A timely response is critical when a caregiver witnesses a fall. Taking the appropriate actions at the appropriate time could help save a senior’s life.
There are several ways to help ensure safety and reduce the risk of falls. One of the mains way to do this is by having the help of a senior-friendly home. Another is by making the necessary modifications to the home.
It is crucial that in addition to these steps to ensure safety, caregivers are aware of the best way to respond if a falling incident does occur. One approach is to have a fall response strategy that details what to do immediately after a fall as well as knowing what circumstances certain actions need to be taken. Below is a sample response plan:
Caregivers need to remember to resist the urge to move someone who has fallen. Moving someone after they have fallen has the potential to make the situation worse. It is also wise to make no attempt to help them up right away due to not knowing the extent of possible injuries. Instead, the caregiver should assess the person’s physical status.
If their status is unconscious or unresponsive, call 911 immediately. Try keeping the individual as still as possible and check vital signs such as respiration, pulse rate, pupil dilation, and skin coloring. Also try checking for signs of bleeding and obvious injury and depending on the degree of injury, apply basic first aid and stay with them until medical help arrives.
If their status is conscious and alert, keep them comfortable and as still as possible. Other steps to take include asking if they are experiencing any discomfort, pain, head throbbing or light headedness. Checking for signs of bleeding and obvious injury is also appropriate for this status. Depending on the degree of pain and injury, apply first aid and call 911. If it seems that no injury occurred, ask them if they feel well enough to attempt getting off of the floor.