underlying Health Problem
Seniors can fall if they get dizzy from the effects of urinary tract infections. Dehydration can also cause seniors to feel unsteady on their feet, or your loved one might have had a ministroke. A doctor can assess the symptoms to see if running further tests might reveal the reason your loved one fell.
People with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia tend to have a higher risk of falling. Caring for a senior with dementia can be challenging for family caregivers. Luckily, there is dementia care Montgomery families can rely on. Professional dementia caregivers help seniors with dementia stay safe and comfortable at home by preventing wandering, providing cognitive stimulation, and assisting with household chores.
2. Order a Blood Test
A blood test can reveal many things about a senior’s health. If your loved one has diabetes, it’s possible he or she is having difficulty controlling his or her blood sugar levels. Sodium levels that are too high or low could also cause symptoms that lead to seniors falling. Being deficient in certain nutrients is another treatable cause of senior falls you might learn more about after a blood test.
3. Check for Blood Pressure Fluctuations
Seniors who take blood pressure medication might experience changes in their numbers when they move from a sitting to a standing position. The doctor can take your loved one’s blood pressure as he or she transitions between the two positions. This simple in-office test could show your loved one needs to adjust his or her medication or take special precautions when changing positions.
4. Perform a Gait Assessment
A gait assessment involves checking for things that might be throwing off your loved one’s ability to walk properly. The doctor can find out if your parent is experiencing pain that makes him or her favor one part of his or her foot, and the doctor can also check if stiff joints might be putting your loved one at risk for falling again. If your loved one is having difficulty walking, he or she might be able to use an assistive device or the help of a caregiver to maintain better balance.
An increased risk of falls is one of the many challenges seniors often encounter. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior care. Montgomery families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
5. Check for Head Injuries
Seniors who pass out might not be able to protect their heads during falls. A hidden head injury could cause your loved one to have difficulty with thinking and reasoning, or he or she might also have headaches and other physical symptoms, such as nausea. A doctor can run scans to make sure your loved one didn’t sustain trauma to the brain that could have long-lasting side effects.
6. Look for Changes in Vision
It’s possible your loved one simply didn’t see an obstacle in his or her path or misjudged a step. The doctor can perform a vision screening to see if your loved one needs further testing. For example, neurological disorders can sometimes cause seniors to have difficulty with depth perception. Identifying vision issues lets you find ways to help your loved one manage his or her daily needs when he or she might not see well.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the many ways you can reduce your loved one’s risk of falls. If your senior loved one needs help managing an illness or assistance with daily tasks, make sure you choose a top-rated provider of elderly home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life in the golden years. From the mentally stimulating activities in our Cognitive Therapeutics Method to our friendly Care Managers who are available to answer your questions 24 hours a day, we offer a wide array of high-quality at-home care services. Home Care Assistance can be your trusted partner when your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging. Call us today at (334) 593-3988 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.