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Why Is A Medical Assessment Necessary After A Fall?

A medical assessment after a fall can prevent more falls. Everyone experiences a fall in their lifetime, but for the senior population, one out of five seniors fall each year with significant consequences. Unfortunately, most initial falls go unreported, and the odds for another fall double after the first one. The costs of seniors’ falls can be up to fifty billion per year. 

Falls with no injury need to be noted. It is crucial to evaluate the reason for the fall. Was there something in the environment that obstructed a walkway? Keeping clutter at a minimum is essential, but a medical assessment after a fall is crucial. There could be an underlying medical reason for the fall, and you can never be too careful. 

Why Are Falls so Dangerous for Seniors?

Seniors who experience falls can break bones and incur head or internal injuries. These substantial injuries can limit their independence. In addition, a high percentage of seniors take blood thinner medications, which could cause severe ramifications with an internal injury from a fall. Safety measures prove they must have a medical assessment after a fall. These injuries can limit senior citizens’ activities and affect their mental health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3 million seniors are treated in the emergency room for fall injuries annually. In addition, annually, 300,000 people are hospitalized for hip fractures incurred from falls. Falls are also a significant cause of traumatic brain injuries. These statistics indicate the need for a medical assessment after a fall. Falls can significantly affect the quality of life of seniors. 

What Causes Frequent Falls for Seniors?

There are many causes for frequent falls for seniors. But, unfortunately, there is no clear-cut reason to direct attention to. So, no matter the cause, this information’s central theme is to ensure a medical assessment after a fall. In addition, home disrepair and hazards are factors that could cause a fall. For example, seniors may be unable to make repairs or move furniture, which could be a problem. 

Medical reasons seniors fall could include any of the following reasons:

  • Loss of vision or obstruction of vision
  • Balance and mobility challenges
  • The side effects from medications could cause light-headedness or instability
  • Lower body weakness
  • Pain or discomfort in the feet
  • Arthritis 
  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Dehydration

Prevention of Falls – Safety Protocols

There are many medical examinations to maintain safety and prevent serious falls. A medical assessment after a fall will look at factors after a fall to determine the reason. Checking in with a senior loved one is helpful. Every ounce of prevention could increase the longevity of their independence and active lifestyle. 

  • Routine eye exams annually – checking for glaucoma or cataracts and loss of vision
  • Annual check-ups that include bloodwork to determine vitamin deficiencies and medication reviews
  • Monitor activity levels and ensure physical strength is adequate

Do a property and home walk-through to ensure no hidden dangers. After the medical assessment after a fall, go through the house and look for the following obstacles that could be responsible for a future fall. 

  • Remove clutter on the floor that could cause tripping or stumbling
  • Check the bathroom for non-slip mats in the bathtub or shower, and add grab bars outside the tub and next to the toilet
  • Install railings on both sides of stairways where possible
  • Check for proper lighting throughout the house to make the environment easy to see
  • Ensure regular-use items are at arm’s length to decrease the use of step stools

After a Fall – Steps to Take

A medical assessment after a fall is imperative, no matter how insignificant it may appear. Follow these steps to ensure your loved one’s safety and peace of mind. Be sure to write down steps your senior can follow if they fall alone. Medical call devices are available if they can’t move or get up. If that’s not an option, keeping a cell phone in the pocket is a great idea.

  • Report the fall. Whether alone or in assisted living, the fall needs to be reported, and an assessment for injury must be made by a medical professional. 
  • Obtain a fall history to determine the cause of the fall. Note what activity was in effect before the fall. Determine if this was the first time the senior had a fall. Was there a physical defect that caused the fall? 
  • Look for hazards that could cause a fall. Report or correct any unsafe condition. 
  • Get a medical assessment and assess the future risk of falls. 
  • Reduce the risk of another fall for short-term intervention. Many people will fall for the same reason. 
  • Depending upon the living situation, an incident report of the fall would need to be filed with the facility if one is involved. 
  • Communicate the risk found and be sure all involved in care are advised. 
  • Monitor post-fall physical and mental status. Be sure any medical or environmental problems have been addressed to prevent additional falls. 

Find Help for Seniors in Nashville, TN

If you are a caregiver or relative of a senior who may be negatively affected by a fall, take action now to prevent serious injury. Falls with seniors can cause a severe decrease in the quality of their life and affect their independence. Luxury Home Care in Nashville is aware of the dangers of falls with seniors. We can help with caregiving and check-ins for your loved one. Contact us for more information concerning the prevention of falls for seniors. 

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