Elders can suffer significant physical injuries when they fall, from bruising and cuts to broken bones and head trauma. They may also suffer emotional injuries that linger long after the incident. Fear about falling again may leave them reluctant to resume their normal activities. Plus, if they do cut back on walking for an extended period, they may lose coordination and muscle tone, and consequently, be at increased risk of falling in the future. At our skilled nursing facility, we understand the stress that elders feel when getting back on their feet. Fortunately, there are actions that families can take to make it easier for loved ones to regain their mobility.
Proven Confidence-Building Strategies
As long as an elder’s doctor has cleared them
to resume walking after a fall, below are five things they and their family can
do to help them regain their confidence.
Talk about the emotional effects of the incident. It is important that elders have an opportunity to express how they are feeling emotionally after a fall. It is normal to be apprehensive about getting back on their feet, and they should know that the people who care about them understand that and are happy to talk with them about their concerns.
Assess the elder’s environment for tripping hazards. Conducting a thorough inspection and correcting any issues that are discovered (ridges in carpet, rugs without proper no-slip backing, cluttered walkways, etc.) can give an elder confidence that any risks have been addressed.
Confirm that the elder is in good health. It is helpful for someone who has fallen to hear their doctor and physical therapist confirm that their injuries are fully healed and any necessary rehabilitation has been successfully completed.
Develop a plan for regular exercise. Staying active helps elders keep their muscles strong and their joints limber. It also helps them maintain their coordination and sense of balance.
Consider a fall monitoring device. If the elder does not already wear a device that they can use to summon help when they fall, and ideally one that can automatically detect that they have fallen, it may be something to consider.
Reassurance in a Skilled Nursing Environment
Many elders who are living at home can get
right back to their normal routine after a fall. As soon as their injuries have
healed and the cause of the fall has been remedied, they are ready to be mobile
For others, the incident may be a sign that it would be good to consider transitioning to a skilled nursing environment like Green House Homes at Mirasol. Our caregivers can render aid at a moment’s notice to ensure that any physical injury is addressed promptly and that consequently any emotional trauma is minimized. Contact us to learn more about our unique, real-home environment.